Improving Customer Service Skills To Combat Automation

I’m here to show you how to take your customer service skills and your customer service training to the next level.

Average customer service permeates society at all levels—it’s rare to find businesses actively looking to improve customer service.

Here are just a few places that immediately come to mind:

The Airline Industry:

These companies have become so competitive on price that nobody seems to care about service. They would prefer to drag you down the aisle than take a $1200 hit on a seat they oversold.

It’s gotten so bad that I decided a few years ago no one will ever get a chance to tell me my flight is overbooked or delayed again.

The airlines waste my time, and I became so tired of waiting on other people’s mistakes for my travel, I bought my own jet.

People are crammed into the cabin these days like cattle.

Would you give any airline an A+ for customer service?

Fast Food:

For the most part, companies that serve fast food are terrible with customer service.

I know because I used to work at McDonald’s.

I was there for my $8 an hour and I hated it.

And let’s face it, this is still true for most fast food workers today.

When was the last time you were “wowed” by any service at a fast food place?

Retail:

Many adults treat this job as I did as a teenager at McDonald’s, as though this work is an illness.

Whether they ring you up at the cashier or help you on the sales floor, it’s a chore for them to be there helping you and often they will not hide it.

It doesn’t matter if you go to Sears or Payless Shoes, the local clothing boutique, the Radio Shack in the strip mall, or the giant Walmart, the experience is the same: lousy.

Most of the time you have to get their attention if you need assistance and interrupt their time as they play on their phone.

Anything Government:

It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about the DMV, the post office, or the state senate. It’s bad.

It’s gotten so bad that nobody expects anything extraordinary from any government employee, instead, we expect lousy service and are pleasantly surprised if they just reach mediocre, right?

The bureaucracy of the system is obviously conducive to all of this, but every individual still has the choice to decide to be great each day they go to work.

Real Estate Industry:

I’m talking about both brokers and agents here.

Nobody calls you back.

Nobody works on weekends.

Everyone takes forever to get anything done.

There is no regard for speed, follow-up, or exceeding anyone’s expectations. This industry, as a whole, is as mediocre as they come.

This is good news for the realtor who actually commits to be great because they will be able to take market share.

When It Comes to Customer Service, Why Are So Many Industries So Average?

The answer is that it’s extremely difficult to find anyone truly committed to their craft.

Of course, there are exceptions, but I am speaking in generalities here.

And what will the result of this be?

Average People Will Be Replaced with Automation

Robots are taking jobs from anyone and everyone who is average in the service sector.

You think a robot can’t replace service? Well, they can certainly replace slow and annoying service.

This is not a threat, it is happening right now.  Automation answers telephones, makes bank transactions, balances account ledgers, sells you movie tickets, and photographs you running a red light.

Drones are replacing US postal workers and the travel agent is virtually non-existent.

What do all these have in common?

Average or below average service, humans with bad attitudes, who are apathetic and lack product knowledge get replaced.

People expect personality from humans and very little from a computer.

Consider the following facts:

  • Computer speeds now double every year making technology faster.
  • There are more mobile devices on planet earth than people.
  • What used to cost hundreds of millions of dollars now costs two hundred.
  • What used to occupy buildings now fits in the palm of your hand.

The service industry will experience massive disruption over the coming years and the automation era will be turbo accelerated by poor, unacceptable, annoying service!

Any process that requires that the consumer wait, and then meet someone that is not excited will be disrupted.

If automation replaces your job understand you participated in your own destruction.

Here are 4 things to do immediately to fight back against the automation:

#1 Embrace Change: 

Every day remind your organization that change must be embraced, not feared.

#2 Don’t React, Create:

I made a product for auto dealers that delivers a decision-making function from the salesperson’s or customer’s mobile device reducing time and increasing dealership profits.

#3 Master Value Add:

List the things you provide that no robot, app or device can possibly deliver.

#4 Lead or Bleed:

Robots can do a lot of things but they can’t lead. Every great business, idea or organization requires leadership.

As I lead my company, I try to bring inspiration and direction to my staff every day during my morning sales meeting:

On the rare occasions that I am not available, an executive in my office delivers leadership to START the day, set the mood, direct the troops, show the way and inspire GREATNESS.

Greatness is the ultimate protection offered by the exceptional that can never be replaced by a computer, automation, a lower price or the Internet.

Jack Ma, the Chinese tech billionaire behind e-commerce giant Alibaba.com, recently predicted that “pain” is coming to much of the world very soon.

