delight THE CUSTOMER Providing Brilliant customer care to EVERYONE DELEGATE PACK
CONTENTS • What is a Customer? • Customer Priorities • Personal Experiences • Defining Customer Service • Case Study 1-5 • Communication • Attitude, Energy & Appearance • Getting Vocal • Listening Skills • Questioning Skills and Styles • Handling Complaints • Empathy / Sympathy • Customer Behaviour, The Word ‘Sorry’ • The Angry Customer – Do’s and Don’ts • Preparing for That Customer
what is a customer? There are two key definitions of a customer A person who buys something from us. This is known as the external customer. An external customer is someone outside of your organisation who currently buys or may potentially buy from you in future. A person with whom we have dealings. This is known as the internal customer. Everyone has a customer and everyone is a customer. Consider this: Great internal relations promote great external relations. The quality of service that reaches the external customer begins with the quality of service that the internal customer provides. Would you agree? who are our customers? TMG Members Internal Colleagues Members of the Public Colleagues Other Breakdown Organisations Client Colleagues Other Agents External Clients i.e. FMG Support Highways Agency / Police Broker Clients Members Anyone with whom we have a dealing key priorities Deliver a consistent service to everyone all of the time Maintain profitability Delight the Customer Work as a Team Have Fun !!!
customer priorities According to the Customer Service Institute, what do you think is most important to a customer or consumer? Number 1 Your answer: Overall quality of service Number 2 Your answer: Helpfulness of staff Number 3 Your answer: Being treated as a valued customer Number 4 Your answer: Handling of complaints Number 5 Your answer: Price Are you surprised by the actual answers?
personal experiences Can you think of any examples of where you feel have received both EXCELLENT and POOR levels of customer service. Write down your experiences in the boxes below. EXCELLENT What do you think about the service received? Is there anything else they could do to make the service any better? Did you find it easy to remember? POOR What do you think about the service received? What could have been done differently? Where do you think it went wrong? How easy would it have been to transform the experience from a negative to a positive? Which did you find easier to remember? How did each experience make you feel? Did one outweigh the other? If so, why do you think that is?
defining customer service Customer Service is not as simple as GOOD or BAD. Depending on our initial expectations it can be GOOD, BAD or even just ACCEPTABLE. What components do you think can build up GOOD, BAD or ACCEPTABLE customer service? Discuss in the boxes below: BAD Customer Service: Rudeness Not taking ownership Jobsworth Unwilling to help Results in Unhappy / Fewer ____________ customers OK Customer Service: Doing what is asked Nothing more / Nothing less Results in Satisfied ____________ customers EXCELLENT Customer Service: Exceeding expectations Taking ownership Listening Delighting the Customer Results in Delighted / More ____________ customers By Delighting our Customers: It can make our job easier We will have better staff morale We will have more job satisfaction
call salutation When answering an external call, please use the following call salutation: “Good Morning / Afternoon / Evening The Mansfield Group (Name) Speaking How can I help?” When answering an internal call please remember to use your name.
case study 1/5 Call Transcript: Advisor: Good morning The Mansfield Group, Jane speaking how can I help? Customer: (Annoyed) I called over an hour ago and spoke to someone called Simon. He was sending someone out to look at my car when the phone line went dead. I called back and he said someone was on their way. I have been waiting for over 40 minutes now. I just need to know how much longer I’ll have to wait. Advisor: (Bored) What’s your registration? Customer: Ah right, it is G515RRN Advisor: Hold on. (tapping on keyboard) That registration isn’t on my list. Customer: Sorry? It is, I called at 10 this morning, he said someone was on the way. Advisor: I’ll try again. 2 seconds please. No, nothing. What’s your name? Customer: My name? it’s Mrs Margaret Bowen. Advisor: Ok Margaret, where is the car? Customer: It’s at home, 2 Booth Street, Congleton. Advisor: Bear with me please. (Pause) Ok Mrs Bowen what’s the problem? Customer: Well as I said, I called this morning to get a mechanic. I was speaking to someone called Simon but the call was cut off. I’ve been waiting a long time now and just want to know how much longer I’ll have to wait. Advisor: Well, I cant help you with that because I don’t have your details on my screen. Did you get a name of someone you were speaking to? Customer: Yes, as I said it was Simon. Advisor: I don’t know anyone called Simon! Are you sure you called The Mansfield Group? Customer: I’m positive. Yes. Advisor: Well all I can do is try transfer you to another office but they are really busy at the moment, so you’ll have to wait in the queue. Customer: I’ve been waiting already and need to go out! Is there no other way of finding out what’s happening? Advisor: I’m sorry no, I can give you the other office number but you’ll have to call back when it’s quieter. Customer: I’m not happy about this! Advisor: Nothing I can do I’m afraid, is there anything else I can help you with? Customer: Well you haven’t really helped me with this. Advisor: Okay thanks for calling The Mansfield Group. Goodbye.
