3 ways to improve customer service experiences whilst maintaining profitability
53% of all customer loyalty is driven by the sales experience
A sales experience is the whole customer journey from the initial contact with your organisation to post purchase. Every touch point the customer has with your organisation should be a positive experience. Every person within your company regardless of role should be customer focused. Whilst organisations must comply with procedures, systems and legislation there still needs to be a desire to provide a positive customer experience. Positive customer experiences increase sales and profitability. It costs a company far less money to gain repeat and regular business from existing customers than to acquire new customers.
We are not saying you need to give everything to demanding customers.You need to communicate with customers in a way they feel listened to, they need to feel confident that you will deal with their requests, orders and problems effectively. When you are faced with a problem it is your opportunity to shine. How you deal with a problem determines if a customer will come back, never return or recommend you to others. When you deal with problems effectively using a personable approach, customers will return and remain loyal.
3 ways to provide positive customer experiences whilst maintaining profitability
Make it easy for customers to place orders and sort out queries
When dealing with existing customers is it necessary to always ask in the first few seconds a customer's account number, last order number, address for the delivery etc? It is very frustrating for customers especially those who do not have this information to hand or if they are out of the office. A more personal touch would be to ask for their company name and name if you do not recognise them. Advise the customer you will just go into their account to see their details/orders to save them some time. Build rapport and be personable whilst you are doing this rather than put the customer on hold. When you are in the account you can then ask for any security information to verify their account if this is part of your process.
Also, if you have a lot of paperwork you want customers to complete try to part complete it as much as possible if you have time. 'I will complete all the information I have on file to speed it up for you, all you have to do is ...and email it back to me'.
Be clear on processes, timescales and next steps (internally and externally)
This will help you set and manage expectations effectively to reduce confusion and minimise complaints. You need to say NO nicely to maintain rapport if you cannot accommodate a customer's request. Using such phrases as 'sorry I cannot do that, it is our company policy' is a definite no. Reframe this so the customer can understand why and the benefits to them rather than coming across as an inflexible company and an unhelpful customer service representative. There are lots of ways to say No nicely, we cover this in our wide range of Customer Service courses
Focus on resolutions and do not labour on the problem
By letting customers expand on the problem and then discussing how it may have happened and who was responsible just makes the customer even more annoyed. Let the customer vent their concerns and make them feel you have listened to them. Avoid blaming others or investigating how it happened at this stage.Instead say 'Let me get onto this immediately for you, I will .... and I will get back to you by ..with an update'. I appreciate you need this urgently so the sooner I can call the warehouse the quicker we can get it resolved for you'. I am sorry this is causing you a delay with your customer; I can assure you this is a priority and I will get working on this right now'. Keep the customer informed and ensure when it is resolved you later investigate the cause to avoid this happening in the future.
We provide a wide range of Customer Service courses to help you deliver the best customer experience whist still maintaining sales, profitability and operational effectiveness. Content includes building rapport, persuasion, dealing with problems, assertiveness skills, how to say No nicely and managing conflict situations.
Courses are 1/2 day or 1 day courses. Bespoke customised Customer service courses and Communication skills courses available In House. Contact us for details of the new range of 1/2 day courses we will be launching soon.
For more details on the wide range of courses available for Sales, Customer Service and Management. We also provide fully designed courses for your In House trainers to deliver, suitable for larger organisations.