Happy Holidays from your friends at Evans Consulting Group.
Our main topic in this month's Service Matters Newsletter is to remind you that each and every interaction with your customers (or a potential customer) is a business opportunity, right?
So during this holiday season be sure to let your customers know (and feel) that you appreciate their business.
So, please don't allow your reports to "wish your customers away". Help them think it through... ask your team, what would happen if the customer "granted you your wish"? I know one thing for sure, there would be less work to "process" meaning fewer jobs.
I know that the majority of service representatives already know how to treat the customer and with your direction, project a friendly, professional attitude with each interaction. For those few who just do not seem to understand that being nice is a part of their job, well those are the ones who can have a negative impact on the whole team, the organization and may need additional coaching or counseling.
In the ServiceMatters November Newsletter I provide several management tips on dealing with specific behavior issues. If you would like to read the article, simply click here! I would love to hear from you; please contact me with any suggestions for 2012 newsletter articles!
WISHING YOU A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON AND NEW YEAR!
Sherry Redden Evans
Investing in Customer Retention
By Sherry Redden Evans
|Each Part Represents the Whole Organization.|
Does investing in loyalty management, customer satisfaction and retention make business sense?
Here are just some of the reasons why we say yes it does make good business sense:
- It costs 7-10 times more to recruit a new customer than to keep an existing one.
- A gain in customer loyalty of only 5% can lift lifetime profits per customer by as much as 95%
- An increase in loyalty of just 2% is, in some sectors, equivalent to a 10% cost reduction.
We all know that the Customers perception of your organization is based on their experiences at each touch point throughout the service process. It is important that your company take a holistic view and measure the quality of service and support devoted to every touch point.
Everyone within the organization must understand how they, as an individual, impact the whole. The organization's reputation and overall success is interdependent on each and every interaction. Making it important for all of us to realize that "none of us are as good as all of us."
To get a better "feel" of how your customer may perceive their experience with your organization, have each department document all the potential "customer touch points" throughout the process, then go through the processes as the customer.
You need to be impartial here. You cannot offer "excuses" or "reasons" why the process failed or why someone was rude or indifferent. (Remember, the customer doesn't need to know why a process failed; they don't care, they want results not excuses.) The processes need to work, period. Make sure there are failsafe options along the way to keep the process moving, leading the customer to a positive outcome and service experience
And Please, do not get caught up in the mind set of it is alright to have "Joe" work in customer service (even though he is cranky) because Joe rarely interacts with the customers - guess what, if "Joe" sits by a phone and is a part of a business process, "Joe" is a part of Customer Service both internal and external. That attitude spreads like a virus and sends the wrong message to the rest of the team. And that attitude spills over to the external customers, that's called culture and no one in the organization should be allowed to be rude, right?
Click Here for More Information on Our Customer Contact Audits.
Ten Tips to Build Customer Loyalty
By Sherry Redden Evans
It is a fact that it costs much more to attract new customers than it does to keep existing customers, right? Each customer interface that occurs over the lifecycle of the customer's business relationship with your organization defines how your organization is perceived and has a major impact on the bottom line.
I have prepared a list to ten tips that are intended to help you take a holistic view of your customer touch points and their impact on building customer loyalty.
- Experience what your customer experiences! Walk in their shoes and experience your organization's customer touch points as they do. Stand in line, call your call-center, try going through the technical infrastructure (and menu options.) Send an email inquiry, visit the website. Cover all social media options that your organization offers the customer to contact you.
- Make customer service a companywide mission and LIVE IT. Those of you, who know me through my training classes or have read any of my articles, know my mantra... "Each part represents the whole." Please make sure everyone in your organization understands they are in customer service. Any employee in your organization can impact the customer experience, from customer support staff to back office personnel.
- Be prepared to help upset customers. Generally, you cannot solve a problem if you don't own the problem. It's our job to help. Stay involved until the issue is resolved, please don't pass it off and wash your hands of the situation. Follow-up with the customer. This builds customer loyalty and credibility for your organization.
- Acknowledge that each and every complaint is an opportunity NOT an interruption to the work day! Complaints are a great tool to collect feedback and problem solve your policies, procedures and processes, right? I have actually heard people say, "If they would just stop calling, I could get my work done." (Need I say more?)
- Acknowledge and EMPOWER staff. Make sure your employees feel a part of the team and realize their contribution to the organization's bottom line. Don't make them feel like "warm bodies" there only to fill a position. Empowering your staff is a better solution than making them appear difficult and uncaring to your customers, right?
- Act QUICKLY when there is an issue. This goes along with number 5. Don't make your customer feel like it takes an act of Congress to receive help. And please, don't transfer them more than once. If more people or departments need to get involved, become an advocate and be a part of the process. Don't leave them stranded.
- Be sensitive to the technical infrastructure. If you continue to receive complaints about the ease of use, acknowledge there could a problem. Don't make excuses or blame the "end user" or the customer. The system should easily guide the customer through the process. The user should not have to work for the technical process; the process should work for the user, right?
- Provide on-going customer service training and employee development. Don't have the "one and done" training mentality. Encourage everyone in your organization to continue to develop their customer service skills. There is so much more to Customer Service than "just being nice." Invest in training programs and if you are a manager, be prepared to coach your team and inspire them to become customer focused.
- Be enthusiastic and inspiring! Don't be that person that everyone is glad did NOT come to work that day. We are paid professionals and we are paid to be friendly, knowledgeable and able to help, not to be rude and uncaring. Remember, however we treat each other in the workplace spills over to how we treat our customers... That's called culture.
- Have FUN! Have fun with your customers and co-workers. It builds customer loyalty, strong business relationships and makes for a service focused work environment. Customer Relationships Impact the Bottom Line!
And one last thing, please, no rude people. Do not get caught up in the mind set of well "they normally don't talk to the customer", remember, if they sit by a phone and they are a part of a business process, they are a part of Customer Service both internal and external.
We are excited to announce our newest workshop; Successful Customer Retention Strategies and Best Practices to Retain and Bring In New Customers! Stay tuned for more details. If you would like to receive more information on the upcoming workshop, click here.