StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article

Customer Service: Are You Doing Enough?

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management ArticleBelieve it or not, customer service is the backbone of any successful business across all industries. It only takes a few minutes searching the web for leading causes of customer dissatisfaction and you will clearly see that insufficient customer service tops the list. It is a given that customers will have questions or issues with any product or service but it’s how you deal with those issues and questions that makes a difference. When it comes to customer service, are you doing enough? Here are a few checkpoints you may wish to analyze to see just how well you are doing on that front.

Time is of the Essence

If there is one cardinal rule in business, it would be that time is money. When it comes to customer service, it is vital that anyone running a help desk has instantaneous access to any information the customer may need to resolve their issue. How many times have you been transferred from department to department only to find there is only one person who is able to answer your question, even though it may not be something they would ordinarily handle?

With an IT solution such as SysAid’s help desk, this would not be an issue. It’s only a matter of accessing a user-friendly dashboard to find the solution or department necessary to answer the customer’s question or resolve their issue. Rapid resolution is a way to save time and, consequently, money. Time is money and every minute lost equates to dollars and cents down the drain. Don’t forget that the customer’s time is also valuable. Are you resolving issues or answering questions in the quickest, most direct manner? If not, then you are most definitely not doing as much as you could.

No One Likes Getting the Runaround

One of the most important tools you can give your customer service reps is the information they need to handle calls quickly and efficiently. As mentioned above, altogether too often customers call in to a help center only to be transferred to a wrong department or person. Are your customer service reps equipped with the IT they need to efficiently route calls where they need to go? Do they have the information at hand to answer questions which are not overly technical?

Given the right help desk platform, any customer service rep should be able to answer tier 1 questions quickly and accurately without the need to transfer a call unless the question is beyond what they are legally or professionally allowed to answer. While wasted time is the number one customer service complaint, being given the runaround with repeated transfers comes in at a close second. No one likes getting the runaround which is both frustrating and time consuming.

The Value of Customer Retention

Unfortunately, altogether too many businesses are so wrapped up in customer acquisition that they fail to realize that customer retention is even more important. It takes a lot less marketing money to keep a customer than it does to find a new customer, and this is why customer service is so vitally important to any business.

If you are experiencing a higher than average turnaround in customers or clients, you probably aren’t doing enough in terms of customer service. Although no customer service rep can be expected to be an expert on every level of a business, there are IT tools to give them what they need to satisfy incoming calls. Get this right and you will notice a growing customer base, higher profitability and a customer service desk that does just what it’s supposed to be doing – serving the customer to keep them happy and loyal. In the end, that’s the key to success.

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article

How To Keep Your Customers Truly Happy

Customers are the backbone of any company; they drive a business forward, and they can be the difference between success and failure. Therefore, to make it in the nail-biting world of business, regardless of industry, you need to first and foremost, keep your customers truly happy.

There are a variety of ways you can accomplish this task. From making sure every customer feels appreciated and valued to ensuring you don’t promise a product or service which you simply can’t deliver, looking after every customer, both current and potential, needs to be your priority, year in, year out. By doing so, you can rest assured that you’ll be rewarded with loyalty and positive word of mouth recommendations. After all, who doesn’t want to do business with someone who makes you feel like you’re number one?

Offer Rewards

Who doesn’t love a freebie? Customers respond well to free giveaways and a chance to win something valuable. On your website and blog, advertise how you’re planning to give something away for free and explain how clients can go about winning it. Try not to be cryptic about what you’re giving away. Instead, be transparent so that individuals know what they could win so they can decide whether they want to enter or not. Opt into a customer rewards program such as the one offered through Sparkage to keep your customers returning to your business time and time again; click here to discover more about how this can work for your company.

Refrain From Over Promising

Try not to claim that your services are the best available on the market unless they definitely are and you have evidence to prove it. You need to find a tone that communicates your intentions, and how you can promise excellence but not perfection, again, unless you can. Be open, honest, and transparent with customers so that they know what to expect.

Let Them Know They’re Valued

Customers like to know that you appreciate them and that they’re valuable to you. You need to demonstrate just how instrumental they are to your success by keeping them up to date with what’s happening in your company. Send them regular updates via email if they’ve opted in to receive newsletters and information about press releases, for example. Encourage new and existing clients to join a mailing list in which you’ll tell them when you’re having flash sales or offering deals and discounts. Email is a great way to get a message across to customers that don’t frequently use social media.

Call Them

Ring your customers to find out more about the interaction with you and ask for their thoughts and opinions. If you receive a complaint, then ensure that it is followed up appropriately and sorted as soon as possible. Communicate with the customers directly if possible and if not, then schedule a time to call them and discuss where they think you could improve. Never call multiple times throughout the day, as you don’t want to be a nuisance. If you don’t get through to your customer on the first try, then leave a message and explain that you’ll try calling at a more convenient time the next day, for example.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article

4 Benefits of Incorporating Customer Service Into Your Marketing Strategy

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales ArticleIt is no secret that customer service can make or break a business. When customers are satisfied with the products or services that your business provides, they are more likely to continue doing business with your company. Additionally, happy customers are far more inclined to recommend your products to friends or family members. Providing quality and consistent customer service can be a challenge for many businesses. To help you overcome this obstacle, here are four benefits of incorporating customer service into your marketing strategy:

1. Improve the Reputation of Your Brand

Ensuring that customer service is an integral part of your marketing strategy can give your brand a competitive edge over similar types of businesses. This means that consumers will continue coming back to your business to spend their money.

