Beth Boen has more than 30 years of experience in sales, marketing and customer service. She is an award-winning marketer. She is also a professional trainer and customer experience consultant. Beth loves helping people build long-term, loyal relationships that produce quality connections in their business that lead to lifetime customers and endless referrals. Beth helps people do this through her thoughtful blogs and training curriculum. Members of SHE Leads Group have access to more in-depth business development training through presentations at meetings from Beth, her curriculum, and guest trainers. In addition to being the Founder of SHE Leads Group, Beth has had a training and consulting business, The Voice Customer Experience, that she started in 2005.
I have great customer service - do you really?
I can't tell you how many people have told me they have exceptional customer service. As one who is a connector, I put my reputation on the line every time I pass a referral, so one of the things I evaluate is customer service. Unfortunately, some of the people who tell me they have exceptional customer service, don't exhibit that to me. A solo-preneur might say, "I don't need customer service training, I don't have any staff." Other times I have heard, "We don't have a customer service department, so we don't need customer service training." Well, you still need training, as it is everyone's job in an organization to provide exceptional customer service to both internal and external customers.
When I think of some examples of poor customer service I have received from businesses either wanting my business or wanting my referrals, I can't help but wonder if they have any idea about their own customer service skills.
Here are just a few real-life examples:
- I leave a message for someone and it takes days to get a call back, or possibly I don't even get a call back. Same goes for email and online website inquiry forms.
- In an effort to look like they are in high demand, they put on airs that they are super busy, and maybe they are actually busy. But when one comes across as so busy that they can't take care of you or the potential referral you might give them, they won't get a company the business!
- Super high prices - yes, I consider this a part of the customer service experience. When your pricing is ridiculously high or priced above the market or above your expertise, this is poor customer service. 85% of consumers don't mind paying more for a company's top quality product or service if they know they will consistently receive exceptional customer service. So, if you are going to charge well above market prices, your customer service HAS to WOW the customer or prospect! Would putting out a proposal a day late and without a WOW 'em proposal outlining ROI, be exceptional customer service? Not at all!
- Poor customer records - having a good CRM tool can make all the difference in providing WOW 'em customer service and bad customer service. For example, a business owner wants to reorder some printing from their printer. They email the printer to re-order exactly the same quantity and specifications as their last order. The printer does not have good record keeping and has to call to get the specifications from the customer. Or, worse yet, maybe they do have the specifications somewhere, put are too busy or too lazy to look them up. Remembering customer details is very important when providing exceptional customer service.
There are many other examples of poor customer service.
Some things you can do to help WOW a customer are:
- Send calendar invites for meetings.
- Confirm appointments a day in advance.
- Respond promptly to ALL requests no matter what communication mode was used.
- Adopt an under-promise, over-deliver culture where you promise what you know you can do, not what you hope to do.
- Follow-up and follow through - so many sales are lost with a lack of follow up and poor follow through.
- Be professional and know that first impressions do count.
- Simply being friendly, kind and polite in an age where good manners have seemed to vanish can WOW a customer.
- Remembering something personal about your customer and asking them about it. "How was your trip to Hawaii? Did you and Eric have a great time?"
- Checking in with your customers for no particular reason other than to say hello and ask them how they are doing with no doing business strings attached.
When you are in a leads group, providing your fellow members with exceptional customer service is a must to earn referrals. At SHE Leads Group, we offer members a half-day training through The Voice Customer Experience where they can get this necessary training. Additional business development training is provided at every meeting and member has access to the Members Area training library. Experience the SHE difference. We welcome guests and invite you to visit a SHE Leads Group chapter near you, where you business category is not already occupied. If you want to start a SHE Leads Group chapter in your area, contact us or call 720-722-2494.