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Copyright © 2006 CreativeXchange Marketing www.creativexchangemarketing.com A Sure Fire Way to Acquire & Retain Customers
Copyright © 2006 CreativeXchange Marketing www.creativexchangemarketing.com Percent of Control over Lost Customers 96% of lost customers are controllable –1% die –3% move away –5% relationships –9% competitor –14% dissatisfaction with product or service –68% customer service Who is responsible for customer service?
Copyright © 2006 CreativeXchange Marketing www.creativexchangemarketing.com The Customer Transaction Cycle Customer Service Marketing Sales Fulfillment Billing “ Customer service is not a department – it is an attitude.”
Copyright © 2006 CreativeXchange Marketing www.creativexchangemarketing.com Word of Mouth Advertising 96% of unhappy customers never let you know that they are unhappy –4% of unhappy customers will call Just the tip of the iceberg! –52% don’t tell anyone, they just go away. –44% will tell someone else, but won’t tell you. 13% of these customers tell 20 or more people. The average person will tell 10 other people. Internet reviews and social media can have far more reach! Companies who consistently deliver exceptional customer service can often spend half the money in marketing and have twice the profitability as a company who does not It is 6-7 times more expensive to gain a new customer than it is to retain an existing one. Source: Bain & Co. study in the Harvard Business Review
Copyright © 2006 CreativeXchange Marketing www.creativexchangemarketing.com Referrals & Reviews Customer referrals are one of the most powerful selling and marketing tools available, yet so many salespeople never ask for referrals The best source of new business is a referral from a satisfied customer – much higher closing ratio, shorter sales cycle and higher retention 71% of online shoppers read reviews before buying Source: http://www.inc.com/guides/2010/08/how-to-get-customer-referrals.html
Copyright © 2006 CreativeXchange Marketing www.creativexchangemarketing.com Value of a Lifetime Customer The lifetime value of a customer is the revenue the customer generates over their life cycle –Simple Equation Initial Sale + (Estimated average ongoing sale X’s how many times a year they will buy X’s the number of years they will do business with you) Keep in mind it is 6-7 times more costly to attain a new customer than it is to retain an existing one.
Copyright © 2006 CreativeXchange Marketing www.creativexchangemarketing.com Where to Begin Make exceptional customer service a culture Benchmark your service – mystery shopper calls and web inquiries Customize and provide staff training Evaluate effects – more mystery shopper calls and web inquiries Re-train when necessary Ongoing monitoring – there should not be an end
Copyright © 2006 CreativeXchange Marketing www.creativexchangemarketing.com Make it a Culture Both with internal and external customers Start from the top down Lead by example Under promise/over deliver Empower staff & make everyone accountable
Copyright © 2006 CreativeXchange Marketing www.creativexchangemarketing.com Benchmark Your Service Look for Red Flags Perform a customer satisfaction survey –Low client retention or repeat business Mystery shop your company –Phone –Web inquiry –Test phone trees broken phone trees are a customer pet peeve! –Mystery shop virtual assistants Ask staff –Should have input – if not Develop your training from the needs identified
Copyright © 2006 CreativeXchange Marketing www.creativexchangemarketing.com Exceptional Customer Service Qualities & Skills Good attitude Knowledgeable Good communicator Good telephone etiquette Good email etiquette Good listener Good follow up and follow through Courteous & polite Empathetic Patient Professional Enthusiastic Going the extra mile Defuse angry customers Problem solve
Copyright © 2006 CreativeXchange Marketing www.creativexchangemarketing.com Telephone Etiquette Do not use your voice mail to screen calls. Answer within 2-3 rings. Greet caller, identify your company/department and provide your first name. Speak directly into the mouthpiece and speak slowly and clearly. Do not eat or chew gum while on the phone. Get the customer’s name and use it at least once during the conversation. When others are on the phone keep background noise to a minimum. Never try to talk to someone who is on the phone with a customer. Never lay the receiver on the desk without putting the customer on hold. If you are a loud talker, lower your voice. Soft talkers need to speak up. Always ask for permission to place someone on speaker phone.
Copyright © 2006 CreativeXchange Marketing www.creativexchangemarketing.com Telephone Etiquette Placing Callers on Hold Always push the hold button before placing the handset down and don’t put the handset in the cradle until you have pushed the hold button. Ask permission to place callers on hold; wait for their response. If they can’t, offer to take a message to call them back or transfer to another party. Never let a caller be on hold for more than 30-45 seconds without checking back with them. If you know you will be a while on the phone yet, ask them if they want to continue to hold or should you call them back. When taking a customer off hold, identify yourself again and thank your customer for holding. Apologize if it was a long hold time. Don’t say –“Sorry you had to hold so long, there are only four of us working today...” Do say –“Thank you for holding. This is ___. I’m sorry you had to wait so long. How may I help you?”
Copyright © 2006 CreativeXchange Marketing www.creativexchangemarketing.com Telephone Etiquette Transferring Calls/Taking Messages Tell the customer why you are transferring them. Ask for permission to transfer. Tell your customer who you are transferring them to, the department, position and direct number. Make sure the person you are transferring the customer to is available to take the call. Give them the caller’s name and any other information that is important. If possible, try to prevent the caller from having to repeat their self. If voicemail picks up, return to the caller; let them know that no one answered at this time. Offer to take a message and have someone call them back. Fill out telephone message forms completely. Include all important information so that the customer does not have to repeat their whole story again. Deliver messages promptly.