case study 2/5 Letter #1 The Customer Services ManagerThe Mansfield GroupUnit 19a Queensway Industrial ParkStoke-on-Trent 2 Booth Street Congleton 20th October 2009 Dear Sir / Madam Registration G515RRN I was appalled by the standard of service I received today after I called yourselves for assistance, and felt compelled to write to you. The young lady I spoke to was the most arrogant, rude, obnoxious person I have ever spoken to in my life! I called to request a mechanic to attend my vehicle at home, and instead I wasted almost 2 hours of my time and indeed money for the call. At the end of the day, I have had to pay another breakdown organisation to repair my car and have received no apology for the great inconvenience caused. I trust now that you have received this letter, that the matter will be resolved and I will be given priority assistance should the need arise for me to use your services in the future. I look forward to hearing form you. Yours Faithfully Margaret Bowen
case study 3/5 Letter #2 The Customer Services ManagerThe Mansfield GroupUnit 19a Queensway Industrial ParkStoke-on-Trent 2 Booth Street Congleton 20th November 2009 Dear Sir / Madam Registration G515RRN It has been four weeks since my initial complaint to you regarding the service I received on 20th October, and I have received no communication from you or your organisation whatsoever. If this is how you manage your staff then I am not surprised at the treatment that loyal customers get form your colleagues. To say that your website states you are one of the largest rescue and recovery operators in the UK is a joke if you cannot even send out a mechanic to Congleton. I’m afraid I have no alternative than to write to your Managing Director. Yours Faithfully Margaret Bowen
case study 4/5 Letter #3 2 Booth Street Congleton The Customer Services ManagerThe Mansfield GroupUnit 19a Queensway Industrial ParkStoke-on-Trent 21st November 2009 Dear Mrs Bowen Registration G515RRN I was extremely disturbed to receive your compliant and would like to reassure you that The Mansfield Group takes the utmost care of all our customers and treat every complaint seriously. To ensure I can gather all the facts, please allow me 21 days to investigate the matter thoroughly. I will be in contact with you again soon. Regards Customer Services Manager
case study 5/5 MARS File Note This is a file note that has been left on the computer by the Customer Services Manager. case study activity Discuss in your groups the following: What has happened? Was it handled good or badly? Was there anything you could have done to make the situation better? If so, what would you have done at each step of the way? What would you have done to Delight the Customer?
communication When communication in a face-to-face situation, we receive information in three different ways. We look at a persons: Body Language Words Tone On the first Pie Chart, can you mark down what percentage of each we may use. Words Tone Body Language On the second Pie Chart, can you mark down the actual percentages. 8% 32% Words Tone 60% Body Language
communication When communication over the phone we lose over half of our usual ways of sending and receiving messages. This is because we cannot see the person we are talking to. 70% Tone 30% Words Do you think we still need to consider Body Language?
