Archive for Customer Experience

3 Ways to Manage Customer Expectations

Let’s face it- if we knew our customers’ expectations every second of every day, we would work hard to meet them. In today’s diverse, ever changing world, it is nearly impossible to know that. Consumers today have so many choices that it becomes difficult to stand out from competitors.

What do your customers expect?

Service is praised or criticized because of expectations.”

Neil Patel

Steps to Start Today to Understand Customer Expectations

  1. Listen: It sounds so easy to say, but harder to do. How do you listen to your customers? Is it by survey? Mystery shopping? Social Listening? I once spoke to a leading retailer’s VP of Operations about creating a mystery shopping program for their stores. They knew they needed it because their district managers were being pulled in too many directions and didn’t have the time to devote to each store in their district. They never started it. The reason? They were trying to figure out who their customer was. A few years later, they were out of business. They were never able to keep up with their customers’ expectations because they never knew who their customers were. They never learned how to listen.
  2. Get Feedback From Customers: Customer Experience for Dummies said it best. “When it comes to getting feedback from customers, annual surveys are out, and constant listening and providing real-time dialogue is in. That means you need to inventory where you are listening effectively today, prioritizing your highest-value listening and dialogue touchpoints, and creating a governance model for managing and responding to customer feedback. The end game here is to be able to converse with your customers in near real-time and to respond to customer concerns, problems, and suggestions as they are happening.” Omni-channel listening is key.
  3. Demonstrate to Customers Your Level of Commitment to Them: The chart above is from Neil Patel’s “Why Understanding Expectations is Crucial for Customer Experience.” Great article about backing up the bus to first and foremost understand what your customers need from you and then determine how you and your team will meet those needs. Neil writes, “Service is praised or criticized because of expectations.” Making sure you are delivering top notch customer service has never been more important. Years ago Zappos helped a customer who called them by mistake order a pizza. This became an infamous story of the day and everyone wanted to deliver service like Zappos. Zappos began to develop an entire philosophy around this by expanding it in their social media marketing. Help the customer with whatever they need. What does it take? An extra few minutes? They will sing your praises. Always try to under promise and over deliver whenever you can, especially in social media.

Ann Michaels & Assoc. provides you the resources to make data driven decisions associated with your customers and branding. Give us the opportunity to help you grow margins and revenues.

Social Media and Customer Service

Customer Service

The secret is out in living color on the cover of Consumer Reports – how to use social media as the last chance way to get some attention when unhappy with a product or service. This issue shares secrets to great customer service, and social media use is one of them.
Consumer Reports states that 84% of consumers who posted complaints to social media used Facebook.
The report goes on to suggest that social media can be a highly effective way to resolve customer complaints, even when other approaches fail.


JCPenney is one retailer that was cited as having great customer service via Twitter.


When a customer reached out by phone and learned of the hold times, she quickly went to the company’s Twitter page. She said that their phone wait times were “nuts” and within minutes a representative quickly tweeted a reply. After a bit of back and forth, the issue was resolved.


As the chart indicates, the under 25 demographic shows an indication that they will be the ones who will expect this type of service moving forward, so making sure those wait times are on target will be well worth the effort.

Ann Michaels & Associates, a leader in Customer Experience and Social Media Management, conducted a study on this very topic

How long is too long when it comes to receiving an answer to a product or service question in social media?As the Consumer Reports article shows a consumer expectation, Ann Michaels & Associates set out to look at the disparity between what consumers expect as far as wait time for brands to respond to consumer concerns vs what is actually happening.on social.
The study was initiated when it was evident social would serve as a customer service channel – take a look at consumer expectations vs brand response and learn how response time on social shifted over a three year period.
Click here to find out the results

Hiring People who Smile is One Step in the Right Direction

Customer Service

It takes a mere second and can actually make someone’s day. Smiling is probably the most underrated gesture we can bestow upon one another. Think about how many people you interact with during the day. Or maybe people you just walk by. How easy would it be just to smile at them? You never know what kind of day someone is having so why not try to make it just a little better.

A smile can also do wonders for your business and the customer experience. Many companies strive to achieve a great product or service but forget the other side. Customers want to buy a complete package that includes your product and the customer service that comes with it; this experience includes the sale, purchase, and post-sale. Your goal is not just getting your customer to buy and go, but that they will return and bring more customers with them.

The simple action of smiling can have a dramatic impact on the way you relate to a customer and the impression that this will give about your brand. No matter whether you interact with a client in person, by phone, live call, chat or email, a good attitude will always be useful.

 

What your smile can do to your customers

  • Studies have shown a good smile can increase confidence by up to 10%.
  • It helps build a good first impression of your business; a customer will always prefer to do business with someone who is happy.
  • Smiling improves your mood and therefore the attitude in which you face everyday situations, including your sales work and customer support.
  • A smile is contagious and humans tend to copy emotions, so a good attitude on your part can improve your customers as well.

 

The smile during phone support

Did you know that smiling on the phone can help you reflect a positive attitude? Customers can tell, even over the phone, what kind of mood you are in. A startup company that offers internet phone calls explained; “Most of our sales and support processes are managed by phone contact, so we can tell you from our experience that our customers know when we smile and that’s why we do it. In fact, many customers gave us great feedback about our customer service and it all starts with a smile.”

How do you measure the business benefits of a smile?

It’s no secret who does customer service the best—Trader Joe’s, Chick-fil-A and Southwest Airlines—and you will rarely see an unhappy employee. These companies go above and beyond to give every customer a memorable experience.

QuikTrip Corp., a Tulsa, Oklahoma based chain famous for its in-house analytics and memorable customer service, just clinched the 2019 CSP Intouch Insight Mystery Shop, their fourth win in the program’s 15-year history. The study includes both a covert and a revealed audit, with shoppers sizing up 10 participating brands on everything from greetings to gas-island cleanliness.

Chet Cadieux, chairman and CEO of QuikTrip, says, You can’t solve everything with math,” he says. “It just so happens that … you can use analytics to hire the right people to begin with. And if you hire friendly, sincere people, they’re generally, on most days, going to be friendly and sincere to the people they’re taking care of.”

84% of QuikTrip shoppers agreed that they were greeted in a courteous manner, placing the chain nearly 20 percentage points ahead of the average. Another measure of QuikTrip’s customer-service strengths is how well it scored on the question “Would you recommend this store to others?” Based on the Net Promoter Score, a metric that measures consumers’ loyalty to a brand by having them rate their willingness to recommend it on a scale of 1 to 10, QuikTrip received more 9s and 10s than any other retailer.

That’s significant, says Cameron Watt, president and CEO of Ottawa, Ontario-based Intouch Insight, which conducts the mystery shop on CSP’s behalf. In the CSP Intouch Insight Mystery Shop, shoppers are not necessarily regular customers of the brands they are visiting, Watt says. But the fact that QuikTrip scored so high with these shoppers is considerable, “because you create customer loyalty one customer at a time,” he says.

“If a person goes there and they enjoyed the experience enough at your brand, even though they usually shop at another brand, and they’d be willing to recommend you, I think that would be very highly correlated to your ability to drive customer loyalty,” Watt says.

For its part, QuikTrip is most interested in how its customers weigh the individual variables of the c-store shopping experience. Its internal mystery shop assesses employees’ ability to hit these needs, and a large percentage of their compensation is based on their performance in this measure. Consumers’ expectations for c-store service may be modest, but for a retailer to consistently hit the mark on friendly and fast with nearly every transaction is a triumph. Ensuring a high batting average means hiring right the first time.