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The Quickest Magic in Service Recovery

Acting quickly, taking responsibility, making an empowered decision, and compensating the customer will result in customer loyalty that will increase your sales and profits and help to ensure your success in an increasingly competitive world.
In today’s fast-paced world we are needing service recovery in almost everywhere we go from the grocery store, to our banks (everyone has had a problem here), to our cable (very frustrating), to service providers at home and so on and so on. It’s frustrating and customers can vent their problems and dissatisfaction in person, on the phone, on the internet, and to their friends and family.
But, the exact opposite is true also if the magic of Service Recovery is used. Service recovery can have a major impact on an organization’s bottom line with word-of-mouth advertising as customers tell their family, friends, and coworkers about the exceptional service they received from your company. Including compliments and “Atta-boys” up on the internet, they recognize you and call you by name.
Service recovery is putting a smile on a customer’s face after you’ve screwed up. Now it may not be your fault, but it is your problem. How you handle those mistakes is what separates you from the rest of the pack and…keeps customers for life.
We have developed the following techniques for providing quality service recovery:
Act quickly.You must acknowledge the mistake within 60 seconds. That’s when the magic happens. The employee at the point of contact is the person in the best position to successfully implement service recovery.
Front-line employees should have the power to resolve more than 95 per cent of customer issues without having to pass the customer on to another person
Take responsibility.No matter who is at fault, you must own the mistake and sincerely apologize. Don’t place the blame on someone else; the customer doesn’t care whose fault it was, he merely wants it rectified.
It’s also important to thank the customer for pointing out the problem and for giving you the opportunity to correct it. It works like magic.
Be empowered.Employees aren’t making empowered decisions mainly because they’re afraid they’re going to be reprimanded, fired, or have to pay for whatever they give the customer.

Empowerment is the backbone of service recovery, and organizations that truly want to serve the customers and retain their business must not only allow, but insist, that employees bend and break the rules in order to keep those customers coming back. They are your magicians.
Compensate.Give away something that has high value and low cost. You must give the customer something of value, something that will impress the customer and give them the feeling that you really do value their business. Every company has something that doesn’t cost a lot but has value in the eyes of the customer.

Practice the magic every day when customers confront you with a situation or problem. No business can afford to lose customers, if only because it costs much more to replace a customer than it does to retain one – five times more.
Those that go out of their way to please customers and correct problems or screw-ups will soon have more customers than their competition. 
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Five ways to eliminate customer service friction

The biggest friction point of all with customers is making them wait and disrespecting their time. So the basic ways to eliminate frictions are as follows: 

  1. Duration: How long do we make customers wait? It could be on hold for customer support or in the waiting room of a doctor’s office. Waiting is friction. Wasting our customer’s time is friction. That little recording you hear when you’re on hold should say, “Your call is NOT really that important to us. Otherwise, we wouldn’t make you wait!”
  2. Memory: I’m always frustrated when I call a customer support number that I’ve called in the past and have to retell my story. Same goes for when I’m transferred to another person. There is no reason for this. Employees should be armed with information about the customer’s past calls, purchases, and any other interaction they have had with the company. Making a customer repeat their story is a waste of time. It’s friction!
  3. Consistency: Consistency isn’t the problem. It’s lack of consistency. Specifically, I’m referring to inconsistent information. One day I called my cellular provider with a question about an international calling plan. I didn’t like the answer I got, so I called back and a different agent gave me a different answer. My assistant asked me which plan I thought was correct. I jokingly said, “the one with the lower price.” Inconsistent information derails confidence and trust.
  4. Empowerment: When we talk about empowerment, we’re usually referring to empowering employees to take care of the customer. In this case, it’s empowering the customer to take control of their situation. Self-service tools are a powerful way to take care of the customer’s questions and problems quickly and efficiently. Customers like a good self-service solution.
  5. Proactiveness: With today’s technological capabilities, why should a customer have to reach out for help to begin with? In many instances, companies can know a customer is having problems before the customer does. Predictive support will soon become a customer expectation.