attitude, energy & appearance It takes approximately 30 seconds to get a first impression of somebody and as the saying goes FIRST IMPRESSIONS LAST !!! In order to make a great first impression and delight your customers there are three factors to consider – Attitude, Energy and Appearance. How can you adapt these three factors to ensure you make a great first impression? ATTITUDE Adopt a positive/ can do attitude Be happy to help your Internal and External customers ENERGY Express energy in your voice Express energy in your actions Most importantly – Be Yourself !!! APPEARANCE Down to each preference Some people prefer smart, others prefer casual Some people prefer a mixture – like me phone manner How should you sound when on the phone? Friendly, informed, clear, polite, confident, happy, energetic, positive, - Carry out the ‘Call Coaching’ Exercise -
getting vocal There are certain factors that can affect how you sound. Look at the following headings and discuss what and how they can be affected while on the phone. TONE Tone can sound sarcastic, genuine, angry, bored Voice quality can affect the interest of the customer – can make them feel happy or worsen their mood Personalities are infectious CLARITY Eating and drinking while on the phone Illness Hearing impairment EMPHASIS Emphasising certain words or phrases can affect a conversation i.e. how you say something. “He said …” PITCH How high or low is your voice? How could you be perceived if your voice was too high / low? What would the customer think? PACE The speed of what you say On average a person speaks 140wpm What could a customer think if you spoke too fast / slow? ENERGY What would a customer think if we had too much energy? What would a customer think if we had too little energy? - Carry out the ‘Celebrity Sqwarkers’ Exercise -
listening skills ACTIVE LISTENING An individual has on average between 12,000 to 55,000 thoughts per day. To ensure full attention to a speaker is engaged, the following stages of active listening should be demonstrated. HEARING → ATTENTION → UNDERSTANDING What is the difference between the three? HEARING Does not require a huge amount of effort. Factors that can affect can include background noise, softly spoken customer. We can hear lots of things but don’t always listen. ATTENTION We have to give undivided attention. This can be difficult when dealing with familiar situations that are second nature as we learn to block them out. Attention requires concentration and effort, we must pick up on everything that is said to us. UNDERSTANDING In order to understand what we hear, we must analyse and think about what has been said to us and how it is being said. - Carry out the ‘I Went to the Shop’ Exercise -
listening skills Try remember this acronym to help when listening to customer. Do you agree with what is being said? Could the acronym represent something else? Don’t Interrupt Let the customer talk and limit your own talking until its time to do so. You cant talk and listen at the same time. d Open Minded The customer may say things that you disagree with. Don’t let your feelings distract from what is being said O Look Interested The caller may not be able to see you, but they will hear the interest in your voice and respond to you L Invite Responses Asking questions to clarify is an acceptable interruption. Gaining additional information can help guide the conversation. I Signs Verbal nods will encourage the caller to keep talking and show that you re listening. Use nods such ‘yes’ ‘okay’, I see’ etc. S Test Understanding Always check the accuracy of your listening. Repeat and spell any important details. t Evaluate The customers tone to detect any meanings that may be hidden in the call i.e. if the customer sounds angry, sarcastic. e Name / Notes Use the customers name during the call to show you are listening. Make notes on what has been said to clarify the situation. n
questioning skills Effective questioning can Clarify a situation Define a problem and it’s causes Give you all the facts Help you understand the caller’s needs Make the caller believe something will happen Allow you to answer the enquiry satisfactorily and speedily Do not allow a YES or a NO answer Open questions usually begin with: WHO, WHAT , WHY, WHERE, WHEN, HOW They open people up and gain information and feelings. “How did you hear about Britannia Rescue?” “Where are you broken down?” OPEN Can be answered with a one word response – usually YES or NO They tell you very little about a person or situation. They are often necessary. Closed questions usually begin with “Can you. Have you. Will you. Is this. Do you.” CLOSED Propose a number of feasible solutions and courses of actions determined through discussions. They fall in line with FSA requirements. “Which of these solutions do you agree with?” “Which course of action should we follow?” ALTERNATIVE Test possible reactions to specific situations. “If you were broken down at home and didn’t have a house call service, what would you do?” HYPO-THETICAL
