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9 Tips To Improve Your Customer Service

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article |Improve Customer Service|9 Tips To Improve Your Customer ServiceEvery business knows the importance of good customer service. However, sometimes procedures can slip, and of course, everyone is only human when it comes to dealing with situations that arise. The scale of business that can be lost due to poor customer service techniques is surprising. Now more than ever, people place companies on a pedestal when choosing where to buy. So, getting this aspect right is essential to get the right balance for your business.

So what does excellent customer service look like? Check out some of the top ways to incorporate typical company characteristics and techniques into your company processes.

1. Become an expert

Nobody likes a know-it-all, but when your company displays knowledge and expertise in a product or service, you can give precise and specific solutions to their issues. If the customer has to go through five different people to have a query resolved, they will not be happy. It’s also essential to have a troubleshooting or FAQ section on your website that can help in the first instance. If a customer can resolve an issue without needing to speak to someone, the more likely they’ll return.

2. Empathy

Companies should not act like robots. People want to talk to someone that understands their issues. To build a strong relationship with consumers, your team needs to be active listeners and establish a common ground.

3. Be personable

As mentioned before, customers want to be able to communicate with a human. Contact details should be clearly available on your website. If possible, integrate an option such as live chat to help people get answers quickly and easily without picking up the phone. This function can also help convert people. Suppose they have any immediate questions about an item. In that case, they’re less likely to leave the site to go and compare the information.

To help make your staff more personable, allow then to incorporate their personality into the customer experience while staying on brand. This is also important for any communication type, such as social media, live chats, and phone conversation. Consumers like to feel the personality of the brand and its staff, so they know they’re not buying from a faceless entity.

4. Clear communication

In short, don’t waffle or hit customers with sales jargon when they have an issue! If they contact customer services, it’s typically because they have questions or queries regarding an order. So don’t avoid the problem, just get straight to it and communicate clearly to resolve issues. If this does not happen, you could risk losing the customer and receive a request for a refund, as the issue was not resolved.

5. Flexible

The saying ‘the customer is always right’ is mostly true. However, this is only possible if your company is flexible. Adapting to different situations is vital for all team members. Unfortunately, some people try their luck when querying or communicating issues. The key to customer service excellence is to remain level-headed and calm. This can be easier said than done. However, investing in good training for your teams will help them tackle different scenarios and put their skills into practice.

6. Open to feedback

No company is perfect. While you may have a good reputation for excellent customer service, there’s always more than can be done to improve it. One of the best ways to ensure improvement is to be receptive to feedback. Of course, you may get the odd discrepancy in negative feedback. Still, constructive criticism is always important to take on board. A good way to collate feedback and reviews is to conduct customer satisfaction surveys. These will highlight areas of improvement and tackle any lingering issues that customers have, however small.

7. Listen to staff

One of the most significant aspects that can help improve customer service is by listening to your staff. They are the people face to face with the consumer and experiencing the issues they face. By collating staff feedback and frustrations they have with delivering good customer service, you can create a plan to implement changes. Staff may have various input from requiring more training on products to having insufficient authority to issue refunds, which hold the process up. Looking at each area and determining what can make the customer experience better will help consumers and staff in the long term.

8. Act on your promises

Getting feedback from customers and staff is all well and good, but what are you going to do about it. A company that says they’ll change and fails to doesn’t hold onto a good reputation for long. Act on your promises and give solutions to issues that are affecting the customer journey. In some cases, it may not be possible to implement changes straight away. Still, it’s also important to communicate this to customers and staff. An announcement such as ‘you told us this, and we’re working towards making it possible’ is a great way to let people know you’re listening but can’t do it straight away. If feedback is ignored, then it shows.

9. Don’t bombard the customer with surveys

While it’s essential to try and get feedback from customers, some companies make the mistake of bombarding customers with surveys about their experience. There are many ways that consumers can give reviews, including incorporating tools to encourage feedback on specific products. Giving customers the option to leave feedback is crucial, and if they say no – don’t push it. One of the best ways to drum up engagement is via social media. People love to suggest brands and let others know about their experiences, so be sure to interact and engage with others on your platforms to encourage tags and mentions in consumer social posts.

These are just some of the ways to improve your overall customer service experience and success rates. By implementing good practices and remaining consistent and on-brand, you will ensure customers get the information they require without confusion and hassle. Does your company cover the above?

