Regardless of what your job title is, you're either selling someone on why they should continue to do business with your company or why they should not. Trust me, if you interact with customers, you're also in the sales department. If you deal with people in any way, shape or form, you need good customer service. Good is not good enough, you must exceed your customer’s expectations and deliver outstanding customer service. I control the service—not the customer. Don’t delegate it to someone else. Give excellent customer service before the sale, during the sale, and after the sale. See service as an opportunity. Here are 3 ways you can do better:
#1 Phone—When I do customer service evaluations of companies, the first thing I do before getting on a plane and flying across the country and visiting them is to get on the phone and call them. I’ll find out all I need to know about their customer satisfaction by the way they answer the telephone, the attitude they have when they answer—if they even answer the phone.
Look, here’s the facts: 92% of customer interactions take place over the phone. People pick up the phone and call as part of the product or service research stage. A huge number of people no matter how much information you give them will still need assistance to figure out how to actually buy the product or service.
85% report being dissatisfied with their experience over the phone. This is a monster opportunity if you can solve it. Oh, by the way, one of the best ways to train customer satisfaction is over the phone even if you don’t have phones—because if you can communicate and control an experience over the phone, you can certainly do it in person. You start listening for tones and inflections and become aware of different grades of satisfaction by listening on the phone.
When an issue becomes complicated and people want to solve it, they want to talk to a person. Understand that the customer is using the phone to save time and resolve problems. They couldn’t resolve the problem on their own so now they try and reach out to somebody that will.
You have to be conscious of the fact that the customer took the time, despite all the technology that exists, to pick up the phone and call you. They must be frustrated. Or they took the time to call you to get information. So why is someone calling you? They are frustrated trying to solve a problem or they need more information. You must give this person the information or service they need.
It’s critical you provide unbelievable service, great attitude, a solution-based, reassuring attitude even though the customer is at a distance over the phone. Even though they can’t see you they can feel you. So no matter how many calls you take today, whether it is 10 calls or 100 calls, remember that for the customer they are making just one call and the only people they care about is themselves.
Keep in mind this person is reaching out to you either for service or to solve a problem or for more information. Your attitude must be that of service, “I care about you”, “thank you for calling”, “I want to solve your problem”, “I’m sorry you couldn’t do it on your own”, “it’s our job to solve this”—an exceptional attitude.
#2 In Person—55% of customers intend on making a purchase when they come to your company, but back out due to poor service. I remember going with my wife to a store at 8:59 and the store was supposed to open at 9. We were more interested in buying something than the employees showing up late were of selling anything. It’s unbelievable that people come to a store intending to buy and 55% leave due to poor service. 84% of customers’ expectations have not been exceeded. 57% say that they will never use the company again due to experience—these are from in-store visits.
57% say that they will never use the company again due to experience—these are from in-store visits. The takeaway is this, when someone visits your company you must assume they are no longer shopping and they are there to purchase. Your ability to make the customer feel genuinely different—to feel unique, appreciated, and welcomed is going to have a lot to do with whether or not you actually make this person a customer.
If you’ve ever been to a beach town or vacation town and you go around and to shop where there are thousands of people coming through every day, you walk in at 3 in the afternoon and they’ve been open since 9 and don’t even look at you. Stop in at your local gas station, literally the bell rings, and nobody even looks up. I walk in and want to buy something and nobody can even say, “thanks for coming in”. I walk in department after department of major retailers with huge companies and 60,000 products in huge facilities and nobody even says hello.
Be in a hurry to help. Be urgent to serve. Laziness and being aloof communicates to the buyer that you’re not interested. Quit telling yourself that you don’t want to bother them with “pressure”. That is the last thing on the list of customer service complaints.
#3 The Web—38% of your customers would prefer to talk to you online or via email about simple issues. I know for me sometimes I just want to do it online. I don’t want to talk to people, engage, or call anyone, I just want to go online and search and find information, make my decision and move on. According to Harvard Business Review, 57% of customers switch from the web to phone due to an issue on the web. At my company, we constantly put attention on our website.
What if someone hits your website, becomes interested—they move from research to interest to wanting to negotiate something, or they have some more questions that aren’t answered on your website? Now they want to talk to someone. You have to have your phone number on the website. In this age of technology more and more people are willing to manage their relationships with a company via the web.
Whether they are buying Disney tickets or products to consume, consumers want to be able to talk to someone. Have phone numbers on every page of your website. If you make it difficult the customer will get frustrated. If they get frustrated, they get angry—and you lose the sale. Using the web is typically out of convenience. Often the customer wants to avoid confrontation or to hide. Maybe they are introverted. Or, service at companies is so atrocious when human beings get involved that customers would rather be disappointed by the internet than drive across town, get out of their car, walk in and be disappointed.
There are opportunities for you to be different in the marketplace. 3 quick tips:
1.Speed—You want to be fast and respond quickly to people. Speed is everything today—you must be fast.
2.Don’t rely on the web—more is better with customer service. Even though you might have sent them an email giving them the information, if you can get their phone number and call and just say, “I wanted to make sure you got the information I emailed you”, the more the better. If you are using live chat, nobody cares about what your name is—people want information. “What can I get you information on?” or “Hi, how can I help you?”
3.Offer updates—Do this while you’re finding solutions. Tell them how long you think it might be and offer to call them back as soon as you have a solution.
The web is big and it will keep getting bigger but here is what will never go away—customers and the customer experience. Customers want a great experience. Raise your awareness and have the intention to be great at customer service. You’ll be able to grow your company—or grow your position within your company—by giving excellent customer service. Whether it’s by the phone, in-person, or on the web, you need to be great at all three. For more, get on Cardone University today.