In this age of cutthroat competition, customer relationship management is one of the most critical issues; therefore, it is best to train your customer relationship officers in the best way possible. While most people are aware of the intensity of the training, you might want to consider your need to add variety by providing other, additional elements of considerable importance.
Below are 5 of the best and most-integrative ways of forming great customer experiences resulting in winning customer loyalty:
Promote common sense
Though it would sound ludicrous to MBA graduates and post-graduates, it is recommended that the team first learn the importance and scope of common sense within the context of customer service. Many customer service executives are trained and educated in a certain way, but one cannot simply deliver an ideal customer service experience if your sentence and body language is limited by the academic knowledge you gained in school or the training you receive at work.
In fact, many situations require the use of common sense and rely on actions/decisions that are completely opposite from the actions/decisions of those relying on their education or experience. If you are working at a call center when a senior citizen calls to discuss an issue that you end up solving nearly-instantly, you soon realize after he continually extends the conversation, that the person is merely lonely. Unfortunately, this erodes a large portion of your professional time. So, what is the resolution?
These resolutions determine the impression left behind by the company and add to its brand identity. Only an employee with a high-level of common sense is able to handle these situations in the most appropriate way; therefore, it is best to establish a schedule with activities, brain games and mock plays because these increase the overall common sense of your team. Knowing this information will also help them in catc-22 situations.
Rackspace is a famous hosting company that once received a call from an exasperated client. While on the phone, the employee got the impression that the client was hungry; therefore, in the middle of the call, the employee told his colleague to order a pizza for delivery to the client’s house. For thirty minutes, the client exchanged heated words with the employee over the phone. When the client heard her door bell ringing, she opened the door and found the pizza. Tensions melted immediately - now that's what we call common sense.
There are certain customer representative qualities that should be exercised in the most appropriate manner. For example, smiling. A representative with a plastic smile merely confuses. Is their smiling his regular "expression" or is it “a regular part of his face", i.e. 2 eyes, 2 ears, one nose and one smile? Plastic smiles repel more clients than they acquire. Likewise, customers who are reluctant to admire an over-attentive customer service professional. This is why it is best to advise your team not to overdo things. The general rule of thumb is to tone down your "customer service gestures" to 60% so as to give everyone an authentic, honest look. Many customers don’t need customer care service. They are “allergic” so it is best to leave those customers shopping happily without any interference.
Give them something to remember
Picture the following sentences:
- "Hello sir, how may I assist you today?"; and,
- "Hello sir, you look quite handsome in your black tie! Is there anything that I can do to assist you?"
Trader Joe’s is a grocery store chain that is privately-owned. They received a call from a lady who was snowed in at her Pennsylvania house with her 89 year-old father. The customer asked whether the store offered home delivery. Normally, the store does not provide home delivery; however, after looking at the situation, they decided to go off the normal course. The store not only provided home delivery to that 89 year-old man but also refused to charge them for the delivery.
Add some meat to the body
Customers appreciate a smart, customer care executive who always has something informative to share. It is not enough to merely polish your communication skills. Representatives should also keep up-to-date on product knowledge and information-enhancing information that is relevant to clients. Representatives should also know how to present information in the best way possible. A slight smile, use of hands and a particular staring-style can make all the difference to a customer. Add to it a little bit of philosophy and you have achieved the art of customer loyalty. Most customer service executives can describe the product they are selling, but not many know the history behind the product and fewer still know which, if any, famous personalities used the same products. Providing this extra bit of information can impress a customer.
Give your customers some surprises
Have you ever considered that discounts can go a long way in getting you loyal followers? How do you think a client would feel if you were to give them a 5% discount on their total bill when they didn’t ask for it? Or better still, you can offer your customers small gift packs. A customer leaving the store carries with them the last impression of your overall service. If you were to offer them some pleasant surprises while they are leaving then you can easily earn the loyalty of these customers.
For example, JetBlue is an airline company that received tremendous accolades. During one of their flights, a People Officer stood up and started a quiz and other trivia games. The winner of the games was to receive free tickets to different destinations covered by JetBlue. The best part was that these People Officers were professionals hired by JetBlue to provide these surprises to their customers in the most interesting and memorable manner possible.
The customer service experience is a great method of organic branding. Interaction is the basic element of any customer service experience. In fact, it is the expression of the brand and philosophy of the company. By slightly tweaking the interaction, you can actually pep up the monotonous, formal, customer service communication and go on to make your entity a memorable brand.
By Sam Makad, marketing consultant at Skyward CRM