He was referring to the fact that over the coming decades, robotics, artificial intelligence and more advanced manufacturing is going to make large portions of the human workforce obsolete.

The biggest predicted areas of jobs lost to robots in the coming years include:

  • Food preparation 
  • Food serving
  • Office and administrative support
  • Cashiers

Even jobs you think may be immune will be impacted, like truck driving, order delivery, and healthcare. As technology advances, more jobs will be hit.

If your job is “secure”, that means it’s not competitive, there is no room for growth and you probably aren’t making much. You will be in danger of being replaced if…

  1. You aren’t increasing your skill sets and constantly learning new things to bring value to your company
  2. You have a bad attitude, a welfare attitude, or a, “I’ll do just enough,” attitude while never doing more than is expected of you
  3. You think small and have no vision
  4. You aren’t a problem solver

The answer to securing your future against technology is to become so great that no robot can replace the service you give, the attitude you bring, and the extra mile you take.

This All Involves Giving Great Customer Service

There’s a reason why places like Sears and JC Penny are shrinking—and dying. Retailers can blame falling sales on the economy, but the reality is poor customer service and no attention to sales opportunities are the real reasons.

There is no point in marketing if your team ignores customers who respond.

Many people nowadays shop online, not just for the convenience but because they want to avoid poor customer service. The truth is that customer experience at the retail level is so dissatisfying that people are using brick-and-mortar to shop and the internet to purchase.

Who hasn’t had a terrible experience at their local mall or retailer with sales staff that has poor people skills, bad attitudes, minimal product knowledge and no training?

My company once surveyed 500 retailers using mystery shoppers. We found shoppers were only greeted by store employees less than 40 percent of the time. Almost 70% of stores visited never offered assistance prior to the customer leaving.

Customer Service Training

You can wander through a department store and go from the men’s section to the kid’s section to the hardware section and never have one human being even say hi to you, right?

Comment below about a time when you were ignored by skeleton staffs and made to feel like you were troubling the employee when asking for help.

If you’re in retail, here are the 2 biggest customer service issues:

1) Retailers Don’t Know How to Greet

How many minutes does it take when you step into a retail store before you are even acknowledged? Appoint a greeter who makes customers feel welcomed and directs them to the department they need.

Thanks for coming. What can I get you information on or what department can I direct you to?”

This isn’t difficult and people will realize you actually care when they walk in.

2) Retailers Allow Customers to Wait

When customers wait, they become restless and unreliable. No customer who ventures out to a store using his or her time should have to wait for anything.

Make sure your sales process is fast and easy. Waiting in long lines to pay should be a thing of the past.

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 am 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.

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 welcome 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 a vacation town and you go around to shop for a souvenir where there are thousands of people coming through every day, you can walk in and they won’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.

Above is a video of me riding a bike in Target where nobody waited on me for 20 minutes.

I figured if nobody cared if I was even there, I might as well ride one of their bikes around the store!

The only way to stand out and have people NOT prefer to just shop your product online is to offer great service, the kind of service that makes people feel special.

  • 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.

Top Customer Service Screw-Ups You Must Avoid

#1 Inconsistent service throughout your organization.

Managers say one thing and you say another thing, or you say one thing and a manager says another thing.

It’s confusing.

Everyone in the organization needs to say yes. Figure out what that yes is because it doesn’t mean you giving up the keys to your bank and say “take all our money”.

#2 One-size-fits-all customer engagement processes.

You have a lot of different reasons why people complain about the customer service. Some complaints aren’t even valid claims. There’s a billion-dollar industry of just fraudulent customer service claims that happen every day.

Let’s face it—you’re dealing with people and some have different agendas. Some might have overpaid for a product, or maybe they underpaid but overbought. They should not have bought your product and now they have buyer remorse, so they make up reasons why they are so unhappy.

The one-size-fits-all model doesn’t work because you’ll have people with different intentions.

Someone buying something for $2 is different than someone buying something for $2500. We like to believe that they are all the same and should be treated the same. Both deserve to be treated as important but the reality is, as you go up the food chain the expectations become different.

#3 Inefficient agent interactions.

People who are not trained aren’t aware of what they are doing. You put somebody on hold for 30 seconds and think “what’s the big deal?” To the customer, it’s 30 seconds of their life. Thirty seconds on hold, for me, is a lifetime. I’m already gone at 15.

