Category: Client Retention

How To Take Your Customer Service To The Next Level

In the last post we talked about how to figure out what your customers want out of a positive shopping experience. Today I want to discuss the concept of Deliver +1 and how this can take your customer service to the next level.

I’ve decided to split up this post into two different conversations, so the next one will cover the 1% Rule. Consistency is the key to any great customer service experience. If you want to take your satisfied customers to Raving Fan status, you have to go above and beyond the average customer service experience.

 

There are three ways to develop consistency:

Avoid offering too many customer service options.

We sometimes get so caught up in trying to give customers what they want that we forget our original vision. Instead, stay true to your vision and offer one or two solid customer service techniques that will set you apart from the competition.

You need to fine tune the current systems you are using before you can add anything to the mix. There’s nothing worse than launching a new program when you haven’t even worked out the kinks of an old system.

 

Be sure you put solid systems into place.

Once you know what you’re going to offer, you need to have a system in place to execute it flawlessly every time. This system needs to involve the right people in the right roles, with responsibilities and technology that guarantees a positive experience every time. Emphasis needs to be placed on the results, which ultimately is the satisfaction of the customer.

 

Good training is the key.

Once you have your system in place you need to train people to use it properly and efficiently. This helps your people deliver the results your customers are looking for. While training is essential for the system to work and for all your people to perform together cohesively, appreciation will also go a long way. I hope this has given you a look into what you need to do in order to have a quality customer service system in place.

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How To Consistently Provide Great Customer Service

In my last post we talked about the first secret to building a solid customer service plan and how to decide what your vision is. Today we will talk about the second secret in turning your satisfied customers to raving fans.

First, you must know what your customers want. Also, know who your customers are and you will know better how to serve them. Demographics are really important here as well. An upper-class woman in her 30’s is going to have completely different expectations than a blue collar worker in his 50’s.

There are four main areas you need to consider and plan for when figuring out what your customers or clients want:

• Listen: To them.

• Ask: Your Customers Sincerely what they want.

• Offer: More than Just a Product/Service, give them additional value.

• Know: When to ignore the minority of their wants.

These are all important when deciding what your customers or clients want out of their buying experience…

Listen to Your Customers or Clients.

You need to listen to both what they say and what they don’t say. Customers may say they want one thing and really mean something else. For example, if you customers are begging for lower prices, you may find out their real priority is quick delivery. Also, listen to your “silent” customers. These are the customers who don’t bother to complain, because they have been tarnished by poor service from similar businesses so they have just given up and don’t feel like their voice matters.

They feel unwanted and when a competitor shows up, they’ll be gone. Lastly, you need to listen to customers who only reply with “fine”. These customers are similar to the “silent” customers in that they are so used to bad customer service they only give a monotone response.

Ask Your Customers Sincerely

If you aren’t sincere when you ask their opinion, they are going to see right through you. You may be thinking, “What about the customers who aren’t saying anything?” You need to ask them sincere questions that get them thinking about their experiences. Make them feel like you really care … and you should!

Offer More than Just a Product/Service

Your customers are looking for much more than a simple product or service; they are looking for an experience that makes them feel good. They grade you on every step of the process. When you take this into consideration and treat them like people, they will feel like they belong.

Know When to Ignore The Minority of Their Wants

You may think this goes beyond providing good customer service, but in reality, you can’t give them everything and you will never make some people happy. You have to set limits and stick to them. If your vision and your company don’t align with a customer, they may be best suited somewhere else.

These are the steps and strategies to figuring out what your customers or clients want and how you can use them to work on your customer service vision and plan.

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Design Rush User Acceptance Testing

The Three Secrets To Good Customer Service

Customer service is a hot topic and can make or break your business. Consumers have
little patience for lousy customer service and easily get tired of waiting in long lines,
trying to get a live person on the line, going through an interrogation to return
something or trying to communicate through a difficult language barrier.

If you provide them with a simple, efficient, pleasant experience they will revisit your
business over and over. More importantly, they will tell everyone they know!
There are three secrets to good customer service; the first one we’re going to conquer is
knowing exactly what YOU want.

You are the captain of the ship and the visionary for the future of your business, so you
need to have a clearly defined plan for your business that includes customer
service.

There are three main goals you need to consider:

1. You need to make it easy for your customers to do business with you. You can do this
by offering advertised discounts, kiosks, your website, and other technology-based
programs to help them shop.

2. Doing business with you needs to be a warm and pleasant experience. Your staff
has to be knowledgeable, approachable, warm and patient. Your customers
need to feel like they are getting a good value for their time and money.
Perceived value goes beyond the price of the products and extends to their
shopping experience.

3. Change your mindset and ask yourself  “How can I NOT afford to do these
things?” If you want to gain loyal high quality paying customers.

This shouldn’t be a question of expenses but making and keeping happy
customers.

With these thoughts in mind, take these things into consideration
when deciding on the actual programs and standards you’ll put into place.

• Share your customer service vision with the rest of your staff.

• Connect your incentive programs and bonuses directly to customer service.

• Monitor the level of customer service your staff is implementing.

• Know when if ever, that you can ignore what your customers want.

• Continuously focus on your goals to support / help your existing and new customers or clients.

Now you know what you can start thinking about to meet those wants and create a
positive customer service experience.

If you’re having a hard time deciding on what you want, the tools and resources we have available

can help you define the wants and needs of your
company in relation to customer service.

Educate Your Customers

Educate them about what, you may be thinking. Well, consider this, many businesses focus solely on attracting new customers, but you NEED to spend a good chunk of your time retaining current and former customers. These are people you already know to be a good sales potential…they’ve already bought from you!

Take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers and you will see a drastic change in your sales, customer quality and branding position.

Here are a couple of key elements to use to retain your current customers:

  1. Stay in contact: This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, in person-by pigeon if you have too!
  2. Post-Purchase Assurance: This means you need to follow up with customers. Your customers need to feel like they are being supported for their purchase and with the item they purchased. How many times have you purchased a product, then felt completely abandoned? Something as simple as a Thank You note with your contact or customer service information can go along way in retaining a great customer.
  3. Deals & Guarantees: Always offer your current customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business or even come up with a club specifically to reward loyal customers. You can also do this with a preferred pricing option.
  4. Integrity: Using good business practices and simply upholding integrity, dignity and honesty go along way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of swindling and crap out there and the safer and more confident you make your customers feel, the more they will trust you and that makes for an amazingly supportive and loyal customer.

There are three cornerstone ideas to a successful business:

  • Quality product/service
  • Offering useful products/services that solve a problem for or enhance the life of a customer
  • Offer subjects your customers find interesting

Use this approach of educating your customers and offering them real information and insight and you will be rewarded with loyalty and success.

Stop wasting all your time on new prospects while your current customers fall by the wayside!

As Jay Abraham says, “Your best prospects are your existing customers. If you’ve been putting all your marketing efforts into acquiring new customers, stop and diverts some of your resources into reselling, upselling, cross-selling to those same customers. In every ways possible – through package inserts, regular mailings, special offers – stay in touch with those customers and get them used to buying from you.”

So, there it is! Remember, we can help you put together the resources and tools to do exactly that. We can help you educate your customers and you can watch the benefits pay offer many-fold.