What are some key tips for customer satisfaction?
I am planning to start a customer support outsourcing company. I want to know a few points on how to satisfy the customers across the world.
Seems like you two areas of satisfaction to be concerned with: your clients and their customers.
CLIENTS (you've probably already figured this out already but just in case...)
1. As mentioned previously, you'll need to demonstrate subject matter competence. NOTE: This argues for a narrow focus to start with
2. Language can be a limiting factor - be careful of where client's customers' reside and your capability to service them properly.
3. You'll need well-crafted SLAs (Service Level Agreements) in order to be considered.
4. When taking on work make sure client processes and procedures are documented and agreed to. If you don't know what client expectations are......
5. The fundamental question is: why would potential clients purchase from you as opposed to others, i.e. the value proposition. If you haven't researched competitors yet, I'd do a "mystery shopper" and solicit proposals.
1. Never forget that every single one of those customers is putting food on the table of your employees and allowing you to be in business. EVERY transaction is a new performance... a brand new chance to WOW the customer and win them over for your client.
2. Put a smile on your face. It will transfer to your tone.
3. Know your stuff. When you're solid on your knowledge you can always do what's right for the customer.
4. Be Accurate with your information. Never guess. "Let me research and find that out for you is always better than a guess or I don't know".
5. Follow up and do what you say you're going to do ... even if you don't know anything yet... if you said you would call back and give them an update, call and tell them you're still working on it.
6. Own it. From the very beginning to the very end, the customer should feel confident that they've got the right person handling their issue. Resolve the customer's issue. Even if it's not within your control. That may mean giving them the number of whatever grievance process they have to follow with the client or whoever it may be.
7. Treat them like they were/are the most important thing that you are doing... because they are. Remember, you need to eat.
8. Ask for feedback, from everyone. Address issues. Reward performance.
9. Put processes in place for continuous improvement.
10. COMMUNICATE - with everyone on anything not confidential or business critical. It builds engagement, loyalty, retention...
Make few promises and deliver more than what was promised.
Make sure you clients know you care.
Take an interest in them and be sincere. No one likes a phony.
Show them respect.
Return their calls timely.
You are creating a relationship. Don't treat them like a customer, they are clients.
Make sure they understand your value proposition. What makes you different or better.
Know your client. What they like and don't like. Ask!
Treat them the way you would like to be treated.
Know their customs, if they are not from your culture.
Survey your clients and make changes when needed.
If you do these things it is difficult to disappoint them.
John Stanojev President
Capital Ins. & Inv. Planning, LLC
The key to working effectively with people is to move beyond communicating by connecting with those you are serving. As John Maxwell Certified Leadership coach, trainer, and speaker, one of our most popular learning systems is based on one of John's most popular books, "Everyone Communicates, Few Connect." I highly recommend reading ECFC. It will help you increase your influence in all relationships, both personal and professional.
I'll share some of the principles that John discusses in his book.
Everyone talks. Everyone communicate. But few connect. Those who do connect take their relationships, their work, and their lives to another level.
In ECFC, John discusses 5 connecting principles and 5 connecting practices.
5 Connecting Principles:
1. "Connecting influences your influence in every situation." People are people no matter where or when you find them. Acts of servanthood have a resounding impact that live longer than words. Ask how you can help. Then, follow through.
2. "Connecting is all about others." Zig Ziglar said it best, "If you will first help people get what they want, they will help you get what you want." To add value to others, one must first value others.
3. "Connecting goes beyond words." More than 90% of the impressions we often convey has nothing to do with what we actually say. Our influence comes from how we make others feel.
4. "Connecting always requires energy." The four unpardonable sins of a communicator: being unprepared, uncommitted, uninteresting, and being uncomfortable. You can't fake energy, and you can't fake connection.
5. "Connecting is more skill than natural talent." Charlie Wetzel says, "Great communicators possess great confidence and use humor to connect with others."
5 Connecting Practices:
1. "Connectors connect on common ground." The practice above all others that opens the door to connection with others - is to look for common ground. It's difficult to find common ground when the only person you're focused on is yourself.