You need high awareness and lots of training. Around my office we have lots of quotes hanging about speed, fast, and how we’re in a hurry to serve.

These are just some of the places you might be messing up in.

Make a list where you’ve been screwing up and make a list of the familiar customer complaints you’re getting.

What are they about?

Are they about how long they had to wait, had to talk to too many people, the price, “your website says one thing but you say something else“, “you say it’s easy to do business and I can’t even get a price“, “I didn’t know about your warranty“, “you don’t know what you’re talking about”—right?  All that happens.

You should have a Q&A on your website already answering all these questions.

Ways to Improve Customer Service

We live in a world today where people do mobile call-ins to Starbucks—many people don’t want to stop at a place, let alone wait 3 minutes for a coffee.

This is why Amazon has blown up. A lot of people don’t want to deal with retail.

It’s easy to shop online, and soon you’ll be getting your stuff delivered by drones.

To be successful you need to commit to service.

Improve Customer Service

You must exceed your customer’s expectation. You know the feeling you get when you receive great service—it makes you want to buy regardless of price.

Give attention to the customer because people like it when you make them feel important. This is different than pestering a customer. When you give the right kind of attention, it’s never annoying.

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.

All Customer Service is Not Equal—Neither Are All Customers

I know some believe that all customers should be treated as equal, but the truth is they aren’t.

In order to provide the highest levels of customer service, you have to understand where the customer is at in the buying cycle. Don’t treat all customers the same any more than you’d treat your different kids the same for being different.

You know how you have two kids and one does something great, and you reward them both, so one doesn’t get jealous? That’s criminal.

It robs the kid who did the great thing from being rewarded and it gives the kid who didn’t do anything a false sense of entitlement. Don’t do the same thing to your customers.

If you want to survive in the retail space, you must learn how to service your customer, and that starts with knowing the different stages a customer goes through:

1. Research

I’m collecting data, I’m hungry for information. I don’t know enough yet and I could be on the wrong product. I might be looking at something that’s not even close to what I want. I might be on the wrong product, too much product, I might be on too much service—I don’t know. I might be premature in the acquisition of the product.

2. Interest

Customers have fluctuating levels of interest. After doing some research, their interest will increase or they’ll move on. If a person looks at a house today, they might not yet be ready to buy, but in 3 months their interests can change over time as they collect and do new research.

3. Comparison and Decision Making

Now that I have information I can start making comparisons and I become a different customer. You’ve done research, became interested, and are now shopping different options.

4. Negotiating

I’m now moving in to get the best deal, to get the most value for my money, and to get assurance I’m doing the right thing. This is where the customer is ready to buy.

5. Delivery

When I take delivery of this product, whether it’s a car, a house, or an insurance policy, I’m taking delivery of it—I’m trying on the shoes and asking myself if I really like it or not. I know a lady who buys 4 sizes of the same product, has them shipped knowing 3 of them are going back. The customer is finally taking the product or service for themselves.

6. Post-Sale

This is after the sale, and it could be long after I bought the shoes or the shirt. Months after I had a crown put in the dentist called me and asked how it felt, how I was doing, and that they had a free cleaning for me. Just because a customer has purchased doesn’t mean they are finished with your business, products or services.

Businesses everywhere can use customer service as an opportunity at every level from research to post-sale to increase business.

You must look at each of the different places to exceed people’s expectations.

Each method of communication at each of these stages is different. 

You should vary your approaches, and this takes skill, training, and awareness.

Before the Sale

Your job, whether you are the receptionist or in the accounting department, is to deliver good customer service. Traditionally other departments don’t think about customer service before the sale.

This is the research and interest phase that customers go through where many times they don’t want to talk to a salesperson, they may have a question about billing or shipping.

Make yourself more valuable to your company.

Customers consume a lot of data in the research and interest stage. There might be lots of questions and they might be on the wrong product or service. You want to be their only source of information.

You want to dominate and be the well of data so they never need to go to another company for anything.

During the Sale

Customer service during the negotiation stage while they are interested in buying a product or service is where your whole focus should be to serve the customer, not the company.

The sales process at your company must be designed to serve the customer from the first time they hit the website, to when they make the phone call, to when they walk through your doors, your job is to serve the customer.

The sales process should be designed to serve the customer, not the company.

If you have a sales process focused on “control”, “don’t give”, “hide information” — that’s not serving anybody.

I don’t believe you serve a customer until you close that customer.

Closing is the highest form of service.

