Is it Time To Refocus On Your Customer Service To Win More Sales?
I am pleased to see some companies realising that people like to deal with real people rather than automated voicemail messages. Westpac and NRMA are advertising that they have returned to having live people to answer their phones rather than the recorded message like “Press 1 for this and 2 for that etc.”
The worst telephone customer service experience ever is provided by Vodafone as far as I am concerned. When you ring them, they have the audacity to say that you will be answered by a live person called Lara. When you ring the Vodafone customer service number, you are indeed answered by Lara – and Lara is an automated voice . She gives you multiple choices of topics to choose (this goes on an on) and it could take 4 or 5 minutes to get through to the department you want. Then you get a recorded message telling you the wait time to be answered will be approximately 30 minutes. Unbelievable! I have had to do this several times because they keep cutting off my remote internet service, and I am fed up having to spend hours on the phone each time to get the problem sorted. . I tried to end my contract with them as I simply did not want to deal with them anymore.Their billing department informed me that I would still have to pay for the remaining 6 months or I would be taken to court for breaking the contract. Call this telephone number 1300 650 145 to hear how real this is and please make sure you never have this sort of customer service in your company. No wonder Vodafone has a class action against them. Incidentally I have tried emailing my complaint, to which I get a reply that they will reply in 5 days Then I got a reply with a number of frequently asked questions which did not answer my issue at all. Again, unbelievable! I had to start the complaint process all over again. Clearly Vodafone are avoiding speaking to customers and losing them in droves.
If you do have a large volume of calls, at least have a voicemail messaging system offering to call the customer back within an hour.
For 12 tips on how to improve your customer service
Remember that customer loyalty is always based on your service rather than some great offer you have for 24 hours. I am thinking of the cafe I go to for a takeaway coffee for myself and my partner on the days I am in the office. I have a cafe round the corner and one I have to drive to, 3 minutes down the road. The reason I go to the cafe furthest away is that the girl who makes the coffee there is always happy, friendly and chatty. She makes the coffee with the utmost care and attention to detail and always puts a smiley face picture on the coffee for my partner with a little note like “Have a great day Simon”. or a similar message. The coffee round the corner is just as good but somehow, my experience of fetching the coffees is much more fun at the other place so I keep going there.
So firstly, do you know why your customers keep coming back to you?. Once you know this, you will know how you can create a better customer experience for your customer than your competition can this year?
Focusing on your customer service will improve sales. Here are 12 ideas for improving your customer service in 2011:-
1. Refer business to your customers whenever you can. It shows you are thinking about them and their business will come back to you over and over again. Try to think of one customer a day to whom you could refer another one of your customers.
2. Always do what you say you are going to do . For example if you say you are going to call back tomorrow, make sure you do. It will give you credibility and your customer will trust you.
3. Call back people promptly when they leave you a message. It makes them feel important.
4. Call back web enquiries within 10 – 30 minutes while they are still hot.
5. Reply to emails promptly even if they do not seem to need a reply. That way the customer is not wondering whether you got it or not. It might only need “Thank You”.
6. Surprise your customer by finding a small gift you could send them. It could be a little quote book or even a “thank you” card. If you know they have a child, send them a little toy.
7. Email your customers a positive quote for the day occasionally.
8. Ask your customers how they think you could make your service better.
9. Stop selling on the first call and focus on building a relationship with the prospect.
10. When a customer rings you with something they want, ask a question to find out what problem they are trying to solve with this request. You may well be able to offer them something that would fit their needs better.
11. Become more professional at sales by listening to our CD set as you travel ‘How to Triple your Sales by Phone” -just $297 for 4 hours of training. (See Special Offer till Feb 28 below)
Available at www.telesalestraining.com.au/telesales-cds.html
12. Forward on any of these sales tips newsletters that are relevant to your customers. They will appreciate them.
Your Sales Coach