Did you know that the old-fashioned, Alexander Graham Bell invention (the telephone) still reigns as the most widely used channel for customer service? Yes, almost nine in ten consumers (89%) feel that telephone customer service either meets expectations (60%) or exceeds expectations. (State of Customer Service Experience 2016, The Northridge Group, Inc.)
No matter how you personally feel on any given day, your telephone communication must be consistent and represent your company/organization brand. Here are 21 phone tips to ensure you’re creating outstanding customer experiences:
I know. It’s not a common question. And, what does it mean anyway? Does it mean being customer-oriented, customer-focused, and having a customer-centric mindset with the people your business or organization serves?
According to the new MarketingSherpa Customer Satisfaction Research Study, there’s a new term on the marketing scene called, “customer-first marketing” and it’s supposedly different from “customer-centric marketing.”
Customer-centric marketing puts the customers at the center of marketing; all promotions and messaging flow towards them in the way that is most relevant to them. Marketers put themselves in the customers’ shoes to sell to them better.
Customer-centric marketing typically consists of:
- Assessing customer needs
- Maximizing efficiency
- Understanding needs and wants of customers
- Co-production and self service
Customer-first marketing uses the customers’ goals as the compass to make decisions about marketing approach. They put the long-term interest of the customer above the short-term company conversion goals. Marketers put themselves in the customers’ shoes to serve them better, thus building a long-term, sustainable competitive advantage.”
In this approach, “customer needs come before the immediate gain of a business, and customer knowledge guides product development, business and marketing decisions.”
Do you “get” the difference or is this simply semantics? Frankly, I always believed that customer-centric marketing meant putting customers at the center of every action and always focusing on their needs.
What do you do when customers complain? Do you listen? Do you try explaining or rationalizing your responses?
One thing we can agree on from the top. When you serve customers, it’s not always easy to manage complaints. There’s a fine line between explaining and crossing over into the excuse realm.
And, I’ve got a bad customer service example to share with you!
I recently visited one of my favorite local Thai restaurants. The food is delicious, but the last few times I visited, the service was poor.
But, when a friend suggested we have dinner there last Saturday night, hubby and I agreed to go. I thought I’d give it another shot.
Big mistake. 😟 Continue reading