I was on the phone a while ago listening to one of my salespeople talking to a client, and I intervened during the call asking the client how things were going.

The client informed me that my sales guy was unbelievably great. I said, “Unbelievable? If he’s so unbelievable why haven’t you signed the contract yet?”

Serving Customers

I said this because I know until a client is closed, I can’t actually serve them. Nobody is going to go on the website and say, “The service at Cardone’s is unbelievably great but I haven’t bought the product yet.”

The only people talking about my service are the people who actually bought the product.

Your job in the sales cycle is to close the deal — customer acquisition.

So, make sure during the sales process you look for indicators of the client being hungry, thirsty, needing more pricing, needing more options and needing third-party data. You must provide service to your customer. The number one way to provide great service is to provide customer acquisition.

After the Sale

I want you to speed things up here when it comes to follow-up. Do not think about a day, two days, a week or a month later after purchase.

Start thinking at the point of delivery.

This is where people get terrified.

This is where you find out if your company is legit or not. It’s what holds people back from pushing and being engaged after the sale.

Are you actually over-delivering what was promised? If you’re not doing what you said you were going to do, you will avoid things after the sale.

When you’re delivering the product, make sure you’re asking the hard questions.

Are you happy, are you satisfied?” or “If there were one thing I could do for you right now, what would it be?”

Do an exit survey at the point of delivery. I want you to do that now, not later.

Take whatever you do 15 days, 30 days or three months from now and put it in the now.

Think right now, right here. But you also need to think long-term follow-up.

You have to find creative ways to stay in touch with people after the sale.

You have to be committed to customer service to make this work.

If you’re not thinking about how to exceed your customer’s expectations than you have a commitment problem. If you’re not committed, you’re not engaged. If you’re not engaged, you’re underpaid.

The only way you’ll ever be overpaid is to become exceptional.

80% of customers say the company does not have the context of their last conversation. This is why you have to keep good files on people.

  • What’s important to them, what are the kids’ names’?
  • Where do they live?
  • What did they buy last time?
  • Why did they buy?
  • What was their biggest concern?
  • Was there something they wanted that they didn’t get?

Really build a profile of that customer so you can stay in touch with them. This is the way to stay connected and exceed expectations. I can’t do that without notes. Take your game to the next level, before the sale, during the sale, and after the sale!

Customer Service Training

Customer Service = Manners

As basic as it sounds (and is), a big part of great customer service is minding your manners.

Most of you know I am often very informal for a businessman but you’ll still want to leverage your manners with me.

Calling me sir or Mr. Cardone will help get money in your pocket. Manners are a sign of professionalism and respect and they will boost your chances in the marketplace.

Here are 6 Quick Tips for Better Manners:

#1 Don’t interrupt.

If you’re serving a customer don’t make the mistake of not listening to them. Make understanding them your priority. Interrupting shows disrespect and never improves the relationship.

#2 Be present.

Don’t be texting, answering calls or doing other things while serving a customer. The one time you don’t want to be multitasking is at this time—it’s multi-rudeness and will cost you multimillions. Respect the person standing before you with your full engagement.

#3 Say thank you. You can’t thank customers enough.

Use every tool possible to show thanks. Text the person 10 seconds after the exchange, then call, email and follow that up with a handwritten note. The message, “I just want to tell you again how much I appreciate you as a customer,” is a powerful written statement.

#4 Use a surname with Mr., Sir, Ms., Miss or Mrs.

No matter how well you think you know a person, calling him or her as Mr. or Mrs. shows respect and communicates you are there to serve. No matter how many times the customer says, “call me Bob,” it never hurts to continue with Mr. or Mrs.

#5 Hold the door open.

Don’t be the first person to walk through a doorway. Hold the door for all people no matter their position. Mannered people are responsible people who look for opportunities to be decent to others. Holding a door for a stranger is an act of kindness.

#6 Provide full acknowledgment.

Before responding to a customer about anything, give them full acknowledgment by repeating their remarks along the lines of, “Thank you for telling me that and I agree with you.” Just listening without acknowledgment might prompt a buyer to feel unheard and disrespected.

Use these 6 tips to stay on top of your manners.

Customer Service on The 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.

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% of people 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.

46% of customers prefer to talk to customer service on the phone about complicated issues.

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 in 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.

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

These are the kinds of phrases you need to be constantly saying with an exceptional attitude.

Busness Builder

Biggest Phone Problems

Customers call your business because they want to save time, not waste time.

