Canven Consulting

Canven Consulting

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The 5 Keys to Great Customer Service

Use the 5 Keys to Customer Service to deliver great experiences and create repeat customers.

 

Customer Service is something that many of us expect as a customer so it is especially important that we deliver exceptional service when interacting with our clients.

In the past week, I have had a number of interactions with other companies and vendors – and the ones with truly exceptional service made an impact. As a customer, we are more likely to trust the information that we receive, believe in the quality of the product, and look forward to interacting with the company again in the future.

  • Yes, repeat customers are happy customers.
  • Yes, repeat customers are great ambassadors of our brand.
  • Yes, repeat customers can be our greatest source of revenue.

So why do so many companies focus on delivering just on price alone? It is time to separate ourselves and deliver what our customers are truly lacking.  Let’s take the 5 Key actions to deliver great customer service and make our first customers repeat customers!
 

5 Keys to Great Customer Service
 

#1 – Be Consistent
During the various phase of the sales, it is extremely important that the experience each customer receives is consistent across the process - regardless of which employee they interact with. When we think of a lot of small businesses, it is the owner who is the main person interacting with clients and potential sales opportunities. Extend the sales process to incorporate all staff and ensure that staff are trained and capable to deliver the company product knowledge and experience. This ensures that even if the primary sales person is unavailable, you are able to deliver your product or service to resolve a problem the customer has when they are ready to buy.
 

#2 – Deliver what you promise
When we set expectations it is very important that we deliver what was promised. Integrity in your words and actions will ensure that you can be trusted. You clients may not voice it, but when you actually keep your word, the action is registered and helps to continue to build a powerful relationship with them.
 

#3 – Keep the customer informed
Many of us take for granted that the sales process or service workflow of our business is proceeding as planned. This is a great opportunity to share this process with our customers and let them know what step has been completed and what they can expect next. If you are delivering a product, let them know when their product has been processed or sent for delivery. If you are providing a service, let them know what stage they are in and what will happen next. Give them something to look forward to.  Also, if there is an issue or delay, let the customer know as soon as you have an expectation for when and how it will be resolved. None of us like waiting and not knowing what is going on – and neither does your customer. Take the opportunity to keep them informed. 
 

#4 – Define what sets you apart
What makes your company special?  For starters, using the 5 Keys to Great Customer Service defined here is a great start. There are so many companies that do not do these simple things.  Sit down with a blank piece of paper and come up with some creative ways to be “different” from the other companies in your industry. Is it a special token or customer service follow-up after the transaction? Is it your openness and excellent communication? Is it your quick turn-around?  Define what sets you apart and ensure that it is part of your training, processes and all interactions with your customers.
 

#5 – Love your customers
Sounds cheesy, I know.  Yet looking at it very simply, if you truly care and want the best for your customers, your genuine attitude will be easily picked up by them.  I’m not talking about those savvy salesmen out there (think of the stereotypical movie used car salesman), who will lie and manipulate the client for just getting the sale.  I mean, understanding what your client needs and offering the products and solutions that will satisfy that need.
It may mean a smaller sale at the beginning, but with delivering excellent customer service, you’ll be able to offer them the larger ticket-priced items at a later opportunity. Through a positive sales experience the customer will be primed to buy again at a later date.  Essentially, you’ve planted the branding seed…
 

5 Keys to Great Customer Service in Action
 

Just this past week I had the opportunity to observe these best practices with a few companies where I am a customer. Here are some examples of the 5 Keys to Great Customer Service in action:
 

a) At my local natural products store I recently put in a request for a product that was out of inventory. I actually forgot that I had done this. So when the store called me this week to say that the weekly order had come in, but my particular product was on backorder, they apologized and stated that they would ensure that my order was placed again for the next cycle. 
They delivered what they promised (called me about my order). They kept me informed (on the status and next steps). And they were consistent in their approach and tone.
 

b) A SEO company that I have a business listing with called me right before I had a client meeting. I asked that they call me a specific time later that day when I would be available to take their call uninterrupted. …
They called at exactly that time (deliver what they promised).  They were passionate about their company and how they could make my company better (love their customers).
 

So, when have you received great customer service?  How can you apply these key steps to your business? Tell us an experience that you had…
 

To your success,
Cindy.
 

How Not To Care - Delivering Customer Service with Integrity

by Jonathan Raymond of EMyth (October 5th, 2012)

 

“Actual caring is not a strategy — it’s a result. If you and your employees really care, you don’t need to talk about it. Your customers will go out of their way to tell you, and tell others about their experience, because real care is so tragically and delightfully rare. We all want to be in the know about a business like that.”

 

A See-Through Strategy
 
The business world is very confused about something incredibly simple. Caring. Have you noticed how much “caring” everybody is doing these days?


“How can I provide you with excellent service today?” or “We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.” Really?