questioning styles Imagine the following scenario… You received a call yesterday from Britannia Rescue asking you to attend an accident on the motorway. When you arrived their was no car at the location you were given, you call Britannia Rescue who give you a different junction number, you proceed to the junction to find no car, you called Britannia and they advised the call was cancelled. You submit an invoice for which payment is then declined: You / Customer: “Hello, I was sent out for an accident yesterday which I no traced, now the invoice has been declined .” Below are a series of responses from the Network Department. Can you decide from the options available, what kind of response it is. OPEN QUESTION. CLOSED QUESTION. DEFENSIVE STATEMENT. HELPFUL STATEMENT. IRRELEVANT STATEMENT. “Have you got a job number?” Closed “Did you call us to confirm the location?” Defensive / Closed “Please can you tell me the job details?” Open “I’m sorry I wasn’t working that day?” Irrelevant “Controllers are always getting things wrong?” Irrelevant “I am sorry, would you like me to re open the job?” Closed / Helpful “Are you sure the job was from us?” Closed / Defensive “Did you call us to no trace?” Closed / Defensive “Would you like to resend the invoice?” Closed / Helpful “I’m sorry how can I help?” Helpful / Open
handling complaints Did you know in 2007, 18.2 million customers were lost down to poor service? 20% of complaints are linked to people and their behaviour. Other factors include incorrect actions, misinformation, and not carrying out a customer request add up to over 60%. All customer complaints whether received by phone, letter or personal visit must be recorded. Staff must deal with these complaints promptly and courteously. A complaint that is settled quickly can actually create more customer loyalty than would have been created if it had occurred. On the other hand a complaint which is badly handled can cost much more than just one customer. A Complaint is: ‘Any oral or written expression of dissatisfaction, justified or not, which alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience. A complaint can be made by or on behalf of any Member or customer, or prospective Member or customer, about something to do with their policy or with us’
handling complaints • Customers complain because: • They have been promised more than can be delivered • The quality of the product or service is unacceptable • The customer has a perception that they are not cared about / listened to • When people complain: • They can be personal, rude and unpleasant • You cant choose when to handle a complaint – you cant tell people to call back when it’s more convenient • The more a complaint has to be repeated, the worse it can become • Complaints can be positive: • The average business does not hear from 96% of it’s unhappy customers • People don’t think that complaining is worth the time and effort • Customers often don’t know how or where to complaint to • They often think that anything will happen as a result of their complaint • Many people feel embarrassed or uncomfortable about complaining • It can be less stressful to say nothing and never go back • On average, how many people do you think a person will tell if they have received bad customer service? People 10 As much as we might think otherwise our service cannot be perfect. There will always be room for improvement. Complaints are important because if people don’t complain – we’ll never know if anything is wrong
handling complaints • When a customer with a complaint contacts us, they expect their query to be resolved. A customer with a grievance feel that they have a legitimate objection, and will display a negative emotion until this has been resolved. • Complaints from customers fall into one of the following categories: • Not received what they have been promised • Does not believe they will receive what has been promised • Negativity around your company, service or staff member • A misunderstanding • An irritated customer displaying emotion • Negative customer forced to use your services things to consider A complaint is not a rejection of you as a person. If a complaint is your fault or does involve you, then use it as a learning exercise. If you are at fault, then accepting the blame will go a long way to appease the customer and the situation. At the end of the day you are human and mistakes can and will happen. When you do manage to resolve a complaint or problem, this can have a positive effect on both you and the customer. Complaint resolution plays a huge part of customer service.
