Training your team on customer service and creating a customer service culture are completely different things. A few hours of training and most teams can learn the basics of customer service and do quite well at it. Building a customer service culture goes to the core of the business. Unless you are prepared to go all in on customer service you are better off with periodic training. Even for the most basic customer service skills, one-time training isn’t enough, your team needs practice and refresher training. If you decide to go all out and build it into your culture it will become a daily thing and your team will be thinking about it at all times. It’s not a bad thing to just train customer service but the legendary service comes from a culture of customer service. If you need help with either just let me know. In the meantime here is an infographic talking about customer service culture.
Out of all the advice I can give about Customer Service, the number one thing I encourage people to remember is to be grateful. Only a small percentage of customers will complain and want you to make things right, the rest just leave and you won’t know why. A customer making a complaint is giving you the chance to fix something and win back their loyalty. Even if you don’t manage to make things right it is a huge learning opportunity that points out a trouble spot where you could be losing customers and not even know it. Don’t waste this golden moment being mad at a customer, or upset with how they are reacting, be humble they took the time to help your business go further.
Bad customer service will ruin a business faster than almost any other factor. It is easy to say you have good customer service but proving it and having a good word of mouth reputation is much harder. As a good example I see ads for auto-mechanics all the time on social media and I hear a bunch on the radio. My mechanic doesn’t advertise at all. Absolutely none and he is almost busier than he can handle. He is my only mechanic for 20 years, I send him all of my friends when they get upset about a mechanic, I send him strangers if I can help it. On top of all that I have never heard a bad word about him. Why? Quality work and good customer service. Here are some statistics to show why customer service is so important and I will be giving tips and advice for creating a customer service culture. If you need one on one help I am a phone call away (435) 554-8209 .
You can have good customer service by teaching your team a few skills and a short overview on problem-solving, but then you will be giving business to your competitors. There are few competitive advantages as powerful as Customer Service and few that are harder to maintain. In the world where everyone thinks that competitive advantage means lowering your price, you can stand out by providing stellar customer service. I currently don’t know any physical location in my area that does this so I know the field is open. Here is an infographic to get you started on the path to excellent Customer Service. Let me know if you need any help getting going.
Customer Relationship Management software should be a component of every business. There are lots of tasks that CRM’s make much easier for businesses to handle. Every business should have some sort of CRM to help manage the task of customer care. Even small businesses with very few clients should use something to track its customers. I’m not going to endorse any CRM’s in this post, but you need to get one or even manage your own on a spreadsheet and here is why:
- Keeps you Organized – When was the last time you contacted Joe? When did Sue last make a purchase? Using a CRM helps you keep track of what customers are doing and where they are in the sales cycle. You don’t have to spam messages out to customers if you know more about their purchasing habits.
- It is a Force Multiplier – I track over 200 business clients and it takes me only 5 minutes a day to manage all of them. With a good CRM system it is easy to keep track of far more than that. Instead of poring over records and hoping I didn’t miss someone my time is used much more efficiently and I can do the job of several people who don’t use CRM’s. This simultaneously boosts my sales and reduces my employer’s expenses. Win-win!
- It Boosts Sales – Which is ultimately the goal of every business. The main boost I see is from customer satisfaction. I know when I talked to each client and what we talked about. When I recall that information and use it a month later the customer feels better cared for and is better cared for. They know I am on their team and trying to help them out. Even if they don’t buy from me now, they will remember me down the road when it is time for them to buy. The other way it boosts sales is in a CRM’s predictive power. Our CRM sees an increase in Youth Camps purchasing our service, we know who we should be targeting and where the highest quality sales leads are.
- Makes for a Better Customer Experience – Especially when you have a large team sharing the responsibilities of the client base. Each customer doesn’t have to explain the history of their account every time they call in. A well run CRM will have that information available for the person they contact. Even better is that the management team can see customers that might be having a bad experience and proactively reach out to them potentially gaining better customer loyalty. The customer appreciates when you know what is going on with their account without them having to repeat themselves every time.
So what are you waiting for? Go get a CRM service. Your customers, sales team and customer support will thank you.
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