2. Expand Brand Awareness

As an increasing number of consumers are doing the majority of their shopping online, online reviews have become more important than ever. Many prospective customers may read these reviews when deciding whether or not to do business with your company. By incorporating customer service into your marketing strategy, you increase the number of opportunities for positive customer interactions. This may result in an increased number of positive customer reviews which can instill trust and confidence in prospective buyers.

3. Increase Brand Loyalty

Positive interactions with your customers are key to developing a loyal fanbase. Companies like SolidCactus offer call center services and other digital marketing solutions that can help ensure that your customers get the quality service they expect from your brand. These positive interactions can drive referrals and help spread the word about your business. Similarly, negative customer experiences can result in negative reviews which can hinder sales and cause long-term damage to your brand.

4. Encourage Cross-Departmental Communication

Incorporating customer service into your marketing strategy can lead to more unified communication across various parts of your business. When properly executed, a customer support team is made aware of any specials or promotions your marketing team is running. In turn, customer support is able to refer customers to the marketing materials.

Customer service is a cornerstone of any successful business. When you incorporate customer service into your marketing strategy, it can yield some serious results. Creating a positive customer experience gives your business a unique selling proposition which can encourage brand loyalty and lead to repeat customers.

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article

Non-Verbal Customer Communication: It’s More Important Than You Think

When we think about communicating with customers, our focus is usually on establishing the right things to say. However, as any communications expert will tell you, there is far more to getting your message across than just words. According to lots of different studies, non-verbal communication is a lot more important than you might think – in fact, it represents up to 50 percent of the message you are trying to get across.

Some of this non-verbal communication is obvious, of course. We all know that talking to a customer with a smile on your face is a lot more effective than doing it while looking at the floor or slouched behind a desk with your feet up. However, there are a lot more aspects of non-verbal communication that are incredibly subtle, and if you don’t know what to look for, you could be giving off the wrong signs. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.

Appearance counts

How you look and what you wear is a lot more important than you can imagine. Simply put, if you aren’t dressing properly with clothes that are in excellent condition and smart, you will lose custom. Make sure your employees are aware of the impact of how they dress, and also that they have good hygiene habits!

Your business appearance counts, too

But it’s not just your appearance that counts. It’s also the cleanliness of your vehicle or the state of your store. If customers come into spend money with you, they want to see a clean environment. You need to take care of tidiness and ensure that your business premises are free from dirt and mess. Good ventilation, concern for excessive environmental noise – it’s all important and has an impact on your customer’s opinion of your business.

Make it easy

Not all customers want to have a chat with your employees. For example, shoppers who come into your store on a lunch break may just want to pop in, make a purchase and leave as quickly as possible, not get drawn into the finer points of your industry. So, it’s vital that you communicate well with these people, too. Signage plays an important role here, so consider using visual cues – not just text but images, for instance. Hang displays from ceiling magnets, defining each area of your premises. Guide your customers with arrow symbols. And make it easy for them to get what they need without talking.

The importance of eye contact

Finally, as humans, we talk to each other face to face. We do this because it is a better way of establishing intent and, therefore, trust.  For example, if someone is going to punch you in the nose, you will usually be able to ascertain their intentions beforehand because you will see it in their eyes. So, if you and your employees are avoiding looking your customer in the eye, the simple truth is that they won’t trust you – even if it’s only subconsciously. It’s a sign of indifference and bad manners, too, and it will cost you in customers and sales.

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article

You May Be Annoying Your Customers, And Not Even Know It

We all want our customers to like our business. Actually, forget that: it’s better to say that we NEED our customers to like our business. Studies have consistently shown people are more likely to spend money with companies that they, well, like. It sounds simple, and to a degree it is, but it’s also true that some businesses are turning their customers off, and they don’t even realise it. Below, we take a look at a few common issues that customers take exception to, and what you can do to change it.

You’re Not Polite

It’s easy to be all smiles when you just get your business up and running. But after a while, when business is steady, you can begin to take your customers for granted, and when that happens, your customer service standards can begin to drop. There’s no great trick to this: it simply comes down to treating your customers for what they are, humans. You should endeavor to make your customers feel like a friend and to show that you hold their business in high esteem. If you can begin to see them just as a number, then they’ll soon find a new company.

Your Website is a Mess

If you’re mostly operating online, then you might want to check that you’re not guilty of committing one of the cardinal website sins. It’ll depend on who you’re trying to target, but remember that there are large pockets of internet users that object to invasive pop-ups, overly aggressive marketing, and autoplay videos. All of these things might help to drive traffic to your website, but that’s not your end game – you’re trying to bring them on board as customers, not just spend a few minutes on your site. Take a look at your site: if it didn’t belong to you, would you like it?

You Don’t Have Any Values

It’s no longer enough to be in the money-making game. Customers are increasingly conscious of spending their money with companies that hold progressive values, and ones that care about more than just their bottom line. To check that your business practices – and supply chain – would get the approval of public opinion, considering conducting an ethical audit. It’ll make sure that all aspects of your business are in line with your branding. Nothing will undo a company’s hard work quite like a poor ethical standing.

Overpromise, Underdeliver

It’s understandable that you want to create the best possible image of your company. After all, it’s competitive out there, and you need customers to go with you. However, you need to ensure that you can deliver what you promise. It’s much better to over deliver on your promises than the opposite. If you’re talking a big game, make sure you can back it up.

Shady Practices

Finally, remember that people like honesty. If you’re cutting corners, not respecting email opt-out requests, and the like, then you’ll lose all credibility in the eyes of your customers. And what’s that’s gone, it’s impossible to get it back.