A memorable experience! As a consumer, who among us doesn’t want that on a consistent basis?
Customers form opinions about your service based on many things—beginning with the way you talk to them.
Great customer service begins from the first point of contact…over the phone, virtually, online, face-to-face. Regardless of the method, your greeting should impact customers such that they have a longing to do business with you indefinitely.
A genuine embrace with your body language, facial expression, other non-verbal acknowledgement tells them you affirm their presence…it is the first step in building a relationship. Now, that’s only the beginning. The following are basic principles to consider as you protect one of your most precious assets…your client:
- Ask how he/she/they want to be addressed…”Mr. Smith”, “Mrs. Johnson”, “Dr. Matthews”. Do not use their first name unless they’ve given permission to do so.
- Your greeting should be professional and not rehearsed. Avoid too much banter and being loquacious.
- The ability to read body language, tone of voice (written or verbal) can offer great insight as to the level and frequency of interaction a customer prefers. For example, an introvert may prefer a quick greeting void of small talk. Remember to offer a sincere smile while speaking on the phone, texting, online, and face-to-face…your client can hear it in your voice.
Your greeting provides an opportunity to deepen the relationship, create community roots, and increase customer loyalty.
In the comments below let us know what makes your customer greeting special. Make it a great day!
In previous discussions we’ve touched on measuring customer satisfaction. Let’s also explore how to close the gap between customer expectations and customer experiences. The customer experience has several components ranging from packaging to logistics to employees performance.
As an oversimplification, the customer experience can be described as how consumers view and receive a company’s brand. Consistent positive experiences are the springboard to establising loyalty and creating a competitive advantage over competition.
Consumers want efficient service and quality products but they also want to do business with companies who share their values on topics such as diversity, ethics, and the environment. Using data collected from customers through surveys and other means, companies can determine where they fall short. Your approach to improve the situation must be holistic. For example, data may show that customers think your marketing doesn’t influence them. The fix will require re-examining your product/service as well as intangible systems such as empathy, etc.
Implementing a holistic approach to improve the customer experience also includes re-shaping your company’s principles regarding your:
- Customer Service Philosophy
- Vision Statement
- Mission Statement
- Core Values
- Corporate Culture
- Customer Experience Vision Statement
The customer experience vision statement will serve as the guiding light for every employee and will drive business decisions. Every employee plays a role in shaping the customer experience, therefore, all of these principles should be embedded in training and development…they must be at the core of every behavior and interaction.
Be obsessed with your customers’ experiences and make it a great day!
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.
I have had the privilege to speak to many organizations in various places to talk about providing exceptional customer service to every customer every time. A few times I received feedback from the audience stating that providing consistent exceptional customer service every time is a “common sense” act. I agree, it is a common sense act. The problem is that this “common sense” act is not implemented in many customer service transactions resulting in a loss of customer base, reduced profit margin, and producing low employee morale.
What does low employee morale have to do with poor customer service? If corporate profits suffer as result of a loss of its customer base, it is very possible that this will result in reduced/eliminated employee raises, reduced/eliminated profit sharing checks, bonuses, and other employee perks. These factors can have an adverse affect on an employee’s frame of reference on how they perform their jobs which, in turn, directly affects their customer service delivery.