In truth, there are lots of ways we can eliminate friction for our customers. The above list is a reminder of the most painful points of friction, meant to give you an idea of where to start. So, take a look at your business. Listen to your employees and, most importantly, your customers. Where do they encounter friction? And what can you do to eliminate that? Give your customers the experience they expect and deserve—one that is easy, convenient, and friction-free.

Inexpensive Ways To Attract New Local Customers

For a business to grow, it needs to attract new customers, while also maintaining the customers it already has. But many growing businesses don’t have a lot of marketing dollars to spread around in order to try and grow their presence. This can provide a conundrum for businesses. So how do companies work to resolve this conflict?

The answer is to work on finding inexpensive ways to attract new customers. These are just a few strategies that can help you find the customers you need and want to expand your audience.

Build social media presence

We often think that social media presence is something that only big companies need to worry about, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Even if your business only has a simple Facebook page and monitors its reviews on sites like Yelp and Google, that is a social media presence.

Keeping an eye on what’s happening in these locations can help you connect with local customers and niche buyers. These customers are the ones most likely to be your most loyal customers over time, so they’re important to cultivate.

Use physical advertising

Companies often focus on digital advertising, and with good reason. Building a social media presence, spreading word of mouth, and creating a high-quality website can all help customers find a business and trust the company to fulfill its promises.

But for companies that have brick and mortar businesses, there are more advertising options available. Physical advertising can be particularly important. When shopping offline, customers prefer to shop locally – in fact, some research has shown that the bulk of a business’s customers live just five miles away.

So making sure that customers can see that your business exists is key to bringing in new customers. Using signs, banners, and visual flags can help catch the eyes of potential customers and make them curious about what your business has to offer.

Support amazing service

Any business should offer great customer service, especially in a world where so many options are available for every purchase. Customers, especially younger customers, are looking for a great experience as much as they’re looking for a great product.

There are many ways to offer great service; your return policy should be simple and understandable, your in-store representatives should be knowledgeable, well trained, and friendly, and your pricing should be competitive.

CustomerThink

Interact with your customers and keep them in the loop

Providing good customer service isn’t rocket science – it comes down to a good support tool and remembering to keep the customer in the loop at all times.  Before you know it, you’re the customer’s service hero.

There are a number of reasons to shop with online retailers: to save time, avoid crowds, do comparison shopping… whatever the reason, nearly all consumers have purchased items on-line at one time or another.
The user (Jane) below had a great customer service experience with the on-line click & collect service from food retailer.


I recently filled out a customer service web form at an online food store, asking some questions about a new delicacy (cookies). Since it was an online form, I instantly got a tracking number and an email receipt (good).

However, after I had posted the inquiry, it took 5 days for them to get back to me. After 2 or 3 days without any response, I started getting furious, thinking I should take my order elsewhere.When I finally got a response, I received a long email explaining that they were sorry for the delay, and the reason was that, part of the cookies I ordered was no longer for sale, and also out of stock……. They had to make a special order of a replica from abroad to complete my order. Imagine that; they had gone out of their way to satisfy my order (it would have been cheaper for them to just cancel and refund me), but since they didn’t keep me in the loop, I was by now, a dissatisfied customer, until I got a message explaining the reason for the delay, which indeed impressed me. And guess what? They went an extra mile to deliver my cookies without a delivery fee’.

As she describes in her post, all she had to do was place her order on-line, select a time slot for pick-up, and then when she arrived, a customer service representative brought her order directly to her car. She was impressed, especially by the way the retailer handled the situation when they discovered that a few items she had ordered were out of stock. A friendly customer service representative gave her a call to let her know about the out-of-stock items, and suggested some possible alternatives.

 A key step in providing good customer service in retail starts with remembering that your customers are human and connecting with them… in a human way. This means that you listen to them. Only then can you truly understand what your customers want and begin to build relationships with them. 

When the time comes (and it will) and your company requires understanding and human compassion from your customers, just wait: their reactions and support will reflect the strength of your customer relationships and just how well you’ve been providing customer service all along.

