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The Customer Really Is Always Right

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article |Customer Care|The Customer Really Is Always RightIf you are a new startup, the chances are that you are overwhelmed by the amount of things that you need to get done. While you were once a specialist, you are now having to be a Jack of all trades. As well as being the owner, you are now the marketing executive, the financial guru, the social media manager, the reprographics assistant, the web designer and the coffee maker. You have a business plan to write and you might not even know where to start.

While you might be obsessed by getting all of your financial ducks in a row, securing funding for your business and ensuring that you have a buoyant cash flow, you need to consider the customer experience that you provide.

Your new venture will live or die depending on the reviews it receives. Nowadays, people venture online in the first instance when they are looking to research a company. Consumers are now incredibly savvy and want to know more about the startups that they are looking to do business with. If you are keen to hone your positive reputation, you need to have a policy in place that recognizes that the customer is always right.

Under Promise And Over Deliver

As a new startup, you have an array of already well established rivals to compete with. This means you need to solidify your reputation immediately. Ensure that you have a policy of under promising and over delivering. If you know that you can deliver a product in forty eight hours, ensure that you state that you’ll have it delivered in seventy two. This is an effective way of trading. When your customer sees that their item is on their doorstep seemingly a day early, they will assume that you have gone the extra mile. This creates a positive buzz and warm fuzzy feeling about you. This emotive response is vital if you are to encourage positive feedback.

First Contact

When a customer first makes contact with you, they need to feel inspired and confident that your company will provide what they need whether this is legal representation or a custom made tee shirt. An answering service for lawyers is perfect for those legal firms that want a polite and professional representative for their potential clients. Outsourcing this sort of service also means that you are more free to deal with more pressing area of your business vision.

If customers contact you via Facebook or Twitter, respond speedily. You can also utilize a less formal and corporate voice. Converse with your potential customers in a chattier tone and enjoy selling and marketing your wares on social media. If this will take up too much of your time or you are not au fait with social media, consider outsourcing this to a professional. These professionals will work with you to achieve your online and customer service goals through analytics and market research.

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article |Customer Care|The Customer Really Is Always RightIncentivize

While you can’t pay for positive feedback as this is not ethically sound, you can incentivize your customers to leave a review of any kind. When people receive the services or goods that they expect, they aren’t inclined to leave a review. However, if someone is let down or feels hard done by when dealing with a company, they will be proactive in seeking out ways to get their voice heard. You need to incentivize those people who are happy with your service. When you deliver items, place little discount cards in the packaging stating that your customers can receive twenty per cent off of their next order if they leave a review. Ensure that you have a range of platforms that accept reviews of your company such as Amazon, Trustpilot, Feefo and your social media channels.

Social media is the key platform that your potential customer base will flock towards when researching your company. If they spot a swathe of negative feedback, they won’t do business with your startup and will move onto another company providing the service or product they need. You need to hone those positive reviews. Any complaint (and you will receive them) needs to be dealt with promptly. Keep the customer informed and say sorry. Anything aired on social media is public so respond professionally and remain committed to resolving any issues.

You could have all of the funding that you need, a perfect supply chain and incredible cash flow, but if you don’t have the customer backing and reviews, your company will not survive. Provide an exceptional customer experience and your business will thrive.

Why Your Customers Need Choice

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article |Consumers|Why Your Customers Need ChoiceThe consumer world today is filled with options. Consumers no longer have to pay with cash or credit card. They don’t have a limited choice of high street shops to get the things that they need. They can choose from countless online shops, offering similar products. Ranges are enormous, and the options are numerous. It can be hard for a small business to keep up. But, you should make some effort to offer at least the basic choices to your customers. Here’s why.

Offer Choice Because Everyone Else Does

Because we’re so used to choice, we expect it, but we also need it. When it comes to paying, for example, there’s no longer just one way to do it. Shops, both online and in-store, give us options. We have different banks and kinds of card. Some people use Apple Pay for all online purchases. Others prefer PayPal. This means that your customers will have their own payment preferences. If you don’t offer them different payment gateway choices, you risk losing custom if they haven’t got what they need to complete a transaction.

Another area that you need to offer choice is the methods in which your customers contact you. Many businesses today speak to their customers via Facebook Messenger, but you may have customers that don’t have a Facebook account. Offer your customers plenty of options, and there’s no chance that someone will be unable to contact you if they need to. This can boost loyalty, improve the service that you can offer, and give you much greater opportunities to keep in touch.

