By Arthur James, Client Thought Leader – Sphere Marketer & Analytics
Do you think this is just an interesting “slogan” – or do you truly believe “businesses are built upon relationships and not technology?”
There is no doubt technology can help us become more productive, but the truth is our relationships with one another is more important to a company’s success and even more so with your personal success.
While there are many relationships to manage, some internal (boss, peers, subordinates) and some external (suppliers, customers and marketers). In this article we’re going to focus on your customer. However, you should know that your relationship with your customers really begins with your relationships within your organization – the policies and procedures you put in place to address how you handle customer issues.
I’ve looked at several surveys from 2013 to 2016 and each tells the same story:
• 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers
• 62% of consumers switched service providers due to poor customer service experiences.
• A 5% improvement in customer satisfaction can increase profits anywhere from 25% to 125%!
• Your company will spend 5 times more to find a new customer than to keep the customer you have.
• 70% of customers will do business with you again if you resolve their complaints.
• A typical business will lose 20% of its customers because of poor customer relations.
As you can see your relationship with your customer either can be costly or profitable – but “what you do and how you do it” are the keys to your business and personal success or failure. There are hundreds of books and thousands of articles about the proper ways to “deliver” effective customer service.
What’s most interesting is the fact it’s laid out for every business exactly what needs to be done and “how to do it” – yet there are so few companies doing it properly.
What I am sharing with you is very simple to follow and very simple to implement. It all begins with your policies and procedures – “Do they make sense?”
I’m not speaking about dollar cents, although this will make cents for you in the longterm. The policies you put in place must come from you being the customer within your own organization.
One of the first things to do is look at your own data regarding the issues people call about and the costs associated with repairing or replacing product. What is your overall dollar cost? It means that if you called your company about a product or service how would you be treated from the second you say “Hello.”
Points to consider:
Are you evaluating your customer service center by being the customer – to see how easy or difficult it is to resolve?
Are you friendly and have a smile on your face when you answer the phone?
• Do you listen intently to what the customer is asking?
• Do you “Repeat back to the customer” their questions – so it is clear you both understand what the customer requires?
• Do you allow customer service some flexibility in finding a solution for that customer quickly and easily without going to a manager?
• Have you listed the most common issues and have an easy plan to get it resolved in a few minutes?
• Are you really looking for solutions or are you just looking to see what you can get away with?
• Are you making it easy for your customer to reach you by providing phone numbers, email, and a chat center on your website?
When staffing or developing customer service policies are you taking these statistics into consideration?
• 71% of visitors expect help within five minutes.
• 70% of buying experience is based upon”How the customer feels they’re treated.”
• 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience.
• 83% of consumers require some degree of customer support while making an online purchase.
And here are the issues you really, really need to look at and ask, “Why is this happening?”
• 91% have to contact a company multiple times for the same reason.
• 90% are put on hold for a long time.
• 89% say they have to repeat their issue to multiple representatives.
These numbers are staggering and costing you sometimes more than you can calculate and more than the cost of the product or service. The only way to be profitable, have less stress and have happy, satisfied customers and staff is to have the right policies and procedures in place.
Talk to us, we actually answer the phone and can put you on the right track quickly.
Arthur James, Client Thought Leader, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.spheremarketer.com