Guest post by Gavin Scott | Company Director, Loaf Training Ltd.
Have you thought about how hard it is for your customers to interact with your business?
Last time we shared the importance of providing a “Warm Welcome” and being more like a “Dog” during the early, initial interaction with customers and/or clients. Today’s topic is how we can make it “Easy” during that interaction.
Can you remember a time when, during a Customer Service interaction, the person you were talking to made it hard for you to do business with them? Can you think back to a time when you paused and thought, “Am I paying for this service?” This sort of interaction happens all of the time and is far too common within Customer Service based organisations. In fact, just last week, when I was buying a bed from a well-known bed provider in the UK, I had to repeat my post code 7(Seven) times before we found out if the bed was available in the size that I wanted? The employee had to check several computer systems, each time asking me for my post code. How hard would it have been to simply write it down!? Now, in that moment, the employee who I was dealing with made it “Feel” hard for me to interact and I was particularly frustrated by having to repeat my post code, over and over again. Despite the frustration, I did end up buying that bed but my review of the company’s service level wasn’t as good as it could have been, had I not been asked to repeat myself on several occasions.
In Matthew Dixon’s book, “The Effortless Experience” he states that to drive loyalty up in your business you have to provide “Effortless experiences”. If you make it “Easy” then customers will stay and spend more money. Companies who understand this and are using this well are fully benefitting and increasing their market share.
So, what are some of the key things that you can do to “Make it Easy” for your customers to do business with you and provide them with a positive experience? Here are 3 top tips that you can apply straightaway:
1. Avoid asking them to switch channels
We all have busy lifestyles and efficient use of time is important to most. If a customer choses to contact you online via “Webchat” or something else, then avoid asking them to call your hotline number wherever possible and vice-versa. I recently contacted a financial services provider by phone and after being informed that there was a 30 minute wait time I was encouraged to chat online via the webchat support team. After reluctantly accepting the option provided (I do like to talk to people more), I went online and connected with an operative in a reasonably quick time. I posted my question and then after 12 minutes I was told to contact the same number that I dialled originally! Hard work!
2. Avoid the statement: “Please can you repeat that?”
Asking customers to repeat information is a big “No” “No”. This contributes to making it difficult for our customers to do business with us. If I have to repeat myself over and over again then it’s more likely that I won’t come back. This applies when speaking to the same person and also when you get passed around from one department to the next. It is ultra-important that the customers’ story is shared so that they don’t have to repeat it themselves; like I did when buying that bed.
3. Make sure that you don’t pass the customer from pillar to post
Customers hate being passed from one person to another, having to repeat their story as they travel along the service conveyor belt. Where possible, own the customer’s query, and not just resolve that query but also address any other potential future issues that may arise as a result of this query. Your customers would love you for thinking on their behalf and resolving potential issues beforehand.
Something for you to have a think about: in the past, organisations focused on making sure that customers were “Satisfied” with the level of service that they received. Their view was that “Satisfied” customers would be more loyal and spend more. “Satisfaction” is not a great predictor of loyalty, “Ease” and providing an “Effortless experience” are what makes customers stay. The majority of this level of “Ease” comes from how you make the customer “Feel” during their interaction with you. In fact, in some recent research completed by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) they put this figure down as 65%. So, it’s not just all about what the customer has to do to get their issue resolved. What matters more is how you make them feel, both during and after the interaction with you. Make it feel easy and your customers will stay.
In summary, I am reminded about some lyrics that I heard in a recent song “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat.” If you want your customers to continue to “Eat” from your menu of offerings then you are advised to help them “Sleep” well by making it “Easy” for them to do business with you. By doing that they will “Rave” about the service that you provide and share their experience via Social Media resulting in more business as well as “Repeat” business.
Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat……
|About Gavin Scott|
|An inspirational and entertaining Professional Speaker, facilitator and trainer using business success, sports experience and a genuine ability to win people over to deliver key messages. Over 15 years experience working in fast paced market leading organisations. Experienced at delivering high energy, highly engaging conferences to audiences up to 300 delegates, covering subjects including Customer Service, Sales and Leadership Development.
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