Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

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Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician
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Tag: Top Customer Service Tips

Twelve Top Customer Service Tips – Part Five

We promised you Twelve Top Customer Service Tips but today we want to exceed your expectations .. and we've added a couple of extra tips to help you exceed your customer's expectations.

 

12. When recruiting select customer focused people

Do you recruit staff for their technical ability, attitude to customers or both? 

Clearly all are important but someone with excellent technical abilities will create a terrible impression with customers if you put them on reception or the end of the phone and their attitude is wrong.  So you need to think about whether people are likely to interface with customers and if so to consider how you select them at interview and maintain their skills thereafter.   

 

13. Use customer feedback to evaluate your staff

Customer feedback is only useful if you make use of it and is much more useful if you relate it to staff either individually or as a team.  They need to know about the 3 Cs – compliments, concerns and complaints as soon as possible.  Waiting for the next staff appraisal loses the immediacy of the situation and wastes time and the opportunity to build on excellence and negate problem areas.

Staff appreciate feedback of all sorts.  If the feedback is positive it makes them feel good and keeps customer service levels high. If it is not so good they need to opportunity to improve and you need to consider how you can help them with advice, training or whatever is relevant.

 

14. Act in the best interests of your customers at all times  

Are you Putting Your Customer First? Or are customers way down on your list of considerations?

If you can’t help a customer because you don’t stock or supply what they need do you refer them to another supplier, one you know to be reliable and will look after them?  Do all your staff do this and suggest the same supplier or is it ad hoc?  Where relevant do you follow up and check your customer was satisfied with your recommendation?  Customers value the care you take over this … especially where you have advised them about suppliers of high value items.

Businesses that think customer first find customers are more loyal, staff turnover is lower, they get more customer referrals and make more profit.  It pays to think customer and act in the best interest of your customer at all times.

 

If you want to learn more about Putting Your Customer First, more about the national standard for customer service or simply to improve your business processes and marketing contact us now on 01926 632 794 or email us via Stefan@StefanDrew.com


Top Customer Service Tips – Part Four

Day four of our Top Customer Service Tips looks at keeping your staff up to date, introducing new products ands services … and what your customer can expect from you. 

 

9. Keep your staff up to date with industry changes

 

Not only do your staff need to understand your product or service range they need to keep up to date with industry changes.

 

If they are knowledgeable about new trends, new legislation, new processes … or whatever is relevant to you and your customers they are able to help your customers and are more likely to make more sales.

 

So ensure your staff are up to date.  Methods of ensuring this include internal newsletters, trade press, product sheets, attendance at trade shows and conferences and a host of other ways.

 

10. Have a clear rationale for introducing new products or services

 

There is little point in introducing a new product or service unless there is a clear indication that your customers want or need it.  Introducing new products or services can cost a lot of money and you need to be sure that this money is not wasted on a whim.  You need evidence that there is a need for the proposed product or service.

 

You can check need by accessing third party research, producing a product or service where new legislation indicates a need for, say, training, or where you have surveyed your customers and are acting as a result of a clear need demonstrated by a good number of customers wanting it.

 

11. Establish service delivery objectives and stick to them

 

Do you customers know what service level to expect from you?  For example delivery in a given number of days, work finished to a given standard and no hidden costs.

 

This can be established in a contract, in sale terms, on your website or even in a sign on the wall of your premises.  They should however be clearly visible and not hidden in small print.  So a restaurant shouldn’t add a service charge on a bill and explain it by saying there is small print on page seven of the menu and you should have noticed it .. if they wish to add a service charge it should be obvious to all customers without them going to a specific page of a menu and having to read some very small print.

 

Customers expect consistency in your customer service and will not appreciate it varying between branches, departments or depending on the day of the week.  Establish objectives and stick to them and your customers will appreciate it.

 

 

If you want to learn more about Putting Your Customer First, more about the national standard for customer service or simply to improve your business processes and marketing contact us now on 01926 632 794 or email us via Stefan@StefanDrew.com

 


Top Customer Service Tips – Part Three

In part three of out Top Customer Service Tips we are looking at the impact our products or services make on the customer and a couple of simple marketing ideas. 

