Make it personal
I believe there are 7 key mistakes (or sins!) a business can make. Any one will mean that they don’t deliver a great experience for their customers. The 5th is – TREAT ALL CUSTOMERS THE SAME.
As a company grows, the senior management get further away from the customer. To be efficient, the company needs set processes which treat most if not all customers in the same way. But, this means customers feel less valued and impacts their loyalty. There are 5 simple things you can put in place to make sure customers feel you value them as an individual:
- Needs based selling – market your products and services to the customer needs. Talk about benefits rather than features
- Customer focused marketing – don’t send generic marketing pieces to all customers. Segment them by previous purchases or their needs based on what you know of them. Then they are only seeing what is relevant to them. When you do send marketing messages, address them by name rather than as “Dear Customer”. Take the time to check that the name looks right – it’s easy for an automated system to make mistakes.
- Staff training – train staff to give their name and use the customers. If they have to ask security questions, make sure they find out why the customer is calling first. Often it’s a generic query which doesn’t need the customer to pass security. “Thanks for calling, I’m XXX, how can I help you” is better than “Can you give me your account number”. As well, try not to use scripts for call centre staff – train them in listening skills!
- Empower staff. Give them the authority to go outside the process in limited circumstances. This could mean arranging next day delivery at no extra cost for an urgent order. It could be sending a bouquet when a customer has experienced a problem. Often it’s taking ownership of a customer query rather than passing them on. A single point of contact for customers is also powerful.
- Build flexibility into your processes. Although it may be more efficient for all customers to follow the same process, it’s beneficial to have different processes for different segments of customers, especially repeat purchasers and high value customers.
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