You can’t connect with your customer when you put a script between you and them.

Caring is unmistakable and memorable when real — but as a strategy it is forgettable at best and more often than not, offensive.
 
Actual caring is not a strategy — it’s a result. If you and your employees really care, you don’t need to talk about it. Your customers will go out of their way to tell you, and tell others about their experience, because real care is so tragically and delightfully rare. We all want to be in the know about a business like that.
 
You know the shops and restaurants you rely on, the websites you go back to. Of course you break away now and again to try something new, but even if your favorite places make a mistake you go back. Why? Because you like the way it feels, because it means something to you to shop there. We all live this way, but ironically we don’t tend to run our own businesses that way. Mostly, small businesses desperately compete on price or features, and end up treating us only slightly better than United Airlines or AT&T.
 

We don’t go back to places that tell us how much they care, we go back to places where we felt they actually did. Care is emotional and leaves an impression.
 
So, how do you, as a business owner get to the place where caring is the norm, where you don’t have to plan it?  Behind the scenes of a business that really cares about its customers you’ll find a leader who sets the whole thing in motion by caring about their employees. They’re not touchy feely nor do they overlook incompetence. They simply challenge their staff to be better today than they were yesterday because that’s the way they live. It’s a place where the leader leads, and shows up for their employees with high standards and equal kindness.
 
Their secret is the understanding that employees only really care when they decide that being better at their job is making them better in their life.
 
If you have to resort to caring as a strategy, it means you’re not in the right business or, far more likely in our experience, you just need help getting back to your passion for what you do.
 
Nothing matters more to your customers than the feeling that you care about them. You have to be it, not act it. That takes guts.
 
Jonathan Raymond

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Written by Jonathan Raymond a Buisness Coach with EMyth.

EMyth (formerly E-Myth Worlwide) is a recognized leader in business coaching, training and education, takes online learning to the next level with the launch of an intuitively designed, cloud-based learning platform targeted to the needs of entrepreneurs and business leaders on-the-go.

The Impact of Facebook's Dominance on our Daily Lives

A few years back most of us were introduced to Facebook (FB) as a social networking tool that allowed us to reconnect with lost friends and relatives. It was 'cool' to see what happened to our old high school buddies (and enemies), and satisfied our voyeuristic tendencies when we’d look at pictures of people and what they were interested in. It was a way for us to ‘see’ without being ‘seen’.

 

Then, more recently, as individuals we started to learn that our information on FB was not as ‘private’ and secure as we had innocently believed.  Our deleted posts and photos still existed in the FB cloud. Our connections and viewing patterns led to ‘personalized’ advertising and friend suggestions. And we started to discover that while we were looking – others were looking at us.

 

Now, some people made the decision to come off of Facebook entirely – as it was just too publically revealing. Others – who are very comfortable in the public spectrum – flourished within FB and transformed its use to reflect the daily interactions of their lives. They became the true heart and persona of what a Facebook user represented.

 

The video above (Link if you need it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocXX619kaPM) highlights just the impact that Facebook has made on our lives and the social interactions of people in the World. Simply amazing that there are more than 700 Million Facebook users online!

 

As more Business Owners and Marketing firms incorporate Facebook and other tools into their communication streams and intake marketing channels – the growth of FB is only going to increase.  It is our job to ensure that we engage with our customers and keep them returning to our page.

 

The key to a successful Facebook marketing campaign includes:

1. Providing relevant and timely material

  • Topics from current politics, the news, season, or impacts of change to your customers or your business.

2. Frequent engagement with your customers

  • Responding to posts and messages directly. Staying connected with your customers.

3. Using graphics and videos to stimulate and inspire

  • Utilizing the amazing videos, podcasts, articles, and pictures that can convey your brand or story.

4. Connecting to our Brand

  • Reminding your customers that your brand is to be trusted, that you deliver great quality and service, and they need to consider you for their next purchase.

5. Connecting to our Intake Marketing Channels

  • Providing easy links or connections that bring our customers to our company marketing channels (i.e. website, phone or email).

 

Facebook as a marketing platform should be part of our overall Social Media Marketing Strategy – and not the only avenue that is used. Be sure to create a Content Strategy Calendar to manage what content you are posting and the schedule for deployment (we will expand on this in a future blog).

 

For further information on the limitations of Facebook, check out the article, “6 Reasons Why You Should NOT Put All Your Eggs In The Facebook Basket” by Francisco Rosales (at SocialMouths). A thought provoking article that reminds us that even as Business Owners, we do not control who sees our content nor how that content is shared with our customers.

 

In summary, Facebook is outperforming all other Social Media Platforms, and it must be included as part of a compnay’s social media strategy – but it can not be the only point of interaction with your clients.

 

To your success,

Cindy

CEO & Director of Client Relations - Canven Consulting  - www.Canven.ca - #canvencr

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