You Need to Offer An Easy Service

If you want your customers to keep coming back, you need to make things easy for them. Offering them choices like how to pay, how to shop, product ranges and different services can make their shopping experience much easier.

More Choice Can Help You To Grow

When it comes to products, giving your customers choices of styles, colours, price points, services and sizes can help you to grow your business. It means that you’ll be able to offer something for everyone, appealing to a broader market. It also means that your customers will keep coming back for more. Say you sell clothes, if they love a dress, and you release the same one in different colors or prints, they’ll buy more, especially if it’s a great fit and good quality.

But There Is Such a Thing as Too Much Choice

While you want to offer exceptional service, an easy experience and enough options to keep your customers happy, you don’t want to dilute your brand, overwhelm your customers or make things confusing. Nor do you want to sacrifice the quality of your products so that you can offer more.

It’s vital that you work to find the right balance. Spend time finding ways to offer your customers the options that they need to make shopping as easy as possible. They should be able to find what they want and buy it easily, without having to worry about how they’ll pay. But, when it comes to products, listen to their feedback. Find out what people love, ask them what kind of options and extras they might want, and don’t offer too much. Make sure quality is your priority.

5 Reasons Customer Service is Important to Small Companies

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Customer Service|5 Reasons Customer Service is Important to Small CompaniesAs a small business owner, you may at times find yourself strapped budget-wise. Operating costs, marketing, and logistics may take priority over customer service but it should never be overlooked. Customer service is crucial – especially for small businesses looking to establish themselves in their respective industries.

The following article will articulate 5 reasons why customer service is so important for small businesses.

Customer Referrals

Word of mouth referrals is very important for a business, even more so for one that is just starting. No one is going to tell their friends or family about your business if they were treated rudely or didn’t feel valued as a customer.

People are much more likely to use the products or services of a company if they heard of them through a trusted friend or family member. Keeping existing customers happy is a great way to ensure you have consistent purchases.

Encourages Brand Loyalty

According to most answering services, when customers feel valued by a company, they are more inclined to stick with that company and purchase new product lines outside of their norm. Good customer service is therefore imperative for brand loyalty.

This is how you can extract the most value from a customer since the revenue you get from them comes with much less effort than trying to convert new customers. Great customer service can create life-long brand advocates and who doesn’t want as many of those as possible. One way to achieve this is through a call center or answering service that can tend every customer that calls.

Offers Valuable Insight

Having good customer service can add a valuable resource: knowledge. Some market research can only be done via a customer’s interaction with your customer service reps – and you don’t have to pay extra for it.

For instance, you can train your reps to ask questions about why a customer likes your product or what they use your service for. Their valuable answers can be used to direct your marketing campaigns to truly resonate with your customers. A well-trained customer service team can seamlessly insert these questions into their conversations with your client and phrase them so they are simultaneously providing value to them.

It’s Cost-Effective

The initial investment in your company’s customer service may seem costly but it pales in comparison to new customer acquisition costs. Having return customers means you don’t have to spend anything on their return business. Plus, customers are likely to spend more money with a company they like. Focusing on customer service is usually less expensive than focusing on new customer acquisition.

More Margin for Error

Customers tend to be more forgiving when a company with good customer service makes a mistake. Let’s say a shoe company ships the wrong pair to a customer. Usually, that is enough for a person to stop buying shoes from that company, especially if the company has bad customer service.

As much as the person likes their shoes, one small slip up can be enough for them to abandon them if they are known for poor customer service. Having good customer service will incline a consumer to stick around if you commit a shipping error or even if you raise your prices.

At the core of everything you do you should be providing great customer service because without your customers you wouldn’t be in business and doing what you love. We hope this article has provided you with insight into why this is so important even in this digital age.

Current Marketing Strategies that will Help Improve Customer Service

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article |Customer Service|Current Marketing Strategies that will Help Improve Customer ServiceTypically, most owners of large businesses will have a marketing department and a customer service team, each with its own lists of responsibilities. But in order to truly make a big business and enterprise succeed, these two entities should mesh their services, at least some of the time.

For examples on how business owners can elevate their corporate customer service with the help of some top-notch marketing services, please consider the following examples:

Follow Up with Customers

In order to provide outstanding customer service, it’s vital business owners learn more about their customers’ experiences with their company, including what brought them to the business in the first place, what went well and what could be improved upon.