2. "Connectors do the difficult work of keeping it simple." Albert Einstein said it best, "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it enough." It takes great effort to make any kind of communication concise, precise, and impacting. All good connectors get to the point before the listeners start asking, "What's the point?"
3. "Connectors create an experience everyone enjoys." People don't remember what we think is important. They remember what they think is important. People pay attention when something is said that connects with something they desire.
4. "Connectors inspire people." What people know + What people see + What people feel = Inspiration. People need to know you're on their side. People need to know that you understand and are focused on them.
5. "Connectors live what they communicate." Credibility is currency for connectors. With it, they are solvent; without it, they are bankrupt. When you make a commitment you create hope. When you keep a commitment, you build trust.
Great question Softhia ;-)
After many years contributing within the customer satisfaction realm, Including Chairing the Annual Conference of the International Customer Service Association (3 times), I've come to one - and only one - factor that matters. Ever.
And readers here who have read my other posts and profile know I am consistent on this one factor. Since 1976 I have guaranteed my results in writing and it will work 100% for you too, as you start your new venture.
Here it is:
"Be guided by your inner truth to what serves you best."
That's it. And that one strategy will attract to you only those clients who want what you offer, are willing to pay full value and on time. And will refer you to many more clients like them. Nice!
Alternatively, until 8 years ago I too offered (no more) many traditional courses, books and coaching with systems and processes to 'find' clients, each had a focus on changing the 'appearance' of selling and persuading ... which is a limiting belief that necessitates a customer satisfaction strategy. Silly loop isn't it?
Let me know how I can be of further service now.
PS I recall years back, XEROX (when it existed as a world-class company) offered a training course to its customers on 'How to be a good XEROX customer'. Really! I had opportunity to co-facilitate segments.
Read and watch as much Tom Peters as you can. He has devoted his life to discovering how the best companies in the world get their stellar results. He found one reason is that they Will Do Whatever it Takes to Make the Customer Happy. They also do anything they can to make their employees happy.
So, it's no more complicated than that. Listen to what would make the customer happy and then do whatever it takes to do it. I think the "listening" part is the hardest -- "Listening" and deeply believing the customer is being truthful and not trying to get something for nothing or hustle you; "Listening" to find out what the customer really wants.
(The number of customers trying to hustle you is far, far, far smaller than the honest customers who will tell all their friends to use your company because you're awesome)
There are many factors to consider, but here are just a few tips to consider that may smooth the way:
-Ensuring you have a solid understanding of what your client's needs are
-Set expectations clearly and up-front accurately to save aggravation later
-Be transparent - client's don't expect perfection, but they do expect honesty
-Keep in regular contact with prospective and current clients
-Be fair to your client and also yourself
-If you are doing business internationally - take into account cultural differences and be respectful and patient
-Consider hiring professionals that is versed in compliance, legal, financial and other related issues in your industry/business model so you can focus on what you do best
-Make sure your staff understand, share and act on your vision for the level of customer service you plan to offer clients
It's not a comprehensive list but hopefully some of this helps
Probably the biggest tip one can offer is to exceed the customers expectations when giving service. This is virtually guaranteed to give customer satisfaction, gain a customer for life and reduce churn rates.
Giving or offering just that little bit more than the customer has asked for or is expecting. Making the customer feel important. Not just 'going through the motions' but really feeling empathy WITH the customer and talking to each customer as if it was the first customer of the day, even if it was the 94th.
Just a couple of tips.
I will try to keep this short... The very first thing is to train your customers exactly what to expect from your service or product. If you do not let them know exactly what to expect, they will all have different expectations that you can never satisfy. Once you train them exactly what to expect, then give them more than you promised, and be consistant about it. No one likes getting a different experience every time they buy a certain product or service.
In order to provide service to global customers, it is essential that your front line staff are well trained and sensitized to cultural variations.
It will be prudent to invest in cross cultural sensitization training and hiring front line staff who are intelligent enough to understand the unsaid expectations of customers.
