EVERY time a customer calls it's an opportunity. The only question is: how are you taking advantage of it?
Answer 'hello'. Not a thank you for the call, telling me how important it is while you put me on hold for the next available agent, or to 'serve me better' ask me to select from among the following eight options.
Selecting from among the following eight options is not one of my options - and I have the money - and you want the money - and you need the money - so wise up.
The last things to cut are sales, service, and training. The first thing to cut is executive pay, then management pay, then eliminate middle management as needed. Or make them salespeople, and have them contribute to the effort.
Meanwhile, customers need help, service, and answers. Your ability to help them in a timely manner and serve them memorably determines your reputation and your fate.
Here's how to serve
Start friendly no matter how they act or talk.
Get off your high (pc) horse.
Don't worry about how you feel - worry about how they feel.
Ask them how you can help them the most.
Help them with whatever they need.
Don't tell them what you can't do; tell them what you can do.
Get them to agree that the solution you offer, or answer they need, is the one they are expecting, and the one they are pleased with (not 'satisfied' with).
Engage them personally during the conversation.
Make sure customers are happy as a result of the call.
Follow through on your promises with action and communication.
Here's the secret to service success
- Keep it short - but get the info you need to help them.
- If the customer is angry, keep it real short, but arrange a second call after the resolve. Tell them what will happen in their favour, and tell them fast.
- Follow up with the unexpected to set up a sale. I refer to it as 'plus one'.
- Email thanks. Tell them how much you enjoyed talking to them and how much you appreciate their business. Email them back their idea or suggestions. Email them back their solution, or your promise to repair. Have a salesperson call after the situation was resolved.
- I don't want to wait on the phone.
- I especially don't want to listen to your self-serving messages as I wait.
- I don't want to wait on line.
- I don't want to be told 'no'.
- I don't want excuses about why you can't.
- I don't want to hear about your policy.
- I don't want to donate to your charities.
- I want help, I want 'yes', and I want it fast.
At the end of any transaction, that's when the customer starts talking about you. They will say one of five things about what transpired: something great; something good; nothing; something bad; or something really bad. And whatever they say leads to the next sale - either at your place, or your competition's place.
- When business is down, it's likely morale is down. Invest in attitude training for every member of the team first.
- When business is down, the best way to get more sales is by creating more friendly and human interaction.
- When business is down, the best way to gain loyalty from existing customers, and get more sales (the surest path to survival and growth), is by making service improvements, not service cuts.
Ok, so now that you know what to do, what are you going to do about it? What actions are you willing to take? What investment are you willing to make? Do you understand it's all about customer loyalty (not satisfaction)? And keep in mind that no company ever cut their way to success.
Reality: You cut your way to safety; you have to sell your way to success.
If you want to win in this or any economy, you must be ready to win. Ready with the right attitude, the right information, and the right service heart. Are you ready?
If you want some additional thoughts and philosophies about the attitude necessary for your entire company, go to www.gitomer.com, and enter the word ATTITUDE in the GitBit box.