Ask 5 Questions: Then Pandemic-Proof Your Small Business

Customer service delivery has become more complex thanks to a global pandemic.  It is the customer who has leveraged control and has demanded a positive experience, not the company.  

Nearly overnight, the COVID-19 pandemic elevated the importance of delivering fast and accurate digital experiences to customers who found themselves cut off from conventional ways of doing business.

According to a global study by ESI ThoughtLab and ServiceNow, a measly 27% of companies have transitioned from recruiting underperforming in-house talent to high-efficiency automated systems in order to deliver top drawer customer experiences (CX).

So, what’s at stake?  Profitability.  As you answer the five questions listed below, consider whether your responses match what’s in your pandemic plan, company core values, mission statement, and corporate culture philosophy:

  1. Has your team developed skills to create a digital customer experience (CX)?
  2. Have you identified the touchpoint that matters to your customers?
  3. Has your team aligned its objectives & key results (OKRs) with CX?
  4. Has your company consolidated data into a single customer view?
  5. How much progress has your team made toward providing a personalized CX (creating personas specific client demographics)?

The largest returns from CX initiatives come from positioning the right people, processes, and technologies in the right departments to deliver a superior experience time after time.   According to ESI ThoughtLab and ServiceNow, almost 50% of global leaders reported a moderate to large ROI due to maintaining an efficient and  personalized CX platform, versus only 22% for others.

You may have already implemented the necessary safety measures to protect employees and clients from further complications of COVID-19 and future disasters; however, it is also important to know that protecting and growing your small business is about finding ways to anticipate the needs of your clients and to deliver superior service with laser precision.  Trailblazers constantly search for ways to implement state-of-the-art safety and delivery systems that will benefit both clients and employees as well as local and global supply chains.

Remember, clients are your “why”.  Show them that you are in this for them and with them.

Make it a great day.

New Standards: Service Sparking Community

What is keeping you up at night during this global pandemic? How is the public rating your company’s product/service on social media?

Marketers are saying that the impact of social media is so strong that companies have changed the way they set out to attract customers to increase sales.  In fact, Fortune 500 companies revamped their marketing strategies to appeal to “social media influencers” due to the power they have on consumers’ purchasing decisions—many have 500,000 and more followers.

In their book, Raving Fans, Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles introduced the concept of raving fans—customers being so impressed by an amazing experience, they can’t stop telling everyone about it.  

Prior to the onslaught of the social media craze, raving fans would communicate their experiences by word of mouth.  Now, social media magnifies the reach to global proportions. Everyday, raving fans create virtual communities in which businesses are lauded or given a poor review.

Take a look at your own company to make room for improvement.  Set the industry standard for delivering amazing experiences.  For example, create and implement a signature value proposition that sets you apart from the competition.  Encourage your team to bring ideas to weekly meetings that reveal how they will create lasting memories for each client and their families.  

Also, assign a team to go online and research your product/service/company.  Evaluate how your team responds to positive and negative reviews.  Do prospects and clients know that you take full responsibility for any short falls of customer expectations?  If so, where is it expressed?  As a statement on your social media? your website? your email signature block?

Reach out to us, we’ll show you how to score big with prospects and get repeat business with existing clients.

Make it a great day.

Virtual Customer Service

We are in a world where nearly everything has pivoted to accommodate a virtual lifestyle and workspace.  

Virtual customer service has been around for a number of years, however, since the introduction of COVID 19, businesses that provided “live” service, whether in person or over the telephone, now offers chatbots as its primary source of customer engagement.  A chatbot is a computer program that simulates and processes human conversation—either written or spoken—allowing humans to interact with digital devices as if they were communicating with a real person.

One of the challenges with which customers face, is the frustration of engaging with chatbots long wait times to engage with a live person to get answers to their questions.  Businesses must figure out how to solve that problem and learn how they might give consumers amazing experiences.

Some employers have set up a virtual call center (VCC).  A VCC is a customer service call center where agents from around the world answer support calls.  Some agents work from home and some are in other locations; nonetheless, they are connected via virtual call center software.

Virtual customer support platforms:

  • Live chat – For customers who need a quick resolution, live chat on the company’s website is an excellent solution.  Customers will be able to converse with a customer service representative.
  • Self-serve – This platform is excellent for customers who prefer to conduct research on their own rather than live chat with a customer support representative.
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR) – IVR is a part of the telephonic system that a business uses to interact with callers through the dial pad, keypad, or voice requests. Callers may hear statements such as, “Press 1 for English”, “Press 2 for Spanish”.
  • Email – Most companies put all of the contact information on the “Contact Us” webpage.  A team is responsible for answering customer questions via email.  This platform gives consumers a way to explain complex issues in great detail and without human interaction.
  • Phone support – This is the most common and easiest way to provide support to consumers.  Most people have one and know how to use it.

To be an industry leader and to ensure your business thrives, you must decide the best way to accommodate customer interaction on a virtual platform.  

Yikes! They Saw Me !

Melon Slices Photo for 10:16:15 Blog

Caught Eating at the Cash Register

 

A colleague and I were between client appointments and decided to stop and buy a healthy take out meal from a fast casual restaurant.  While our orders were being prepared, we noticed that the cashier took what she probably thought was a discreet bite of food from a plate that she had under the cash register.  Since she was not ringing up a customer at the time, she probably thought that it would be okay to “sneak a bite or two”.

Read more