Offering a service more than the expectations of customers is the key to managing their satisfaction. Thus, do not promise more than what you can offer, but offer more than what customers expect.
Service blueprinting is essential. Plan your service process to identify the key points of customer access and meticulously identify all possible gaps/challenges/issues and proactively deal with those.
All the best!
Customers primarily need a listening solution provider. Your team should not be so sure to jump to a solution before they understand the actual problem.
Customers are also satisfied when they know they are dealing with someone who has the information that will get them to a solution. Please ensure that your team of customer support is well informed on the products/ services you intend to support.
Your team should also build warmth in their voices as they speak to customers. One's voice has a direct impact on how they deal with the customer's problem. A welcoming voice will invite more details from the customer. A voice that projects sympathy or empathy will cause the customer to realise that their problem is understood and will be dealt with
Please let me know if this is helpful
Tell the truth, don't embellish what your business can do.
Be reliable, do what you say and say what you do.
Give your customers more in use value than the cash you bring in.
Maintain a servants heart at all times. No customers = No business.
Be an excellent timekeeper. Be on time,deliver on time,because the one item people value more than any other is their time. Don't waste people's time,they will start to resent you for this and it will hurt your bottom line.
Most of all gain the trust of your clients and customers.
To your success Sofhia.
Make sure you have an easy method of assessing satisfaction. Instead of a long list of questions, a study published in HBJ determined a one question survey was 1) most apt to get responses from customers 2) identify the most crucial information. The question: "Would you recommend our company to others?
There are a series of metrics involved that allow you to determine which way your company is going with regard to customer satisfaction, who to follow-up with and how, when to follow-up, etc.
Focusing on customer satisfaction is short-sighted. You should focus on the bigger picture which is customer retention. When you focus on that, everything changes because you are not trying to satisfy them on one aspect, you are working to keep their trust in every way that your company touches them.
A satisfied customer will still leave you. A customer who you've built a strong relationship with will work with you through difficult times.
It's important to have intelligent, well-trained, and resourceful staff members who feel a vested interest in the success of your company. Offer your workers the ability to move up in the company based on performance. Offer employees bonuses for exceptional job performance and regularly let your staff know how much they mean to the success of your business. Employees who feel valued deliver exceptional work. In addition, hire staff who can speak the foreign languages of your clients around the globe.
The best tip I can give you is to ASK THE CUSTOMER what they like and more importantly what the DON'T like about the product or service.
To often I have witnessed the creation of customer satisfaction measure that the business or company have Assumed will give their clients/customers better satisfaction but in vain since they have targeted the wrong area. Remember the management adage that ASSUME makes an ASS/U/ME.
Build into any pitch the fact that you will be conducting a customer satisfaction survey as the starting point before you go away and design the programme.
Good luck in your venture.
Simple identify the need by asking questions, demonstrate the features and benefits that satisfy the need, if the customer does not simply buy have prepared closing strategies . If objections are raised revert to feature and benefit statements and as a last effort objection minimisation strategies.
Understanding each customer's specific needs & working on addressing the same. Keeping the customer informed of the progress. Communication is the key.
Customers need the best attention because you wholeheartedly need their support. To maintain cordiality, trust, business ethics, it is essential that the flow from every employee should be targetted to his requirement. Planning and scheduling should be immaculately organised without any breach in either productivity or throughput. Employees should be educated to understand the operations well and extend full support to customer's needs. Quality is supreme and no room for being complacent will be desired. On time deliveries are to be followed. Avoiding wip and following jit would help to keep the flow. Swift action for rendering warranty services, and obtaining proper feed back on customer complaints would go a long way in fostering trust and business relationship, Lastly enabling agile response and being flexible to new product requirements would be appreciated. Sincere attempts in being attentive and holding the price line without increase in bottom line expenditure would also help. Be innovative and avoid all non value added activities. Customer will never agree to pay for them
What are you doing to follow up? What methods and technologies are you using to provide customer support? What are you doing to discover what customers really want and how are you helping your clients understand this.