Here are five ways most businesses waste people’s time on the phone:

Phone Time Waster #1:

Long Wait on Hold

Have you ever been asked, “Can you hold please?” and before you can even answer they’ve already put you on hold?

25% percent of customers switch because they are tired of being put on hold.

71% percent of customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do, and 69% of customers say they are being put on hold for too long.

Do you put people on hold?

How long do you put them on hold?

I called my company once and asked for my top manager. I was put on hold for 18 seconds and became so furious I hung up.

I called back and told them never to put me on hold for longer than 15 seconds without getting back to me.

15 seconds feels like a long time when you are on hold.

Have you walked into a restaurant and a sign says, “Please wait to be seated” but the place is empty?

What are you waiting to be seated for?

Why should I be put on hold when I walk in?

The world is going fast. My money is bored. After keeping a client on hold, always check back in after 15 seconds.

The second time checking back in, get their contact information and promise to call them back. Make it clear to the customer that you don’t want to waste their time on hold.

Phone Time Waster #2:

Being Disconnected, Then Unable to Reach the Same Rep

People don’t like starting over with someone else. If you’re going to make sales, you need to deliver better customer service than you’re getting elsewhere.

The fact that you don’t get good customer service almost everywhere else doesn’t mean you shouldn’t deliver it.

Your value in the marketplace depends on your ability to deliver customer service that nobody else delivers.

53% percent of customers switch companies because they feel unappreciated. Why would I go someplace to feel unappreciated?

You need to be efficient. Who wants to wait these days? The solution is to always get the direct cell phone number when you’re on a phone call so that you don’t get disconnected.

Let me get your cell in case we get disconnected.”

Phone Time Waster #3:

Transferred to Representative Who Can’t Help or is Wrong

Have you been there and done that?

I have.

72% blame their bad customer service experience on having to explain their problem to multiple people.

Nobody wants to talk to someone who can’t solve their problem. Employees need the authority to solve the problem without going to a supervisor.

Don’t confuse giving things away with solving problems. Free things don’t solve problems.

Service solves problems.

Why did they come to your company in the first place? People come to my company because they want us to help them sell more, brand and market themselves better, or help with social media.

Me lowering the price does not get them what they want. I have to help them make more sales and increase their income—that solves their problem.

If it is apparent that you are unable to help the client, you should escalate to the next level to someone who can. I never say “no” until I have to.

Phone Time Waster #4:

Too Many Phone Steps

Automated phone systems drive people crazy.

Hit number one for this, hit number two for that, hit number three—I can’t even remember all the options by the end.

70% are extremely frustrated contacting a company that complicates customer service. Nobody wants to go through a tree of options before speaking to a person.

68% percent of customers have switched due to poor customer experience, and 95% of those dissatisfied tell others about their bad experience.

Make it easy for people: Eliminate all unnecessary steps when a customer calls in.

Phone Time Waster #5:

Repeatedly Asked for Same Information.

80% of customers say the company does not have the context of their last conversation.

As a policy, have a standard process for collecting data at the beginning of the interaction. You should have a CRM and be entering data—why they called, what they want, what problem they are trying to solve, who they are and what their position is.

You want data in a CRM so you can quickly pull it up when they call again. There is no reason any customer should have to start over.

Most companies just don’t have a commitment to loading information into a CRM with the content of the earlier conversation. If you don’t have a policy of doing always, you will end up with nevers.

Customer service costs nothing other than commitment.

Instead of wasting your customer’s time on the phone, commit to becoming great on the phone.

Don’t avoid the phone altogether like some companies do. A company that doesn’t provide, or hides, a customer service phone number is not really wanting to service customers.

You want to make it easy for a client to get the information they need.

This is why I created my Phone Sales Mastery Certification, a program for individuals or businesses to get everything they need to improve their service (and sales!) over the phone.

Phone Sales Mastery

Biggest Online Service Problems

Is the phone number on every web page, or is it hidden?

37% of customers abandon purchases online because they have questions and can’t find the answer.

83% of customers shopping online need support to make a purchase.

How easy can you make it for people to find the data?

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 website to phone due to an issue on the website. At my company, we constantly put attention on our website.

What if someone hits your website and 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. This is why you have to have your phone number on the website.

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 a website 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.

Understand My Buyer

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 website—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 during the interaction—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 internet is big and it will keep getting bigger but here is what will never go away—customers and the customer experience.

Does your business use social media customer support?