6 Ways To Improve Your Customer Service

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article |Improve Customer Service|6 Ways To Improve Your Customer ServiceCustomer service has always been an important part of any successful business but in an economy that is struggling due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it has never been more vital to provide a flawless customer experience.

Have the right systems in place

Being available to your customers at the right times and on the right platforms is crucial. Most businesses have call centers and an online presence in the form of live chat, social media listening, and email. If your phone system is outdated then contact some specialist VOIP providers who will be able to advise you.

Learn to listen

Many companies can fall into the trap of just seeing their customers as faceless voices at the end of a phone or email. There is a real person with a real problem on the other side of any conversation.

Train your employees to actively listen rather than just read a script. Interact, engage, and empathize with your customers.

Use the right language

It can be easy to fall into an overly formal standard of language. It is seen as a way of communicating clearly and leaving no room for misinterpretation. It often has many negative effects on your customers. It is difficult to create a level of trust and friendliness, which is not good for your brand. When training your customer service reps, ensure that you create an atmosphere of friendliness and positivity.

Create experts in your customer service team

As a customer, there is nothing more infuriating than talking to someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about or their lack of product knowledge. Even your first line support staff should know your products and services in-depth.

Respond in a timely manner

The time it takes for you to respond to a customer will have a huge impact on overall customer satisfaction. Not just the time it takes to answer the initial call but when responding to a customer’s query. Even if you don’t have a resolution to their issue right now, you should contact them to let them know you are still dealing with their issue.

Analyze customer feedback to improve

Continuous improvement cannot happen if you do not learn from your customer interaction. Rather than conduct a huge survey on an irregular basis, try building feedback into your daily customer service. Using feedback tools at the end of every customer service interaction will give you a real-time view of how you are performing. Changes can be made in a timely manner and improvements observed quickly.

Conclusion

Great customer service comes from really connecting with your customers on a professional and personal level. Customers expect speed, product knowledge, and a swift resolution to their issues. If you are failing to provide all of these, then you are going to start seeing the detrimental effects on your customer base and client retention. Use customer service as a key component in your business strategy.

Listen to your customers and improve your customer service levels accordingly in order to continue to improve.

5 Unique In-Store Marketing Tricks You Probably Haven’t Tried

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |in-store marketing|5 Unique In-Store Marketing Tricks You Probably Haven’t TriedAre you wanting to boost your marketing game?

If you want to grow your customer base, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed.

If you’re looking to revamp your current marketing technique, you are in luck. Check out these five unique in-store marketing tricks that you probably haven’t tried yet!

1. Host In-Store Events

Looking for a fun retail marketing strategy? Host an in-store event. This is a great way to get more people into your store.

If you have a women’s boutique, you could host a styling event. Own a wellness store? Create a workshop to inform your customers on living a healthier lifestyle. The sky is the limit.

Make these events even more personal by having all employees wear employee name tags. This gives customers the opportunity to learn everyone’s names and build better relationships.

2. Offer Free Wifi

Wifi marketing can be a great in-store marketing strategy. When a customer connects to your wifi within your store, you can communicate messages and promotions. This gives you a creative way to promote your services and products.

3. Create an Experience

All stores have products to sell. You want to create and sell an entire experience. This begins as soon as the customer walks in and carries on throughout their entire visit.

This will look different for every store so think about your ideal customer and how they want to feel. Do you offer luxury items? Make sure your customers have a luxurious experience? Are you a home store like Ikea? Create a family-friendly atmosphere.

4. Window and Curbside Extras

When looking for great retailer marketing strategies, don’t forget the obvious. Window and curbside displays can be a fantastic way to increase local store marketing.

Decide who your target customer is and design your displays specifically for them. You want it to be aesthetically pleasing and encourage them to come into your store. You also want to have fun and be creative so you stand out from your competition too.

5. Survey Customers before They Leave

You may already have a survey system in place for when your customers leave your store. Maybe it’s a follow-up email or a quick survey link on the sales receipt. Why not consider something a little different.

Set up in-store surveys. This gives you the opportunity to get customer feedback before they leave while the experience is still fresh on their minds.

This could be an interactive touchscreen by the door. You could also designate an employee to be an in-store marketer. Incentivize them to complete the survey by offering a discount or promo code for their next visit.