Best you take Your Customer Service from Good to Great

Very obvious that, we have all seen companies that are terrible at customer service.
The key to building a great company is discipline, consistency and building growth in daily increments.
Everything at every level within the organization is about servicing the customer the best way possible.

It isn’t that these organizations think the customer isn’t right. In some instances, it’s as if the customer doesn’t count.
To be great, customer service should be the defining and driving force within a business. It starts at the top and inculcates the organization from top to bottom and side to side

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

Below are ways to move your customer service from Good to Great

Step 1: Striving for Level 5 Leadership?

Step 2: Getting the right people on the bus

Step 3: Face up to the brutal facts

Step 4: Are you building a clock or just telling the time?

Step 5: Fire off small bullets before you launch a cannonball. This means you should Fire off some rounds, see where they land, and then adjust your aim.

Building an effective customer service culture in an organization

Management must first imbibe a customer centric culture which recognizes the significance of the customer in all operations so much that even departments that do not interact with them are also focused on the customer, delivering the best service from product design to launch.

In customer service “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” -Sam Walton

Forward thinking organizations allocate a robust budget on research just to gain as much information about their customers so that they can provide them with suitable products and services.

Apart from seeking for their customers’ wants, tastes, motivations and how buying decisions are made, they create marketing campaigns to drive purchase of these products.

All these efforts are because customers are the lifeblood of a business. No customer, no business! Customers bring in the revenue that keeps the business afloat-employees get salaries; government get taxes, etc.

At the same time, they could bring loss to a business because of their ability to boycott and influence others to do so especially with the power of social media.

For instance, last year Snapchat, (a global mobile multi messaging app used to share short lasting pictures or videos) was reported to have lost almost two billion dollars when on different occasions, Kylie Jenner and Rihanna influenced a boycott, one over dissatisfaction and the other over offensive advertisement. Customers have so much power now than ever before.

Recent research on customer behavior reports that an unsatisfied customer will tell up to fifteen people about their experience. And, the reason for customer churn out is not mainly price, but poor service.

Customers also bring good deed because when happy, their referrals and recommendations result in multiple customers, making for expansion and even more revenue streams.

A business that aims to remain vibrant for a very long time must take its customers very seriously, and this goes beyond solving complaints, or about its representatives being friendly.

ListenFirst Wins Silver Stevie® Award For Customer Service

Provider of a customer experience optimization solution that empowers customer support and success professionals with the knowledge and resources to delight customers, yesterday announced that its flagship software was awarded Bronze in the 13th annual Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service competition. Squelch was recognized in the New Contact Center Solution of the Year category. 

ListenFirst, the most comprehensive social analytics solution for the enterprise, who was named a winner of a Silver Stevie® Award for Customer Service in the Computer Software Category for the second year in a row was presented the award during a gala banquet on Friday, February 22, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV. More than 700 executives from the U.S.A. and several other nations attended.

The Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service recognize the achievements of contact center, customer service, business development, and sales worldwide. More than 2,700 entries were submitted from organizations in over 40 nations to honor the innovations and individuals that drive the sales and customer service industry.

Squelch empowers customer support and success agents with actionable intelligence at the precise moment of customer interaction, enabling them to provide even more personalized and valuable customer experiences. The information customer-facing agents need to resolve customer issues often already exists within their organization, but these agents are forced to wade through multiple, disparate systems to locate the right insights — a time-consuming and frustrating endeavor for all parties involved. As its name suggests, the Squelch software slices through this “noise” by querying traditionally-disjointed data sets to surface what is needed and filtering out what isn’t.

“Customer-centricity is crucial to reducing customer churn and improving renewals and upsells, and companies now rely more than ever on their customer-facing agents to provide customers with the best experience,” said Jayaram Bhat, CEO and Co-Founder, Squelch. “At Squelch, we believe these customer support and success agents are a company’s heroes, engaging in key customer interactions at a pivotal moment where speed, knowledge, and empathy are essential. We’re thrilled to have our solution recognized for improving the customer experience ecosystem — maximizing productivity, personalizing every interaction, and improving both customer and agent satisfaction.”

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