Customer service Basic concept of customer service Basic communication skills of dealing with customers
Review • Do you think companies spend most of the time and energy attracting new customers or keeping existing customers? • Which one is more crucial to a company, attracting new customers or keeping existing customers? Why? • p.25 • How do you understand the idea of “Customers are God”?
Statistics: Advantages of keeping customers • Repeat customers spend 33% more than new customers. • It costs 6 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. • As little as a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by 25 to 95%.
Advocate Supporter Client Customer Prospect Ladder of customer loyalty p.25
Strategies of building customer loyalty • Building brand equity - Brand loyalty (From a marketing point of view, brand equity is the measure of customer loyalty to a brand.) • Creating customer satisfaction • Creating and maintaining relationships - Customer service - CRM (customer relationship management)
I. Customer ServiceDiscussion: Sharing your experience • Talk with your partner about your most delightful or annoying experience with customer service as a customer. • Refer to p.84
Discussion: • What were the consequences of your delightful and annoying customer service experiences?
Facts about customer service • 80% of business leaders believe their companies are doing a good job in the way they treat customers. • Only 8% of customers agree.
Facts about customer service • 54% to 70% of customers who complain will do business with you again if they feel their problem is resolved. That figure jumps to 95% if the customer feels the complaint has been resolved quickly. • According to the above recent reports, outstanding customer service is now rated as being more important than low prices and quality products!
1. What is customer service? • How a company deals with its consumers before, during and after a purchase or use of a service. • A series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation. • A proactive attitude that can be summed up as: I care and I can do.
2. Why it matters? • Businesses need to recognize: • The benefits of having satisfied customers; • The costs of having dissatisfied customers .
Reading • p.86 “Customer delight”
3. Who offers it? • Who gives customer service? • Name some job roles… • Shop assistants (salespersons) • Receptionists • Bank assistants • Insurance agents • Food servers • Bus drivers • Customer service representatives
Link: Customer Care • Customer care centre • Customer care representative • The two terms (customer service and customer care) are often used interchangeably. • Customer care is the application of customer service.
3. Who offers customer service? • Excellent customer service can only be achieved by training all employees, even those who do not have direct contact with customers. • Happy employees make happy customers.
4. How to offer customer service? • Listening: - p.89
4. How to offer customer service? • Discussion: What rules for good customer service can you summarize?
4. How to offer customer service? • Excellent customer service is the ability of an organization to constantly and consistently exceed the customer's expectations. • It’s all about attitude and skills.
Rules for good customer service • Answer your phone • Make sure that someone is picking up the phone when someone calls your business. • Don’t make promises unless you WILL keep them • Listen to your customers • Let your customer talk and show him that you are listening by making the appropriate responses, such as suggesting how to solve the problem. • Deal with complaints • Be helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable
Communication skills of dealing with complaints • “Customer complaints” p.85, Book 4 • “Telephone complaints” p.131, Book 3 • “Handling difficult situations” p.43, Book 4 • “Resolving conflict” p.73, Book 4 • “Active listening” p.89, Book 4
Words & phrases that damage customer relationship “I’ll find out for you”; “I’ll need to check on that and get back to you”; “I’ll have to look that up, when is a good time for me to call you back?” • You don’t understand. • I don’t know. • I can’t… • You don’t see my point. • Hold on (or hang on) a second. • Our policy says (or prohibits)… • That’s not my job/responsibility. • You must/should… • You’ll have to… • What you need to do is… • What’s your problem? • Why don’t you…? • I never said…
Words & phrases that build customer relationship • Please. • Thank you. • I can/will… • How may I help? • I was wrong. • You’re right. • I understand how you feel. • May I …? / Could we try …? • Have you considered … • I’m sorry for … • It’s my/our fault. • What do you think? • Would you mind?
Express empathy to customers Use empathic phrases: • “I can see why you feel that way” • “I see what you mean” • “That must be very upsetting” • “I understand how frustrating this must be” • “I’m sorry about this” • Always say you’re sorry
Excellent customer service • Study these “winners” • Customer service stars: 2009 BusinessWeek Top 25 http://images.businessweek.com/ss/09/02/0219_customer_service/1.htm
Customer service & CRM • CRM is useful for customer service. Businesses can use automated CRM applications to analyze customer complaints, or compliments, and change the business processes accordingly. Interestingly enough, CRM products also run many automated call-centers for businesses (i.e. customer service systems). CRM applications and practices are used to make businesses more efficient and improve customer satisfaction.
Role play (work in pairs) • You have bought a cell phone and it’s broken after only one week and you’re very angry about products not being made to last anymore. You want the salesperson to do something immediately. She is offering you a replacement and you want a refund.
Homework • Listening pp.84-85 • Case study p.90
Appendix • How to deal with different types of customers?
The talkative customer • Ask closed questions • Limit the time available for them to interrupt (don’t have long pauses) • Provide minimal response • Smile and be pleasant, but don’t encourage them • Wind up – thank them for coming, walk them to the door but don’t be rude or dismissive
The angry customer • Listen carefully without interrupting so you understand the problem • Empathize in a broad way • Stay calm and remain polite • Don’t escalate the problem • Don’t take it personally, be defensive or blame others • Propose an action plan and follow it • Seek support if you are scared, if you can’t agree on a solution or if the customer asks to see “whoever’s in charge”
The ‘know it all’ customer • Acknowledge what they say • Compliment them on their research • Be generous with praise • Don’t put them in their place no matter how tempting • Don’t try to be smart – you can’t win! • Ask them questions and use them to improve your knowledge
The indecisive customer • Find out what they really want • Ask them for the options • Reflect back to them what they’ve said • Assume control gently and point out the best course of action from what they’ve told you they need • Be logical • Confirm a plan of action with them • Maybe even put it in writing
The suspicious customer • Establish your credibility • Ensure you know your product or service • They will try and catch you out so don’t guess or tell them something you’re not sure of • Be careful what you say • Be polite • Don’t take it personally, they don’t trust anyone!