Remove All Barriers
Make it Easy for your Customers to Engage with You and Your Company. Service Companies create loyal customers by helping them solve their problems quickly and easily. Knowing this, we can change the emphasis of your customer service interactions.
The “Customer Service Challenge” is making it easy for your customers and can be liberating, especially for small businesses that may not have “perceived” resources. The “Company Mantra” to exceed customers’ expectations is apt to bring confusion, wasted time and effort, and expensive giveaways. Telling them to “Make It Easy” gives them a better chance at successful customer interaction that is Memorable.
Make It Easy
Remove Barriers. Some ideas:
- Solve the Current Problem and Avoid the Next
- One of the largest cause of excessive customer effort is their need to call back because something wasn’t understood.
- Another Example: Sometimes customers who change their address online call later to order new checks or ask about homeowners’ or renters’ insurance.
- Solution: Direct them to these topics before they leave your “Care” so they WON’T HAVE TO CALL BACK and waste their time.
- Give Your Front-Line “Permission” to Solve the “Emotional” Disconnect
- 24% of the repeat calls stem from emotional disconnects between customers and your Customer Service Representative, 1 for instance, the customer didn’t trust your Service Rep’s information or didn’t like the answer given and had the impression that the “Customer Service” was just hiding behind general (Lazy) company policy. With some simple instruction, your Serivce Front-Line Customer Care can eliminate many interpersonal issues and thereby reduce repeat calls and create Satisfaction = Happiness = Loyalty.
- Grow Your “Self-Service” Capabilities
- Many of your customers already want to do it on their own: 57% of inbound calls came from customers who went to the website first 2 . Despite the desire to have customers turn to the web, companies tend to resist making improvements to their websites assuming only heavy spending and technology upgrades will induce customers to stay there. (when costly upgrades are made, they often prove counterproductive, because companies tend to add complicated, non-relevant and confusing features in an attempt to demonstrate their EGO to their Competitors = STOP IT!.)
- At Ronin Studios, we have found that often a simple “Frequently Asked Questions” will satisfy most common questions and it provides a starting point for conversations or advanced questions. The FAQ section should be updated too = this provides many other opportunities as well that we will address in another article regarding Search Engine Optimization.
- Other Opportunities: Create an online Forum, utilize Customer questions to provide the Topic for a Blog Post, the possibilities are endless.
- Speak Their Language
- Speak Simply and Plainly: I almost forgot this one, especially in the Legal Practice = Most Lawyers, you are GUILTY of this (except for one or two that I know: Robert Nunn, Contract, Transactions and Tax Lawyer and Jamie Daigle, Construction Litigation, Professional Malpractice Lawyer) = Speak in a language that your CUSTOMER is able to understand! If this isn’t clear to you then contact one or both of these individuals or myself and we’ll help you understand.
- Get over Yourself = Do not speak to your Customers in industry specific “Lingo or Jargon” = Speak in plain English = not a language that says “I know more than you do”.
Is Our Message Clear
As a Small Business Owner or Business Leader, we want you to stay ahead of your competition, do something easy and simple with HUGE potential RETURNS; Focus on good Customer Service “Best Practices” that will “reduce your customers’ effort“.
Is a change or “paradigm shift” to your Company’s Culture needed to restructure your customer’s service preferences. Although most companies believe that customers would prefer live phone service to self-service, data shows that customers are indifferent.
This is an important tipping point and probably presages the end of phone-based service as the primary channel for customer service interactions = at least I hope.
For “Visionary” Small Business owners, this is an opportunity to rebuild your Company or Organization around self-service and, in the process, reduce customer effort at the core.