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11 Reasons Why Bad Customer Service is Burning Your Bottom Line by Robbie Richards

Is bad customer service burning your bottom line?

Is bad customer service burning your bottom line?

How many time have you visited a website, clicked on the live chat box and got the message saying, "Sorry, support is offline. Please leave an email and we'll respond in 24 hours."

Go on, raise your hand. 

How about the time you picked up the phone and called customer service, only to spend 30 mins on hold listening to boring opera music before finally being connected to a service rep who didn't know the answer to your question, and transferred you to another person. 

Unfortunately, most of you know exactly what I'm talking about. It happens all the time. And, customer hate it, a lot. 

How much?

Consider this:

71% of consumers expect their questions to be answered in 5 minutes or less. 

And...

89% have stopped doing business with a company because of a bad experience. 

The takeaway?

Bad customer service is the fastest way to lose existing customers, and deter others from ever stepping foot in your front door. It costs US businesses $84 billion a year. 

Despite the bottom line impact, most companies still fail to make support and retention a #1 priority. More resource are given to acquisition. This is very costly, especially when you consider it is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than keep an existing one. 

To highlight the true cost of poor service for any business, the team at JitBit Help desk have put together the infographic below. It explores the financial costs, lists the top reasons why customers jump ship to the competition, identifies which segments of your customer base are least tolerant of bad service, and highlights how minor service improvements can increase your bottom line 25%-95%.

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Bio: Robbie Richards writes for JitBit, a company that provides live chat and helpdesk software to help businesses simplify and improve their customer support.

For more insights, check out The Nice Guys on Business Podcast

For more insights, check out The Nice Guys on Business Podcast

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Moving from reactive to proactive customer experience. By Kevin Leifer

A reactive customer experience is the kind that manages customer reactions instead of customer expectations and needs. It’s an outdated approach that aims to mostly put out fires.

Businesses creating a reactive customer experience are usually businesses that believe that investing in experience is an extra cost they can do without. The problem is that when customers complain, it costs more. Here are some numbers that demonstrate why:

  • 78% of customers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience.

  • On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.

  • It takes up to 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.

  • 91% of unhappy customers will not willingly do business with you again.

Customer experience that is not up to par with customer expectations costs a lot of money; you can’t fool your customers, they’ve been around, shopped at your competitor’s stores and they can feel when you’re not making an effort to meet their needs.

If you’re reacting to events in your customer’s lifecycle instead of leading customers through a well-orchestrated funnel, you’re not giving your customers the experience they deserve.

While a reactive customer experience responds to customer concerns and complaints, a proactive customer experience interacts with the customer before, during, and after problems occur, anticipates customer needs and nurtures their connection to the brand in several ways.

Here’s how you can be more proactive with the customer experience you provide.

 

Proactive engagement with associates

In the ”Cost of Poor Customer Service” survey conducted by Genesys, 40% of customers expressed that if they could improve one thing in the stores they visit, they would improve the human element of the service.

Your associates are the face of the brand in your stores; they can identify a problem before it happens and aid customers to make their way around your store. By training your associates to engage customers who are looking for help, you’re proactively engaging even the ones who are not satisfied and so prevent complaints.

Customers who get the attention they need before they become frustrated are satisfied customers. By making even the smallest change, like training associates to ask the customer’s name, you stand to gain a lot. People love the sound of their name and react favorably to those who use it.

Unfortunately, employees only ask for the customer’s name 21% of the time. Training can fix that!

 

Conducting customer surveys

You don’t really know what kind of customer experience you provide at your stores until you ask your customers. While 80% of brands believe they deliver a superior customer experience, only 8% of customers believe they’ve received an outstanding service.

Talking to your customers while they’re browsing your store’s aisles is an excellent way to engage them on several touch points.

Make sure that your surveys are short and sweet (no more than 3 minutes) and try to make them more customer-centric; the customer needs to understand what they can gain from completing the survey and they’ll only do so if you train your associates to explain how this benefits them. More on best practices in inviting customers to participate can be found here.

 

Mystery shopping

96% of your customers don’t voice their compliments; you’ll never hear from them, they’ll just leave. Sending trained reviewers to your stores gives you feedback that you can’t get from your customers.

That’s why you have to proactively identify problems at your stores; mystery shopping helps you with that by sending in a professional shopper who will give you an unbiased review of the customer experience you provide based specifically on your expectations.

 

Customer journey mapping

Nothing is more proactive than visualizing the road the customer takes at your stores. By creating a detailed customer journey map, you’re predicting issues and can potentially handle them before your customers realize them.

 

Calling customers and talking about their experience

Managing the post-purchase customer experience expectations should be on every retailer’s agenda. After your customer arrives home, they unpack the products they bought, interact with your brand and the customer experience it provides again.