Amp up Your In-Store Marketing Game Today

Creating incredible in-store marketing strategies can be a fun experience. Get to know your ideal customer well and create strategies that will specifically attract them and watch your business grow.

Did you find this article helpful? Be sure to check back regularly for more great tips and advice.

The Four Stops On the Way To Compelling Customer Story Content

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Customer Stories|The Four Stops On the Way To Compelling Customer Story ContentAsk any experienced marketing professional about the top moves you can make to accelerate your marketing campaigns at any level of business, and an overwhelming majority will point to the weight that compelling customer testimonials carry. From the days of infomercials on television making using of customer stories to sell anything from kitchen knives to toaster ovens, all the way up to 2019 in which unboxing videos comprise a major section of YouTube’s most viewed content, and it’s easy to see that we as humans attain some level of comfort in hearing from others experiences with a product.

And while still requiring a little bit of planning and scripting to pull off in the best way possible, customer stories alleviate some of the stress from the marketing team in that they can generate tons of content with a minimal time investment. That’s why we’ve looked at this awesome marketing method and identified the four stops on the journey to a successful customer video venture. We’ve arranged these four stops around four simple questions that you can ask yourself when assembling a customer story video:

  • What do you need to prepare a dynamic testimonial?
  • Which customer should you approach about interviewing?
  • What should the time and locational context of your video be?
  • What platforms do you intend to promote the finished product on?

First Stop: What do you need to get ready?

Think carefully about who you want to interview the customer during the video. Whether you’re the one doing it, guided by a vision for the final product, or a coworker with a more charismatic energy is the one, it’s important to recognize strengths and weaknesses, then find the best person for the job.

  • A good interviewer will help the customer relax and forget that they’re even being interviewed, delving into conversation that flows more naturally.
  • They’ll ask product related questions, but in a way that comes across as organic, tying the overall discussion about the product back to a driving theme in the video.
  • A strong interview relies on collaboration to develop appropriate questions in advance and map out how the interview should be conducted, with pre-established cues prepared

Once you have your interviewer figured out, turn attention towards the logistical matters. What’s your overall budget for the production? How many cameras do you need, and what kind of camera? Multiple will help in getting a stronger viewing aesthetic. Will internal microphones work? How will you handle things like lighting and makeup? What are your post-production options?

The answers to these questions will depend primarily on the first: budget. Just know that you can get this project done with any size budget, from high-tech camera equipment down to your iPhone.

Second Stop: Who should be the focus of your interview?

This is pivotal to the success of your testimonial. You want to find a customer that’s not just interested in doing the video, but that succeeds on camera just as strongly as your interviewer. Be deliberate with this. Entice if needed, through free products or however else you may incentivize active participation. If they represent a client company that you work with closely, ensure that the company is aware of the participation so there aren’t any surprises.

Third Stop: Where and when should the video take place?

This can vary greatly, but one excellent strategy is seeing how a client uses your product successfully in their place of business. Other strategies include setting up a dedicated interview space and having a casual sit-down conversation. You could also introduce a new variant of your product and catch the first glimpses to simulate the unboxing experience. It’s all up to you.

Fourth Stop: Where will the video go?

This question will shape the length of your video, from short fifteen second Instagram stories to extended YouTube comment topping out at an hour or more in length. The awesome thing is a single day of filming may yield multiple production outcomes: you might make one extended video for your YouTube channel, then use footage and soundbites for your social media feeds. Carefully curate it to funnel traffic in the directions necessary.

Make sure to visit each stop along the journey and you’ll soon discover what it takes to draft and publish creative customer testimonial content that will boost your business and maximize your marketing potential!


About the Author

Sean Gordon has an extensive track record recruiting, hiring, training, and unlocking the talent of people. For 20 years, Sean has been on the front lines of business across North America. He started with AT&T, where he built award-winning teams in sales and operations from coast to coast. He delivered equally stellar results for EMC, Aetna and West Corporation before becoming CEO of a technology company in need of innovation.

Sean founded vidREACH.io to engage candidates, prospects, customers and employees – all on one platform. Sean has created new lines of business, reinvigorated stagnant company cultures, and mentored hundreds of employees who have gone on to do great things.

Connect with Sean Gordon on LinkedIn.