For example, the marketing team could send follow-up emails that ask whether the buyer has or is enjoying the product or service and then thank them for their response. Large companies can also contact customers by email to offer them a special “thank you” for shopping with us coupon or discount code on a future purchase.

Offer a Modern Customer Service Platform

To help ensure each and every customer has a great experience while placing an order or contacting a large enterprise for any reason, owners should consider adding an innovative cloud contact center and IVR system to their customer service platform.

For instance, if a marketing plan includes a goal to offer customer support 24/7, an IVR system is a great option. And for business owners who feel automated agents are impersonal and confusing to customers, this is definitely not the case with an IVR system, which are designed to provide a highly-personalized customer experience to help customers get the answers they need through features like in-queue self-service.

This modern IVR solution can even predict a caller’s intent based on recent transactions, meaning if a customer is calling back to follow up on a previous question, the IVR system can determine this and cut right to the chase.

Boost the CSR Team’s Training and Seek Feedback

Even if a business owner thinks their customer service team is performing well overall, there are still areas in which these employees can improve. Experts say enterprises should hold regular training and refresher courses that will help customer service teams improve their skills.

Topics to cover include empathy and patience, as well as general updates in the company’s products and services. This way, if a confused customer calls in and has questions about a potential new product, the customer service rep will remain friendly and patient, and will be able to accurately discuss recently launched products, services and prices.

To make this type of training less dry for your team, business owners can role play with them by taking turns to play the part of the challenging customer. To ensure this ongoing training is “sticking” and everyone is on board with the company’s policy, business owners should then follow up with customers and asking them to rate their customer service rep through a rating system sent out via email or a series of quick questions over the phone.

Marketing and CSR Departments Combined are a Powerful Force

Rather than view their marketing and customer service teams as disparate teams, owners of large companies should look for ways to combine their powers — at least some of the time.

By offering ongoing training, following up with customers and giving them access to a user-friendly and modern customer service platform, businesses should see a tangible boost in customer retention and satisfaction numbers.

4 Ways to Improve Customer Care in Your Call Center

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article |Customer Care|4 Ways to Improve Customer Care in Your Call Center If you’re managing a call center, customer care is the name of the game. You’ll undoubtedly have all kinds of targets to meet, and it’s in your interests to make every call a customer care success. How can you make this a reality? Sometimes, customer care is less about focusing on the caller, and more about investing energy in your staff. Here are four ideas on how to improve customer care in your call center.

Service with a smile

Did you know that a smile can be heard on the phone? Picking up the phone with a smile on your face can make your voice sound warmer and friendlier, and encourage the caller to trust you. This all happens subconsciously, without the customer really being aware! It’s a free, easy way to build a connection instantly. With a smile, you can set up in the right way even the most challenging of calls. Train your staff on this simple trick, and you could see customer satisfaction shoot up!

Celebrate your staff

If you want your staff to smile on the phone, you’ve got to give them plenty of reasons to beam off the phone, too. Working in a call center can be energetic, fast-paced, and fun. But it can also be draining and repetitive. Not to mention the exhaustion of dealing with angry customers. Keep spirits high by celebrating your staff regularly. It could be a simple as some targeted praise after a perfect call that you overhear. Or you could create a reward system, perhaps where coworkers nominate each other, or based off a leaderboard related to departmental targets.

Create a positive environment

So much of excellent customer service comes down to brilliant representatives. But even if you hire the very best representatives available, if the environment is poor, they will either leave or become disengaged. The culture of the call center should be all about support and positivity. Then these elements will feed into the service provided. Remember, the culture is often dictated by what happens at the top. Think about how senior staff communicate and how they handle challenges. The team will look to them to set the tone for the entire department, so it’s vital they set a shining example. Positivity is everything.

Get the right tools

Making use of the latest tools could really boost your call center and make customer service a breeze. Artificial intelligence applications can make life easier for representatives as well as customers. You should also invest in analytics tools which will enable you to track and record statistics relating to calls and customer experience. This can be useful for training, appraisals, and rewards.

It might be possible for some of the processes within the department to be automated completely. For example, you can use RPA tools for real-time automation. This can improve productivity and allow for proactive staff training. Saving time and boosting productivity means benefits for you and your customers. You could even take the bold move of asking your staff what tools might help them better do their job.