By contacting them at that critical point and asking them a few short questions about their experience you’ll get answers from customers who are not heading for the store’s exits that might provide more honest feedback.

 

Engage on social media and your site

There are two ways in which you can proactively interact with customers online and extend your customer experience:

1. Certain tools can give you the ability to track keyword combinations that are relevant to your brand. These keywords can include product names, brand mentions, and much more. When you find a brand mention online and react to it, you’re proactively engaging customers.

Also, customers love to be celebrated; interacting with customers by approaching them and featuring them in your social outlets shows that you’re a brand that is proud of its customers.

The best thing about featuring customers is that usually they reciprocate; featured customers are more likely to become brand evangelists, supporting their appearance on your social outlets with their brand-supportive commentary.

2. By installing an online chat option on your site, you’re giving customers the tools to contact you with questions and get live answers, like they can in-store.

Also, these tools allow you to approach customers with messages, questions, and even offer them deals on the products they’re browsing for.

By proactively commenting and interacting with your customers (and potential customers) online, you’re showing customers that you’re there for them all the time.

 

Customize offers and experiences

Customization makes customers feel that you thought about them and their needs.

It’s ok to cross-sell proactively and upsell tailored offers when customers provide you with their purchasing history, their interests, and feedback. When customers give you access to this information, they want these offers and you should use this. 

Educating customers

If you’re selling makeup, educate your customers about how they can use it, if you’re selling clothes, educate your customers how to wear it. If you’re selling home appliances, show your customers how to use it.

You can do it in store, show them how to do it live, you can hand them brochures, and you can do it online via social media, emails or blogs. Nothing nurtures a connection to a brand more than educating customers about purchases they made and the things they’re interested it.


Can you suggest additional ways to provide a more proactive customer experience?

 

Kevin is passionate about retail, specifically aligning a brand's expectations of their customers' experience with consistent execution in-store. With expertise in leading clients toward a transparent omnichannel (on-line, in-store, call center and mobile) experience, Kevin and the ICC/Decision Services team work with clients to define the desired customer experience and use a suite of tools (including Mystery Shopping, Customer Satisfaction Surveys and Customer Intercepts) to measure that experience.

 

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinleifer

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kevinleifer

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iccdecisionservices/

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KevinLeifer

 

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3 Ways To Find Valuable Customer Experience Insight by Jeremy Watkin

I’m 6’4” tall so I don’t typically spend much time riding in the back seat of cars–especially not in my own car. We had family in town this past weekend so I answered the call and sat in my back seat quite possibly for the first time ever. When I sat down, I adjusted the floor mat and found the tiny USB plug for my headphones that went missing quite a while ago. It had fallen out of my pocket and I assumed it was gone forever.

Isn’t it funny how simply changing my seat resulted in finding what I was searching for? Business insights are a lot like my missing USB plug. Sometimes a change of seat or speaking with those in other seats within your organization will give you new eyes to see problems and solutions you previously believed were nonexistent.

Voice Of Customer (VOC) is all the rage right now for companies interested in improving the experience for their customers. Before you spend many thousands of dollars on a VOC solution, allow me to offer a few ideas to kickstart your program.

Get To Know The People On The Front Lines

Housed within your contact center is a wealth of knowledge and information about what is and isn’t working about your product or service. Whether you periodically speak with customers or speak with the people speaking with your customers, create open lines of communication so they are comfortable sharing the challenges and complaints they regularly face. You may find that there’s a simple, inexpensive improvement that can pay big dividends for your customer experience.

Get People In All Different Seats Talking To Each Other

You may not realize it but many people within your organization have an impact on your customer experience. Sales and marketing work to get customers in the door and signed up, management creates policies that affect customers, and customer service takes care of them once they are customers. These groups should be talking regularly to gain insight into how they can help one another make the experience as smooth as possible. At FCR we are big fans of regular round table discussions in an effort to share more and more insight about customers with our clients.

Ask Your Customers

The best way to ask your customers about their experience is to survey them. At this point I’m less concerned about what survey you use and more concerned about getting regular customer feedback. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS), or even the one with the happy and sad face are all great and inexpensive provided that you allow your customers to share feedback about their experience. The important part is routinely reading this feedback, following up, monitoring trends, and fixing issues.

It’s so easy to plop down in our chairs each day and only see the customer experience from our own point of view. Perhaps you think your customer experience is perfect–or perhaps you think you have an insurmountable problem. Regardless of what camp you are in, make it a routine to get out of your chair and view the customer experience from another seat. By gaining a new perspective, you may just find something you lost– whether you were looking for it or not.

Jeremy Watkin

Jeremy Watkin is the Head of Quality at GoFCR.com, the most disruptive and respected outsource provider. He has more than 15 years of experience as a customer service professional. He is also the co-founder and regular contributor on Communicate Better Blog. Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.

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