Tuesday, January 25, 2011

APPRECIATE CONTACT WITH CUSTOMERS



If I have a question for a company, I first Google it to check whether I can find the answer myself. When that doesn’t help, I want to contact the company directly.
So, first I check out their website. Most of them do not provide any telephone number. This means that I have to send an email to their info@....... address. And this is where everything stops. I would say that in 99% of the cases there is no response at all.

What does this imply?
Clearly that they are not open to their lifeline, which is to stay -ongoing- in direct contact with prospects and customers. Apparently they are so busy, internally that they have no time at all to talk with customers. This is what I notice a lot. Companies are so focused on their own operation that they forget who pay the bills.

This is an easy way to differentiate yourself: encourage employees to have contact with prospects and customers, by all means (phone, mail, chat). The only way to build relationships is to have conversations. Both employees and customers will appreciate it and learn at the same time.

Are you encouraging customer contacts?



GROW YOUR PEOPLE, GROW YOUR BUSINESS!


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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

HAPPY EMPLOYEES CREATE HAPPY CUSTOMERS


HAPPY EMPLOYEES CREATE HAPPY CUSTOMERS

These days people are not jealous when you say that you are a customer service representative. That job is a real life example of being between a rock and a hardplace.
On one side they are bombarded with questions and complaints from customers (and more and more via social media) and on the other side their bosses are only focussing on cost cutting.
Here (http://tcrn.ch/fYGofi) is an article about an AT&T repr who has just been squeezed too much.


What can be done about this?
  1. Understand that a happy customer is the lifeblood of your business.
  2. Unhappy customers will most likeley leave and they will also inform friends about their bad experience.
  3. Happy customers will buy new products/services from you and they will also tell friends.
  4. Customer Service repr’s are the KEY interface between your company and its customers.
  5. Only happy employees can deliver great service.
  6. Make your Customer Service Repr’s (systematically) feel valued.
  7. Stipulate the importance of Customer Service to other functions who interact with customers (e.g. Finance; IT; Secetaries).


The steps are simple, but it requires a major shift in the attitude of senior management.  Have a look at the success of Zappos and you will understand what the benfits are.



GROW YOUR PEOPLE, GROW YOUR BUSINESS!


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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

NAME YOUR CUSTOMER



In his book ‘How to win friends and influence people’ Dale Carnegie said this:
“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language”.

Yesterday a friend told me this story. After one year since his last visit, he did go to a golf course. And he was very pleasantly surprised that the manager still knew his name.
And worth of mouth made him share his experience with a group of his friends.

So, this relative easy task of remembering the name of your customer has a huge spin-off!
Do you know their names?



GROW YOUR PEOPLE, GROW YOUR BUSINESS!


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Thursday, January 6, 2011

BE ON MAIN STREET, LOCAL AND DIGITAL



Yesterday I had to pick up my new glasses from a quality optician in Baarn. They are based in the main shopping street of the town. So, that is an excellent location.
Also the products and the services, which they offer, are really outstanding.

But, there is always a ‘but’. The owner mentioned that he is now facing competition from web shops that offer contact lenses and fluids. He himself does have a site, which is more like a basic flyer type of site (web 1.0).
So, I suggested that he really needs an online strategy as well. This strategy should encompass a more inviting and interactive site (web 2.0), an online shop and active participation in social media.

I did tell him that social networks are (or are becoming) the digital equivalent of the main street. And you have to be present where your customer and your prospects are. You cannot rely forever on the business of some longstanding (elder) customers.

Especially with shops, they say that the success is determined by three factors: location, location and location. This is also valid for your online presence!

So, how do you make sure that your business remains on main street (local AND digital)?



GROW YOUR PEOPLE, GROW YOUR BUSINESS!


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