Are You Guessing on Your Quality of Customer Service? By John Tschohl
Providing outstanding customer service at the right price is the “Golden Rule” of most companies. It’s worth remembering that we all experience customer service every day.Customer service is a critical piece of your business, and you should fine-tune it as much as you can. Here are some well-known facts on customer service ….
Fact: 90% of companies say they deliver superior customer service and only 8% of people think these same companies deliver superior customer service. Which goes to show, you shouldn’t be guessing when it comes to evaluating your customer service.
Think you don’t have to worry? Guess again!
Take your mobile phone and your service contract. If you’re like me, it’s hard to tell. The contract has been deliberately written so complex that most people don’t read it. This, by the way, is why just about everyone hates mobile service providers—and why wireless carriers have some of the lowest customer service ratings of any industry.
Fact: The average American spends13 hours per year and 43 days per lifetime on hold for customer service. When it comes to customer service, your customers care far more about competent and helpful service.
Fact: 73% of dissatisfied customers cited incompetent, rude, and "rushed" service as the #1 reason why they abandoned a brand.
Fact: 86% of consumers will immediately quit doing business with a company because of a bad customer experience
Fact: Bad customer service is more than just a potential liability, it's a huge cost to your business. Consumers are far more likely to share bad customer experiences due to their frustration.
Fact: It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one
Fact: The average business hears from only 4% of its dissatisfied customers.Very few people have time for your mistakes. Even fewer people are going to take the time to let you know about them, and why should they? You're the one that screwed up.
Fact: your customers can do quite a few things much better than you can, and if your business isn't embracing this fact by viewing customer service as a branch of your marketing department with tremendous ROI, you're doing yourself a disservice, as well as your customers.
Fact: 9 out of 10 U.S. consumers say they would pay more to ensure a superior customer experience. Customers expect consistent quality of customer service; with a similar, familiar look and feel whenever and however they contact your company.
American firms spend all their Customer Service Training dollars on surveys. That’s total overkill. Few spend any money training employees on Customer Service. Customer Service training will tip the scales toward making your business more successful for your employees and your bottom line.
Be… fast and accurate
People want answers and to move on with their busy lives. One simple and straightforward way to solve problems faster is simply to be available at all times, 24/7 with a ‘live’ person that answers the call within 3 rings. That way no one is ever having to check your hours to get in touch the next day. It’s easier to resolve issues and you will stand out from the competition as a company that deals with their customers right away.
Be… respectful and friendly
Customer service should be filled with positivity. Greet your customers, use their names, and always express appreciation for their business. Inject positivity into your day, the results will be eye-opening.
Lead with your ear rather than your mouth so you can connect and problem-solve. How can you meet your customer’s needs, if you don’t know them? To understand their needs, just listen to the “voice of the customer” and take action accordingly.
Be… a solution provider
Ask your customer what they think would be a good outcome. They probably have something in mind that they feel would make sense given the circumstances. Even if that final answer is not exactly what you want, the customer may also feel that they are not getting exactly what they’d hoped.
Bear in mind that the customer will feel incredible if they feel that you are taking extra steps to help them.
John Tschohl is a professional speaker, trainer, and consultant. He is the President and founder of Service Quality Institute (the global leader in customer service) with operations in over 40 countries. John is a self-made millionaire traveling and speaking more than 50 times each year. He is considered to be one of the foremost authorities on service strategy, success, empowerment and customer service in the world. John’s monthly strategic newsletter is available online at no charge. He can also be reached on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.