Cancel Culture and Customer Service

According to Wikipedia.com, cancel culture is a form of “shunning or boycotting” an individual based on their egregious behavior or controversial statement. Undoubtedly you’ve heard of celebrities being “cancelled” and falling victim to cancel culture, but what about companies? Yes, companies have also gotten caught up in cancel culture. Look no further than your breakfast table and you’ll find examples of companies and brands such as Goya Foods, Aunt Jemima (Pearl Milling Co.), and Cream of Wheat that have recently faced such backlash.

Being prepared is a company’s best defense when it comes to cancel culture. First and foremost, hear your customer clearly and assess the gravity of the situation. Never underestimate the power and reach of social media. Baby boomers may mistakenly view social media as frivolous; however, it is important to actively monitor your social media for customer complaints. Addressing customer complaints quickly and properly is imperative. Using social media to solicit solutions from customers is a great way to show customers that you care and you’re listening.

Second, consider all the ways your message could be interpreted. This is one of the reasons diversity is important. Despite your intent, your message can be interpreted differently by others based on their life experiences and beliefs. Draw on your team’s diversity for feedback.

And finally, mistakes are bound to happen. But it is important to quickly address errors and accept responsibility. Offer an empathetic and genuine apology alongside your plan for improvement or prevention.

Now, let’s go out there and make it a great day!

We’re Retuning to Work!

At last !  The world is slowly reopening and employees are returning to work.  Everyone is excited about being out and about…especially business owners.  In all of the commotion, there’s a high probability that abundant changes are needed in the workplace.  In this blog, we’re offering ideas about how to enhance employee morale, strengthen customer service, and increase sales.   

Change your perspective

View “new normal” challenges as opportunities for growth and improvement.  Avoid approaching problems with a defeatist attitude.  Visualize how positive outcomes will help your firm thrive.  Then share your ideas with clients via social media and other communication outlets.

Get back to basics

Revisit soft skills basics such as effective communication, empathy, and positive attitudes.  Now is not the time to allow customer service to fall by the wayside; in fact, it’s time to double down on delivering an experience that is unique only to your brand.  Empathize with customers and maintain a positive mindset.

Communication is key.  Be upfront and honest with clients about what they should expect from the level of service you’ll deliver.  Keep them in the loop about policy changes.

Set realistic attainable expectations from your team.  Highlight  expectations in weekly staff huddles.  

If a project cost is going to run over due to price increases in raw materials, share this information with clients immediately.  Give as much information as possible to ensure an understanding that they’re not being overcharged.  

Let your customer know you appreciate their patience by writing personalized “thank you” notes, applying a customized postage stamp, and dropping it in the mail.

Products and Policies

Due to shifts in the marketplace, consider whether you should update your company’s policy or services.  Whether it’s a reduced staffing model or limited supplies, these “constraints” may require a change in how you conduct business.  Doing so may increase employee efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Let us know in the comments how your business is pivoting in the face of such challenges. 

Make it a great day!

Top Ten Best Practices for Customer Care 

As a consumer, when was the last time a business knocked your socks off with extraordinary service?  When was the last time you were wowed by an amazing product and follow up from the company/owner/representative?

This week’s blog focuses on the top ten Best Practices that will attract attention and have clients coming back for more.

  1. Increase customer privacy and protection
  2. Implement “Habit Loop”.  Smartphones and social media are examples of habit loop formation. The ping from a new notification is the cue, the routine involves pulling out a phone to check the notification, and the reward is seeing a new message from a friend or a new comment on social media
  3. Understand how to cater to Generation Z.  According to a Pew report, they make up 40% of all consumers and 27% of the U.S. population
  4. Ask for feedback via short surveys.  Respond to and act on the recommendations. Customers will be glad to know you took the time to read and respond to their suggestions
  5. Stay on top of digital customer service trends
  6. Post Frequently Asked Questions/Answers on social media about your new product/service
  7. Be creative and efficient with your self-service platform (most clients will seek that option for problem resolution before trying to call your company)
  8. Ensure your website meets Google’s Mobile First SEO mandates by March 1st.  Not adhering to the rules will result in a slow response time when consumers look up your site on their mobile devices.  Consumers use their mobile devices ten times more frequently than a desktop computer
  9. For e-commerce stores, consider inserting CTAs (Calls to Action) or pop-ups that request reviews after checkout
  10. Learn how customer service is conducted around the world–you’ll be able to deliver top notch service for a diverse client base

Your clients want to feel your emotions and sincere appreciation.  When you provide them with more than just goods and services, you’ll offer the very best you have…yourself.  Ensure their happiness and you’ll secure a loyal following.  So, go out there and have a great day!

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.