Improve Customer Satisfaction
Outstanding Customer Service is an evolutionary process that can take months or even years to develop. Improving customer satisfaction has to start with the culture from executive management down through the organization. It must be entrenched within the company so that every decision be focused on what the client needs, wants or demands.
From the product line to the receptionist, your customer face should always carry a consistent message of service and quality. If these messages are not conveyed at every level of the organization, your customer will eventually find your competitor and go elsewhere.
Here are 3 ideas to improve client satisfaction within your product or service business:
1. Listen - A simple step toward satisfying your customer is to listen to their wants and needs. If you believe you know more about what the customer wants than they do, you will be out of business in no time.
2. Be Sincere - When you begin listening to customers and focusing on their issues, there will be a time when you cannot perform to their expectations. In some cases, they are going to want something you cannot or will not be able to provide because it does not make business sense. Sincerity goes a long way in delivering the message they do not want to hear. If you the delivery is truly sincere and presented that way, the customer will not like it but will understand if the information is reasonable and the partnership is strong.
3. Communication - It is common sense to have a fluid communication between partners and customers expect the same thing. Within every relationship, each partner has responsibility to tell the other if there is something wrong that could lead to a larger problem. Without a strong communication and feedback mechanism, you will assume your customer is doing ok, when in fact they are frustrated and ready to jump ship.
Many companies lose their way after they become successful. The sound of the cash register drowns out the voice of customers clamoring for better service or products. When the company begins to lose sight of their core business strategy and their value to the customer, the business can suffer dramatically. Improving customer satisfaction is not a nice to have but a critical function within any business.
Customer Retention Strategies
The Art of Saying "No"
Supporting customers can be a rewarding experience as you answer questions, solve problems and make everyone happy. But, not every situation you run into will allow you to resolve the problem. The art of saying "No" to a customer is undoubtedly one of the areas that a customer sales or service representative will need to develop over time.
Is the customer always Right? Not always. It is a 100% guarantee that you will run into situations that require you to tell the customer that the product, service or their interpretation of the contract are not accurate or their level of service does not allow you to give them what they are asking for.
Although a customer is an important aspect of any business, it can be a diverse and difficult animal to tame. Customers are people and can have varied opinions, backgrounds and personalities. Establishing a rapport with each person on the phone is a skill you will learn as you develop and become more experienced. Unfortunately, some people feel that if they have purchased a company product or service, they are entitled to certain things that may or may not be available to them.
For example, if you are supporting a specific washing machine, the customer may call up indicating the machine is not performing as expected and want the company to fix it right away.
A Sample Dialogue my go like this:
CSR: Good Morning, Customer Service, this is Montgomery how may I help you?
Customer: Yes, I have a Problem, your Washing machine is not working.
CSR: Understood, can you tell me what the issue is?
Customer: It does not power on.
CSR: How long have you owned it?
Customer: 12 years last month
CSR: Did you purchase the Extended warranty?
Customer: No, I did not think I needed it at the time.
CSR: Unfortunately, the washing machine is under a 10 year warranty. We can send someone out, but it would be a billable service call.
Customer: I see, I think it may be better to purchase a new one... Thanks for your help A clear understanding of their issue is paramount to getting them to feel you are on their side and sincere in your wanting to help them through the issue.
Sincerity is key to successfully getting them to understand that nature of your position. treating them with respect and dignity will go a long way in making them feel you are on their side but the solution may be out of your control or not available at all.
Customer Sales and Service roles are not always easy to perform, but can be a valuable asset to keep the customer happy. Outstanding customer service is easier if you are in sincere in respecting the customer and their needs.
Customer Relationship Jobs
Every position in the company has an impact on the way the client perceives the corporation. Client Service Representatives are on the front lines of assisting the client in creating a positive experience. Without the necessary tools, process and training, the client service area will struggle in trying to deliver superior service.
Customer sales and service positions can be a difficult.. If the company does not value the client or what it represents, client service representative positions will be in constant flux as turnover rates will increase. The client service area is an important advocate and can provide good insight into the issues that clients bring to the company. With that being said, if the client is ignored and treated as a necessary evil, the company support representative will struggle and the company will eventually perish.
To be successful, the organizational climate and culture must be instilled with the mindset that the client is number one when it comes to product reliability, service and respect. If the client is handled with care and respect, the client will be a loyal and ongoing revenue stream and source for new business.
Being a Service Representative within a client care organization that values the client and everything it represents, will set the stage for a healthy environment. This will drive upbeat attitudes throughout the business that will transcend back to great client experiences. Turnover rates will be minimized as personnel will feel empowered to do their position and client satisfaction will increase.
If you are looking for a position inside the company's client care organization, your success within the company is driven not only by your own attitudes and abilities, but the company culture. Much like the small business owner, larger companies need to identify with the client and listen to what the client is saying about the products and services it provides.
If the company fails to keep up with this part of their business, clients will lose their reason to be loyal and move their business elsewhere. In today's economy, corporations large and small cannot afford to lose clients. Those that do, will certainly be put out of business within a short time period. Client retention is a key strategy to surviving in a recession as new clients are much harder to find.
Managing the client with the support of the entire organization is much easier as client care teams will have the tools, processes and education they need to be successful. Happy clients go a long way in the longevity of a business. An important factor when deciding if a company if a company can survive long term is its attitudes and culture toward client satisfaction.
In conclusion, Customer sales and service positions are not easy but they can be rewarding if you know how to make the customer happy. Success is obtained through managing the customer expectations.
Let's face it, it is a challenge to find a job in today's economy. Unemployment is up and the markets are down, a sour mix for the unemployed worker.
What is Customer Relationship Management?
Whether large or small, companies are driven by customer needs and demands. If customers do not buy their products or services, companies wither and die. Managing the customer relationship is like a dance. Each is looking for a way to co-exist on the dance floor and thrives from the movements of the other. If either partner stumbles, the other feels the effect and may trip as well.
There is a popular saying among business professionals, “It is easier to keep a customer, than to find a new one”. This is a very true statement in that once you have entered into the partnership of customer and provider, the ongoing relationship needs to be cultivated and nurtured, but does not need extensive resources to manage if done correctly.
In contrast, if your company does not value the customer relationship after the sale, the initial sales revenue will be short lived. If your customers do not continue to purchase from you due to poor customer service your bottom line will suffer. Repeat business is the lifeblood of any company’s balance sheet. If delivery of the product or service is poor, customers will begin to rely more on your competition for their goods and services, which will obviously take money off the table for you.
Service after the sale is critical in the ongoing success and growth of a company. Your happy customer will become your advocate and bring more customers to your door. Unfortunately an unhappy one will become a barrier in the marketplace and drive business away. The line between the two can be very thin.
Managing the customer is not always about giving in to every demand and sacrificing the company principles and resources where it does not make sense. Managing client expectations and delivering to those expectations is the art of customer relationship management.
Know Thy Customer Know Thyself