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My Customers have a Problem

Posted By: Micah on August 5, 2010 in Customer Loyalty, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service Training, Featured - Comments: 1 Comment »

Customer Satisfaction

Confused Customers

Have you ever felt like your customers don’t get you? They just don’t understand the service you’re providing? They keep calling in upset or frustrated? Your customer loyalty is non existent? You get BBB complaints every other day, chargebacks on the off days, and your Google SERP is loaded with bad reviews?

Don’t worry! That doesn’t necessarily mean that you and your Customer Service reps suck….
…uh
…actually
…maybe it does.
But still, never fear! You can fix that! My “easy” 2 step process will get you, your customer service reps, and your company back on it’s feet:

Customer Loyalty Building Blocks

Every Customer Care or Customer Service Team needs the right attitude & strategy to improve client perception. If you’re in the situation above, you’re either lacking one or all of these.  Also, if you’re going to try to fix your public opinion, you may want to review some do’s and don’ts of responding in public forums.  But before you do that, let’s take care of the underlying problems:

Right Attitude

I’m going to avoid the whole Service with a Smile discussion because it has become so cliche. In fact, most of your reps probably won’t believe it anyway. So instead, lets discuss what that really means.

Service with a Smile

Service with a Smile

First and foremost, it means that when your talking with someone using only vocal ques (no body language/facial expression) the inflection used and the words selected are the only way to convey emotion. This emotion can be positive or negative (Despite popular belief, there is no neutral ground here. You’re either moving one way or the other) Many of my reps have claimed to be able to display the positive emotion even though they don’t have a smile. Though some people feel that they can act enough to win an academy award, it’s much easier to just be happy to begin with.

So how do we get them to be happy? Well, some have tried throwing money at them (raises/bonuses), others have put incentives or perks in place (parties, free lunch), but I think Tony Hsieh has has really hit the nail on the head by attacking the root issue.  Tony is the CEO of Zappos which, in my opinion, has one of the best customer experiences in the world. If you take a chance to tour his company, you’ll notice that everyone there truly loves to work there, truly cares for each other, and truly cares about their customers.  They simply foster a culture of Happiness.

If you’re able to foster this type of culture, the rest will come easy. If you’re not there yet, figure this out before you move on! Here are some places for you to start: Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar, Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, & How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Strategy

Alright. Now that everyone is happy, lets discuss some strategy. How are we going to approach our angry customers? Here’s a list of how to get things done.

  1. Identify
    • Peel the onion
      • Most people don’t offer up the real problem to begin with. They usually bring up one issue, but without getting down to the real problem, you’ll never really solve the issue. So, ask questions understand what the root cause is. Then take care of both the issue brought up & the root cause.
    • Define the problem
      • What issues has the customer brought up?
      • Which ones are related?
      • How do they relate to your processes
      • Which processes, lack of process, or broken process caused these issues?
      • Finally, restate the issues with your new understanding.
      • Repeat this step as necessary
  2. Resolve
    • In order to resolve a situation, we need to be creative, and persuasive. You should have already identified the type of client you are working with. Now you need to pull out those sales skills and show them the value of your resolution.
      • Your Customer Service reps should be as skilled or better skilled at sales than your sales team.
      • Remember, all value is perceived.
      • Make sure it’s a win-win situation: the customer perceives that they will receive all or most of the benefit, and you win by keeping their business.
      • Finally, let them decide
    • Execute
      • Nothing is actually resolved until the plan is executed and the customer regains their confidence in your staff, your products, and your company.
  3. Learn
    • Stop Hitting Me!
      • My mom always told me, “If you were really sorry, you wouldn’t do it again.” Make sure the processes/issues that caused this are fixed so this doesn’t happen again.
    • Show me the love.
      • Relationships aren’t completely repaired in one interaction. It takes time and successful execution. Use this time to show the customer what you think of them (send thank you cards, hit them with some random promotions, etc.)
    • Finally, deposit into the bank of trust.
      • The more positive experiences you have with the customer, the more leeway you’re given when an issue pops up in the future.

With the right attitude and the right strategy, you now have the right base to start an excellent customer service experience.

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  1. […] loyalty, sacrifice, and proper communication from both sides. Proper communication includes resolution tactics that identify, resolve, & learn from each issue/situation. Just as many of our dating lives […]

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