 

6. Measure the impact your product or service made on the customer. … discover what difference it made.

 

This might not be relevant for a small shop selling newspapers or a bar of chocolate but can be vital with higher value items. 

 

For example a training organisation might ask a customer about their objectives before they offer a training course.  They can then objectively measure the situation before and after training and will be able to demonstrate the impact their training has made. There are even CRM systems with this facility built in .. but more about that .. and the chance of a demo another day.

 

When you and your customer understand the impact you have made they will not only be delighted, they will more readily buy from you again and will also recommend you to others.

 

So you get improved customer loyalty and referrals to potential new customers.

 

The same principle applies to most products and services ….. and I mean most because all products and services offer some tangible benefit that can be recognised and measured.  It is up to us to ensure we, and our customers, understand the impact that exists.

7. Ensure your staff understand your products and services

 

Many of us will ensure our new staff are made aware of our product or service range and the benefits they offer to customers but do we ensure that our existing staff are fully aware of new products?  It is easy to assume they will “pick it up” but when busy do they really fully understand all the nuances, benefits and specifications?

 

In fact do your staff actually understand all the products or services you offer across the board or just focus on their department?  I’m not suggesting that they should have a detailed knowledge of everything …. Just a basic awareness it exists and enough knowledge to recognise when to point a customer in the direction of an expert in that area.  That way you will always be doing your best for your customer and they will be delighted.

8. Identify the needs of different customer groups

 

How often do you receive a mailshot or a phone call trying to sell you something totally inappropriate to your needs?  The industry standard for mailshots is a success rate of just 1%-2%, which means they are at least 98% unsuccessful.  This is often the result of sending information to the wrong people.

 

A recent mailing we made for one of our clients resulted in a response rate exceeding 21%.   The main reason for this high success rate is simple.  We identified the type of person that would be interested in their offer and only wrote to them.  We didn’t send it to everyone on the database just because we had their details.

 

So if you break your customer list down by their needs, recent purchases, past purchases or whatever suits them you will have a higher success rate and not annoy customers that are not likely to be interested in your offer .. you’ll also save your money and time. 

 

 

If you want to learn more about Putting Your Customer First, more about the national standard for customer service or simply to improve your business processes and marketing contact us now on 01926 632 794 or email us via Stefan@StefanDrew.com


Top Customer Service Tips – Part Two

In part two of our Top Customer Service Tips we look at two very simple ideas that cost very little to implement but will make a huger difference to your customers and business .. in fact the first idea is absolutely free and will make you smile

 

4. Smile

 

This tip is simple and costs nothing.  When you meet a customer, smile!  No one likes a grumpy person serving them, …… so smile.

 

I don’t mean an artificial “politicians” smile.  I mean you should be delighted to see your customers and it should show.  Not just when you see them face-to-face but even when they phone.  It might surprise some people but when a person answers the phone with a smile it goes down the phone line and can be heard in their voice. 

 

If you smile on the phone you will sound more approachable, attentive and positive and customers will recognise the difference.

 

5. Obtain feedback .. the 3 Cs  – concerns, complaints and compliments

 

Treasure the feedback you get from customers … it is a valuable gift. 

 

Positive feedback makes you and your staff feel great and negative feedback gives you the opportunity to improve.  Don’t just wait for feedback; encourage it.

 

You can give your customers feedback forms, let them comment on your blog, phone them and ask them “How was it for you?” … and even ask them when you serve them.

 

Don’t always rely on the a mumbled OK .. some people don’t want to tell you there was a problem there and then. 

 

For example if you have poor service or the quality of food is not good in a restaurant you might send the food back .. or you might prefer to say all is OK because you don’t want to make a fuss in front of other diners.

 

A customer focused restaurant will recognise this and, as well as asking if everything is OK could provide a feedback form with the bill or even send you an email asking for comments a few days later.

 

If you want to learn more about Putting Your Customer First, more about the national standard for customer service or simply to improve your business processes and marketing contact us now on 01926 632 794 or email us via Stefan@StefanDrew.com

 


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