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Customer Acquisition Takes a Back Seat to Old Fashion Customer Service

Monday, December 16, 2013   By Mike Reddy

 

customer service coaching tip
Who has not wanted to throw their phone out the window while frustratingly trying to navigate an automated voice system?

Some may say that we stopped caring about customer service when we started to replace the human jobs with machines.

Recently though, industries have begun to listen to the masses once again.

Backtracking from the technical advances, many big businesses have reignited the value of the human connection and that good old fashioned customer service.

While it will always be an important part of my business coaching programmes to reel in new customers, the majority of your focus should be placed on customer retention.

What’s the best way to retain a customer? Provide them with a top-notch, above the rim, out of this world customer service experience!

Need a crash course? Yeah, we probably all do. Start small…

The work day should never be about punching in and out. True entrepreneurs will be the first to tell you that hard work is a 24/7 job.

Find out when your customers need you most, the times that they value more than others, and look to fill that gap. If that means creating an overnight position to handle the incoming customer needs, then seriously consider it. As a business coach (the Chartered Accountant aspect helps), I always make it a point to get involved in helping run the figures.

Let your personality shine. Real people go home from work to their family, friends, hobbies, and interests. But at work, they tend to shy away from being themselves and bringing their personality to the table. Trust me, I know from my time as a business coach that customers pick up on this!

Encourage support staff to remember the value of a smile, to answer questions with honesty and to provide empathy. Always use names, not account numbers and actively, actually, REALLY listen.

A small dose of “realness’’ goes a long way- a robot can never do this!

If you have to (like, really, really have to) use an automated service on your support line, then make these small adjustments. Stop it with all the choices!

Make the system quick, efficient and to the point, taking the client to a real voice ASAP. Making a client run in circles almost guarantees they will run out the door.

Respect your clients’ time. Get to them as quickly as possible, whether it is on the phone or in person.

Ever been victim to the ‘service window’ trap? And how quickly did you switch services, after they failed to show up and wasted your time? You bet.

My business coaching tip is to use commonsense and decency at all times- sounds silly, but the real joke is how often these things are forgotten.


Mike Reddy is a Chartered Accountant, business coach and advisor helping businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast to easily increase their profits and cash flow. He is currently President of the North Sydney Chamber of Commerce, a Regional Councillor for Sydney North East and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sydney leadership team. As well as advising businesses, Mike presents business development seminars and webinars and is regularly contacted by the media to comment on small business matters. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.