Question: What’s the best way to increase brand awareness and expand your business? Things such as boost investment and cutting costs spring to mind, but they aren’t the answer. If you want to get people talking, it’s all about the level of service they receive. The customer experience adds value and makes the company memorable which means they’re likely to use the service again in the future. Improve the quality of customer service and everything will fall into line.
Unfortunately, lots of businesses don’t have a shopper-centric approach that rewards them for choosing your brand. Regardless of the interaction, whether it’s positive or negative, everybody should be accommodated. And, it needs to be more than picking up a phone and speaking to them in a boring, monotonous tone. A contact number or a reply to an email is the least they expect in this day and age.
So, the next question is: how should you try and improve the experience to retain their custom and get them to spread the word? There are plenty of options on the table, and you need to include as many of them as possible, but the following are essential. Here are the six tricks of the trade that shoppers never forget.
Make Sure They Understand
Although it should be self-explanatory, there are times when customers may not understand. However, they may not ask you to explain directly. Instead, they’ll decide in their head as to what the offer or promotion means and head to the checkout. Then, when they don’t receive what they believe to be right, shoppers feel short changed and begin to get angry.
You need to make sure they understand what is on offer to ensure there aren’t any disagreements. After all, 25% off isn’t the same as 25% more product or service. Of course, nobody likes it when they are patronized or treated like a child, so you mustn’t be condescending and state the obvious. Instead, when there is a query, explain succinctly and don’t use jargon. End the conversation by using phrases such as “I hope that clears things up” to give them the opportunity to raise new questions.
Signage is also important. Always confirm that the sign spells out the promotion and there isn’t any confusion. For example, a buy-2-get-1-free offer grabs people’s attention and is concise and to the point. Complications lead to conflict which is why you need to avoid confusion at all costs.
Let Technology Share The Burden
In a society where technology is ever-present, it’s criminal not to use it for the benefit of your customers. First of all, they expect it to be included; that’s how common advanced tools are nowadays. Think of a medical practice. A patient would expect to have access to an ultrasound system in the same way to anticipate a consultation with a doctor. When they don’t get these things, they lose trust and contemplate using another service.
Whether you’re in the medical industry or not, the same rules apply. Plus, the right equipment can take the pressure off your shoulders and make life easier. Without a chatbot on your website, it’s almost impossible to answer questions 24 hours a day. The site may be live but your employees and technicians have to go to sleep. Artificial intelligence systems are different and that’s why they are incredibly useful. As well as chatbots, always include video calling software so that they can speak to face-to-face from a remote location. This allows them accessibility without having to deal with annoying automated systems.
Considering 44% of people say that answering questions in a live environment is important, you’d be silly to miss out on the benefits of Skype. Through co-browsing and split-screening, companies can help their less tech-savvy customers too.
Grow A Thick Skin
Companies hate bad feedback because it’s difficult to sit and listen to it without developing an emotional reaction. People slate the thing you created and it’s frustrating to hear it without offering a rebuttal. Of course, customers don’t care about what you have to say – all they want is to vent. And, you should give them the opportunity.
Remember that part of the customer experience is to accept blame when you’ve done something wrong. Even if it was tricky to avoid, the buck stops with you and shoppers have respect for businesses that can accept this fact. Although it may seem as if it’s a loss, a certain level of empathy and lack of pride go a long way in the industry.
There is a second consideration to consider: growth. It’s easy to tweak things and work hard on developing your service when the feedback is positive. Nothing is as simple as listening to glowing reviews. However, the real reflection of the brand is the negative stuff where shoppers rip into the service. If you’re able to harness this opinion and use it to improve, the chances are you’ll be on the right track.
Nearly four-fifths of leads aren’t followed up, and that isn’t a typo. According to research, 80% of leads are ignored for a variety of reasons from forgetting to not knowing how to proceed. As well as the fact you’re leaving money on the table, this figure should shock you because it means you’re overlooking a huge chunk of your base.
You want to make customers feel as special as possible as this is when they invest in brands. While negging works for some pick-up artists, it isn’t a savvy move in the customer service world. Rather than pique their curiosity it will make them think “screw you” and move onto the next provider. After all, there are thousands of companies vying for their affection. Therefore, the first thing you should do to make them feel welcome is to follow up with them. All it takes is a phone call or an email to touch base and cement their interest.
The way to take it one step further is to use follow up with shoppers once a problem has been solved. Far too often, reps do something good or bad and don’t ask for feedback. Fixing an issue and then asking the persons involved if they are happy with the resolution shows you care enough not to try and sweep it under the carpet. You’re taking responsibility for their sake, which is a hell of a way to go the extra mile.
But Don’t Be Intrusive
You need feedback to develop a better service, yet people hate cold calls and random text messages. In this day and age of big data, the average person doesn’t want to be disturbed because it’s a massive turn-off. For the company, it’s a huge dilemma as you never want to annoy your base but you need the information. So, what are your options?
Thankfully, there are lots of them at your disposal, starting with an email. Electronic mail isn’t as intrusive as a phone call as it isn’t an urgent nature. It pops up in their inbox and they read it at their leisure, and that isn’t pushy. A tip: make sure it isn’t impersonal or else it will feel too robotic. Shoppers want to feel wanted, which is why emails need to include their name and content that isn’t copied and pasted.
On top of that, it’s imperative to give them a reason to leave feedback. Unfortunately, not everyone has enough time to do your business a favor, but they will if they get something in return. Therefore, you may want to offer an incentive for filling in a questionnaire or completing a survey to get on their good side. Also, be sure not to add any pressure. Replies happen when there is an incentive yet the feedback part isn’t aggressively pushed.
Solve A Problem The First Time
While you would imagine that this happens the majority of the time, the reality is different. Only 22% of businesses can fix an issue without redirecting a customer to another advisor. As well as wasting time, this means more than three-quarters of firms take two attempts to solve a problem and it reflects poorly on the company.
Shoppers expect their request to be completed quickly and efficiently, which is where training comes into play. Employees who aren’t able to handle queries let down the brand and don’t offer a high level of customer of service. Everyone needs constant communication and role-playing to sharpen their skills and to provide them with new ones.
Also, the place people are directed to is important. Redirecting an individual to another unit is avoidable if they get to the right advisor in the beginning. That means asking them about their issue and funneling them through to the people with expertise in the area. Or, you can ensure everyone can handle every possible scenario.