This month’s CROPS Report has a focus on customer satisfaction.
With the increased velocity of communication, poor customer service is a greater risk to businesses than ever before. One disgruntled customer can post something in social media that thousands of people can read in a matter of minutes. Mitigate this by being pro-active, create positive momentum for your business online. It can spread just as quickly.
Customers focus on the tangibles, whether you are a service or product based company, they want to see results. Without efficient systems and processes that focus on presentation, deliverables and keeping the customer in the loop, you are rolling the dice on whether the customer will be satisfied let alone impressed by your service.
When was the last time you said to yourself, “wow, that automatic teller machine was awesome today” or “I hope I get the same automated telephone system next time I call my credit card company, that was fun.” Never!! It is the supervisor who swipes their card and helps you with your bags or the voice that finally starts answering your questions and calming you down that leaves an impression. People are the key to customer service and it’s their attitude that makes the difference. Their tone, pace, empathy, positive outlook, and genuine desire to help. Create an atmosphere that cultivates the attitude you need your people to be in.
Customer service is not only about retaining customers, increasing wallet share or making the world a better place. It’s about increasing the size of your sales team exponentially. Apple’s marketing genius wasn’t making their products “sexy and cool”. It was considering the initial product sale as the beginning of the sales process, and turning their customers into fundamentalist missionaries that couldn’t sleep at night without converting one of their friends into Mac user.
Feature Article: “YOUR” Customers
This month’s CROPS feature article focuses on Customer Service.
In early August I contributed to our X5 Blog (The 5 Greatest opportunities facing Alberta Businesses, Aug. 1, 2013)
The first opportunity focused on Exceeding Customer Expectations. We acknowledged that it’s Alberta and everyone wants service or product NOW. But can your business do more to improve?
Here’s a short story for you to suggest that many businesses still have room to improve in this area.
I was shopping at a hardware store in late summer and was unable to find a particular item so I asked one of the staff who didn’t “work” in the specific department that I was searching for the item, if he could help me. I explained what I was looking for and his reply really annoyed me. He said: “Well, I am not sure if “they” have that kind of item, you may have to go ask “them”…Not feeling a WOW at this time 🙁
Based on the work apron he was wearing and the name tag it would appear that “THEY” all worked for the same company. But I guess, he didn’t think so.
How often has that happened to you? (I see it way too often on a daily and weekly basis)
Does your business handle this differently when dealing with “YOUR” customers?
Whether you are in Sales, Service, Parts, or Administration all customers that come in the door, are “YOUR” customers.
At X5 we have supported businesses in this area to “get all employees on the same page” so to speak.
A few tips for your business:
1. Feel Positively Towards Customers
Excellent customer service begins with a positive attitude towards customers.
2. Encourage Customer Feedback
You must know what your customer needs and wants. You have to ask them!
3. Respond to Customer Problems
Responding to a problem is one of the fastest ways to capture customer loyalty.
4. Develop Repeat Relationships
In order to develop repeat relationships, individuals should take positive actions by treating every situation with an understanding of the lifetime of a customer.
5. Seek to Exceed Customer Expectations
Doing more than a customer expects makes that customer’s experience a memorable one, which can spark future business.
We have heard the expression that the “Customer is always right” Whether you always agree with that statement or not is irreverent as some customers can be difficult to handle, but one thing is definitely certain. “The customer always has the right to go elsewhere to get what they want”
What are you doing in your business to retain “YOUR” customers?
“We believe that customer service shouldn’t be just a department; it should be the entire company.” – Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos
Zappos is a true success story that largely is attributed to customer service. Did you know?? In 2002 Zappos sales were $32mil. In November 2009, Amazon buys Zappos for $1.2 bil.
What is Customer Service worth to your business’ future success?
For full details and solutions to Customer Service Improvement in your business, please feel free to contact X5 firstname.lastname@example.org
(Note: Customer Service Tips were provided by a tool/resource titled: Becoming a Customer Service Star, created by Bruce R. Matza and published by HRDQ, Copyright 2009 by HRDQ)
photo credit: Walmart Corporate via photopin cc