Copyright © 2006 CreativeXchange Marketing www.creativexchangemarketing.com Telephone Etiquette Voice Mail Use a professional, sincere greeting on your voice mail. It should contain the following: 1.Your first & last name, position or department and organization 2.Information about your availability 3.What to do to leave a message 4.What to do if they need immediate assistance (if this is an option) 5.How to bypass the message in the future (if this is an option) 6.Thank them for calling
Copyright © 2006 CreativeXchange Marketing www.creativexchangemarketing.com Telephone Etiquette Voice Mail Update your voice mail if you are going to be out of the office and when you return. Change your voice mail to reflect absences. Check your messages as often as possible – whenever returning to your desk. Always return voice mail messages the same business day if at all possible, but no later than 24 hours after the all was originally placed. When leaving a message, state your name, organization, date and time of call and a detailed message (without rambling), including your phone number. Repeat your name and number slowly. Even if you have given the recipient your number before, leave it again. They may be at a remote location without your phone number when checking their messages. Avoid playing phone tag. Tell the caller when you can best be reached. If someone has reached you by mistake and left you a message, call them back and tell them the proper person to call. Don’t ignore messages left for you by mistake!
Copyright © 2006 CreativeXchange Marketing www.creativexchangemarketing.com E-mail Etiquette Have and inform your staff of your organization’s email policy. Have a closing for your e-mail and use a signature with your first and last name and phone number. You can have an internal signature and an external signature. Check your spam or junk mail – could be a random web inquiry there! Return e-mail messages the same business day if at all possible, but no later than 24 hours from the time of the e-mail. Hit “reply” OR “reply all” to messages you receive. Do not compose a new one. Do not use CAPITAL letters in e-mails. This conveys shouting or yelling. Do not use an unfriendly tone. Be polite. When writing e-mails be brief, but do not leave out necessary background information. Re-read what you have written and edit yourself.
Copyright © 2006 CreativeXchange Marketing www.creativexchangemarketing.com E-mail Etiquette Read e-mails thoroughly and answer all questions posed in the e-mail. Try to foresee other questions and answer them. Don’t respond without answering all questions. Some issues are not meant for e-mails (personnel, financials, etc.) Do not use work e-mail for personal use. Use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation. Address the person(s) you are sending the e-mail to; use a greeting. Be careful in using the following: High priority, cc, abbreviations and emoticons. Have a relevant subject line and a clear request to your email. Always acknowledge the receipt of an e-mail even if it doesn’t require a reply. Don’t forward jokes, virus hoaxes or chain letters.
Copyright © 2006 CreativeXchange Marketing www.creativexchangemarketing.com Active Listening Active Listening – means to listen to a customer in a way that will improve each others understanding of the situation and then responding accordingly. Listening attentively; not allowing distractions to interfere; focusing all your attention on the speaker; not formulating your response as if the customer was an opponent. Don’t interrupt! Interpret the speaker’s words by repeating and clarifying for understanding. Ask good questions to identify needs and then provide information to the customer. This is a great technique for angry customers.
Copyright © 2006 CreativeXchange Marketing www.creativexchangemarketing.com Dealing with Upset Customers What makes customers angry? –On hold too long/not asked –Being told to calm down –Repeating story –Interrupting/not listening –Poor quality –Phone trees that don’t work –Speaker phone –Phone tag –Poor follow up/broken promises –Apathetic staff –Confusing invoices, rates, contracts –No prompt return of calls or e-mails Hostility Curve Supportive Comments Problem Solved –No response to web inquiry/web contact forms that don’t work –Transferred to wrong department/ voice mail/disconnected –Not answering all questions in e-mails
Copyright © 2006 CreativeXchange Marketing www.creativexchangemarketing.com Follow Up Many sales or customers can be lost due to lack of follow up. Have a follow up plan. (When, Who and How) Let the customer know what follow up to expect and who will be doing the follow up. If a person other than yourself is doing the follow up, give the customer your name and phone number in case it doesn’t happen. Keep your promises in regards to follow up. (Remember under promise/over deliver) Call back when you stated you would, even if you don’t have an answer yet. Let the customer know you are still working on the situation and ask to call back at another time. Keep appointments and be on time. If you are going to be late, call as soon as you know you will be late. Give the customer as much notice as possible.
Copyright © 2006 CreativeXchange Marketing www.creativexchangemarketing.com Only a Sampling Today’s training was an abbreviated training and sample of topics we cover in our 4 hour workshops. Topics not covered include: –Communication skills including tone of voice, use of positive language vs. negative language, body language and personal appearance and hygiene –How to problem solve, offer solutions and show empathy –Closing the call –How to deal with the talkative caller –How to deal problem calls –How to manage customer’s expectations http://www.thevoicecst.com/public-workshops/VoiceCST.com – download or have the presentation emailed to you. Beth Boen 303-981-1541 – beth@TheVoiceCST.com
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