83% of consumers prefer to be contacted via social media over older forms of communication.

I’m talking about engaging with customers over Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, etc. Whether you use them, like them or not, don’t disregard them.

Social media is not for you—it’s for them—just like customer satisfaction.

You can’t think about yourself right now but about them and what they want. People like it when you pay attention to them on social media.

Just flip roles: What would you want? If you visited my company and I posted on Facebook that I met you, and linked you, would you not like that? Whether you bought from me or not, whether I was a solution for you or not, you would like that because I’m continuing to pay attention to you.

Everyone likes to be paid attention to

It makes you feel special, appreciated, and valued.

63% of Millennials stay updated on brands through social networks. The Millennials are influencing the generations above them just like every generation has before them.

51% of millennials say social opinions influence their purchase decisions. By the way, let’s not kid ourselves, everyone is influenced by what other people are doing and saying.

Whatever generation you are in people want to keep up with other people.

46% of Millennials depend on social media when buying online. I know when someone responds to my radio ad, they’re not going straight to the website I told them to go to, nor are they going to call the number that I tell them to call.

After they hear my ad a couple times and become familiar with my name they’ll check out Grant Cardone on Facebook, Grant Cardone on Twitter, Grant Cardone on YouTube, and they’ll search me on Google. This is why it’s critical you control these things.

I do a lot of work in the social space to make sure I control that environment to use these channels to communicate with customers wherever they are in the sales process.

Customers who encounter positive social customer care experiences are nearly three times more likely to recommend a brand.

Every day someone on Facebook and Twitter is posting something about my books and mp3s because I’m using my audience in a positive way.

They know I see them posting because I engage with them there. Don’t neglect this, because this is a huge opportunity that most miss—stand out from the marketplace by doing what others aren’t willing to do.

42% of people will tell their friends about a good customer experience on social and 53% will talk about a bad experience on social.

The people you need to be concerned with are all the people not talking about you. I’d rather someone say something bad about me on social than never talk about me on social.

Obviously, my preference would be for someone to say good things, but say something please.

47% of Americans say Facebook is their #1 influencer of purchases, but keep in mind this can quickly change in the days we are living in.

If people aren’t talking about you, nobody knows you. If nobody knows you they won’t pay you for anything.

Customer service is your door to standing out in the marketplace.

Whether your company has 5 employees or 5,000, you have to respond to people and communicate with them on social media channels.

You will either be looked at or overlooked.

60% of organizations cite marketing as the main function of social channels. You need to flip that—your goal should be to give people exposure on your social channels about them. It flows power to them and gives exposure they wouldn’t normally get.

This provides a great customer experience.

Never overlook social media. Use social media to increase customer experience and counter negative customer complaints. Don’t post just once a day, bang on it.

Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat, etc. are great tools for you to provide excellent customer service, increase sales, and grow your business.

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 website, you need to be great at all three.

Getting great in customer service is one way to become a millionaire.

Be great,

GC

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Showing 8 comments
  • Carlos Rodriguez
    Reply

    This a great article, applies to everyone. Millennials are changing the landscape, the old ways of doing buisness aren’t going to work anymore. We may not like the change but its coming & as sales people we have to adapt or become extinct.

  • Johnathan Weberg
    Reply

    Truly nothing will ever take away from a true and genuinely great customer experience with a quality sales person .vs. a bot/robot/a.i.
    Love the post and always the best experience from uncle G.C.!

  • Rusty plunkett
    Reply

    I love the Grant talks about Sales. He’s the living proof his skill set works. Learn to be different and be direct. Be exciting in your sales task. Buyers want to treated with respect and appreciateation and at the utmost show them your there to give them what makes them happy. Satisfaction 🌟 love your Instagram GC 🌟

  • Jake O’Hara
    Reply

    This is some of my favorite stuff I’ve seen him write, it’s very well done.

  • Gjoko Savevski
    Reply

    Great article Mr. Cardone! From A to Z, everything that a company or a person MUST do in order to have the perfect customer support!

  • Patrick Morrison
    Reply

    Here, Here! You just gave me another kick in the pants after reading this! A lot of what you stated, I preach. It just works better to be reminded of a few tips here and there that we forget or just put aside in some cases. Thanks G..

  • Richard Hilton
    Reply

    Great points! Embracing change and adding value are key for both the customer and employee. As we all know, a customer-centric culture leads to increased sales. However, inspiring and motivating staff is imperative.

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