BETTER MARKETING FOR BETTER BUSINESS

Sharing our thoughts on the world of today's media.

Customer Service

Your Customer’s First Experience

You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression.

If you think about a time when you’ve gone into a nice hotel, you might recall a very friendly and professional employee opening the door and welcoming you to their establishment. There are certainly more than a few various types of businesses which have a greeter at the door, inviting you in, and making you feel welcome.

Make a First Impression

 

These are Great First Impressions.

For you, as a business owner, who is this person for your company? How do they rate at first impressions? More importantly, how do you know how they are doing? This could be the person who greets a customer when they walk into your store, or the person who answers the phone.

Do you dread calling larger companies these days, knowing the wait time will be several minutes, likely resulting in being disconnected? Have you ever walked into a business and had to look for someone to help you? Both examples are far below the levels of what you expect to see as a great first impression in customer service.

As a passionate business owner, or manage, who expects nothing but the best, how do you make sure your customers aren’t having experiences like both scenario’s above? Here are some quick tips on how to check (and if you aren’t the one doing the checking, make sure you are following up with the person who should be accountable for this):

  1. Set standards for people visiting your business and calling your business. What type of experience do you want your customer to have as their first impression?
  2. If you are a retail business (where customers come to you), observe. From either inside, or outside, the building. How are your employees measuring up to your standards?
  3. If you are a service or retail business, how is the phone etiquette? Call your place of business as a customer or listen to incoming calls (if you have a call recording system in place).
  4. Secret Shoppers. Enlist some family or friends to shop your business. Ask them for a written report, with as much detail as possible, about their experience. After reviewing the report, ask for clarification on any details you’re unsure about, and see how this tests up to your standards.

At first glance, it’s easy to see how this impacts your business. However, this can be quantified. Let’s look at the numbers. The numbers we are using are examples from the service industry.

Real life example. We work with many clients who have great tracking systems in place. One of them measures conversions of calls coming in from new customers. Companies that perform the best typically schedule (and service) seven out of ten new potential customers. When a company isn’t performing at it’s best they might schedule only 3.5 out of ten calls, the cost to acquire a new customer doubles. This means we must spend twice as much in getting calls, OR we get half as many calls at the same amount

of money. Either way it is costing us more money to acquire a new customer if we are not doing the best job in scheduling the calls, we already have coming in.

If you’re not sure what your cost per lead is, or how to make improvements to the first impression your company is putting out there, the best place to start is checking out how you are doing today. Moving forward from your initial findings, continue making improvements, and soon enough you’ll see. A little time spent here will be a big pay off in the long run.

Getting the Most out of our Day

Prioritizing Made Easy (Easier)

As leaders, many of us wonder how some people get so much done, while we are still under a desk load of things needing to be accomplished and never seem to catch up. If any of this sounds familiar, you have either mastered the skill of time management or you are wondering if this is a skill you will ever achieve. Hey, the new year is just around the corner, so now may be a good time to look at this skill. The good news is this can always get better and a little focus could go a long ways.

Steven Covey, well known speaker and author, in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” covers his even habits. Habit number three focuses on this – Put First Things First. It is so important, he even has a book specifically on this topic, “First Things First.” Time management is a skill for life, not just work, that carries a great amount of weight to it. Those with great time management skills can attest, when

The Big Rock – Little Rock concept is not necessarily new. For those visual learners, it is a great tool to help see the bigger picture in time management. Too often some may get caught up in the little things (which may or may not need to be done,) – for different reasons. As leaders, by focusing on the “Big Rocks” sometimes the “Little Rocks” will take care of themselves. If you have a team you work with, consider doing the Big Rock – Little demonstration with them to help them better understand the importance of prioritizing their day/week and the value which comes with this type of short and long term planning.

How to Make Your Customers Your Biggest Cheerleaders

In today’s fast world of communication bad customer service will spread like a wildfire. AND, so will great customer service. Repeat customers, and customers who refer you, are the epitome of a successful business.

In working with our clients, we often find our conversations turning to customer service. As someone who runs a business, either as the owner, manager, or both; you know how important great customer service is to your business. The questions we have to ask ourselves are:

  • How do we know we’re giving great customer service?
  • Are we asking our customers?
  • How is our referral and repeat business growing?

If you were to ask ten of your customers how they would they rate your business, what would they say? And how likely are they to recommend your company to a friend, family member, or neighbor? Lots of questions and yet no answers.

How to make your customers your biggest cheerleaders blog

What you can you start doing today (or in the near future):

  • Define excellent customer service. What does this mean for every employee/team member in your office?
  • Measure it! Ask your customers, create a questionnaire to see if you are giving the type of service you want to be giving.
  • Set expectations and provide any necessary training.
  • Reward improved performance by team members. Recognize improvements as they happen along the way. All positive reinforcement.
  • See if you can reward your current customers in a way which wows them. Maybe this is better service, maybe this is a gift (think outside the box), and if you need ideas, ask your team and your customers. They may have some great ideas you haven’t thought about.

If we invest in advertising our business, then we need to invest the time in checking on our customer service to answer these important questions. Our customers should be our biggest cheerleaders! Think about this: If your receptionist, cashier, sales person, service tech, etc., is not giving service to cheer about, how much more do you have to invest in advertising to hit your business goals for the year? It all starts with the person greeting your customer for the first time, whether on the phone or in person. Either way, this is the first impression your customer gets of your business. Is the impression your customers are getting a WOW or is it a dud? (P.S if it isn’t a WOW, then maybe it is a dud!) In many businesses, this first interaction with the customer may be the deciding factor towards making the decision to do business with you. Could the first impression improve? And if it can improve, what could this mean for your business?

An effective marketing plan will help your business and its goals. Even more importantly, an incredible customer experience from your team will really help your goals. The money spent in training and in rewarding your current customers will provide a solid return on investment, immediately and in the future.