empathy / sympathy Offering empathy is a vital part of any role in Customer Services. What is empathy? • Appreciating someone’s feelings • Understanding someone’s opinions Is there a difference between sympathy and empathy? • Yes • Sympathy is when you agree with someone’s feelings or opinions Is a customer said to you: “Your company really doesn’t care about it’s customers” How could you respond to that statement by giving both a sympathetic answer and an empathetic answer? • Sympathetic: • “You’re right, we don’t care about customers” • Empathetic: • “I can see why you think that way” Sympathising can allow our personal opinions to get involved and stray away from actually helping the customer. By showing empathy, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you agree with the customer, but it does mean that you understand their situation and where they are coming from. - Carry out the ‘Empathy/Sympathy’ Exercise -
customer behaviour When dealing with any customer, you should consider factors that may be affecting their behaviour. Choosing the correct way of approaching these situations can greatly increase the chance of a positive outcome, and ultimately make your job more satisfying. Consider the 4 behaviours below, and think about why the customer may be acting in this manner. • SHOUTING • Are they wanting the Controller’s full attention? • Are they trying to intimidate the Controller? • Do they think the Controller cant hear them? • OVER TALKATIVE • Is the customer afraid of forgetting something they feel they must tell the Controller? • Is the customer going off on a tangent • Does the customer not communicate with many people and enjoying the chat? • RUDE • Is the customer definitely being rude or are they just direct and to the point? • Is the customer being rude to the Controller directly or as a representative of The Mansfield Group? • ABUSIVE • Is it likely that the customer may use foul language as part of their daily vocabulary • Is the customer seriously abusive or resorting to this behaviour in exasperation? • No-one has to accept being spoken to or treated with abuse We are all in control of our own behaviour and are able to choose the way that we respond to different situations. It is vital that we consider the impact of our reaction to the customer. REMEMBER: A negative reaction will always make the situation worse!!!
the customer ANGRY DON'TS Debate the facts An angry customer may not think factually There will be time to confirm the facts when you have fixed the customer X Jump to conclusions You may reach the right conclusion but stop the customer from expressing or venting their anger You may get it wrong and lose your credibility X Ask the Why question “Why did you wait so long?” They simply blame and make the customer defensive X Use sarcasm or humour It can insult the customer and is inappropriate in this instance Humour can backfire and make the situation worse X X Look for sympathy Telling the customer you are overworked, understaffed or feeling unwell may gain sympathy but not satisfaction Bad mouth / Pass the buck Create a positive image of the company as a whole – blaming another area may take the pressure off you but still makes the company look unprofessional. The buck must stop with you !!! X
the customer ANGRY DO'S Listen and show empathy To allow the customer to ventilate their emotions To allow you to show that you are genuinely interested and prepared to deal with the problem Agree with the customer Find something that you have told to agree with without accepting or allocating blame Remain calm and respectful The customer is not angry with you personally – don’t retaliate back Be positive and treat as a challenge Acknowledge the anger The anger will not go I away if you ignore it Accepting and acknowledging the anger makes it easier to handle Apologise Customer expect an apology Hearing the words “I’m sorry” can quickly diffuse anger The trick is to apologise with accepting the blame the word "sorry" Saying “sorry” to a customer does not imply that you or your company did anything wrong, it can simply mean that you are genuinely sorry that the customer had a bad experience. It is not an admission of guilt, just be careful not to overuse the word…
preparing for that CUSTOMER: positive attitude good posture pen and paper systems ready fully updated s m i l e
in conclusion Do you now feel confident regarding the following: • Recognising what a customer is and their importance? • Understanding the importance of both INTERNAL and EXTERNAL customers and how they are related? • Defining what EXCELLENT Customer Service is? • Understanding the importance communication? • The importance of adopting the right Attitude, Energy and Appearance? • Your Phone Manner and how you come across on the phone? • The difference between Hearing, Listening and Understanding? • Adapting your Questioning Technique to each situation? • Understanding the reasons why people COMPLAIN • The Dos and Don’ts of Compliant Handling? • What to do if you encounter an ANGRY customer • The 6 stage process in preparing for that customer? • Remember: The next time the phone rings, think of it as an opportunity • to solve a problem, deal with a query and help someone. • Good Luck with all future customers, and with your career at • The Mansfield Group. From now on your positive approach will ensure that all • of your customers will be their enquiries resolved, be satisfied and ultimately • DELIGHTED.