Building customer loyalty and strong customer retention is getting harder and harder. The customer has raised the bar, set new rules and expects the unexpected! Pay attention! Losing customers today is swift, fast and constant!
I have recently been dealing with the DMV, discount travel sites, airlines, car companies, corporations and organizations. Each made it impossible for me to consider endorsing them, or promoting the company in a testimonial way. They completely time-sucked me and it was a colossal waste of time. GRRR..
Why put phone numbers on the site when they are always busy? I stayed on hold as an experiment for 45 minutes and then a recorded message came on that said “they were not there” and to call back another time! Why refer people to another site when they don’t know anything and then they refer you back to the site you came from?
Here are 5 simple, basic and time tested practices that can make customer experiences pleasant and effective–even for state, county, government and corporate companies–and turn them into ‘testimonials relationships”.
Make sure whoever greets customers, answers the phone, or fields any interaction is pleasant, courteous and positive.
Faster delivery and response
How impressive and unexpected is speed and timeliness when it comes to responding to and helping customers? Yes, it’s an investment in training but it pays off big time.
Real people, real conversations
Customers crave real people with great interpersonal skills, when it comes to dealing with questions or problems. Automated machines aren’t cutting it. We want it real! Stop the insanity of thinking we are OK with anything but.
The Bartender Principle
Know something about your customer either before or during the interaction, so we don’t have to re-tell the issue or story. Keep your files updated on prior conversations. Anticipate needs and desires: noticing a pattern to your inquiries and complaints? Fix them, look into them, research them before they happen again.
Consistent brand and customer service language
Again train your people to consistently know anything and everything that they need to about your company, products or services or have someone designated who does.
Right people for the team
Don’t just put bodies in seats, on the phones or out in the field. At least make sure they have some appreciation for what you do, what you sell and why you are in business. Trust me, we know!
Who are the companies that consistently impress you with how they serve you and why?
Who fails the test and why?
What are some of your practices that build testimonial relationships?
Deborah Shane is a Motivator, Educator, Career Catalyst and Empowerment Advocate whose passion is creating and presenting motivational/keynote speaking, engaging seminars and training events, and corporate/personal consulting. She is the founder of Train With Shane, a Women’s Empowerment series, and manages the Deborah Shane Toolbox blog.