You’ve invested a lot in your business, with countless hours spent perfecting your products or service features. Unfortunately, those offerings don’t have as much to do with customer satisfaction as you might like. Studies show that 70 percent of the factors affecting customer retention are based on interactions with your staff.
In fact, a well known study by the Customer Contact Council demonstrated that not only does poor customer service drive away existing customers, it also deters new prospects. Interviews with more than 75,000 business and consumer customers showed that while only 25 percent were likely to say something about positive customer service experiences, 65 percent were likely to discuss negative interactions. And nearly 50 percent of customers who had negative experiences told at least ten other people.
Clearly, good customer service is key to keeping customers happy and your business profitable. But which skills are most important, and how can you ensure that your customers’ experiences live up to their expectations?
The first step is to improve communications — both externally with customers, and internally among personnel. Getting your team on the same page of the playbook is paramount to rendering exceptional service across all communication channels and touch points.
In the Fathom Customer Service Skills Workshop we teach participants to remove barriers to effective communications by understanding the full impact of what they say, as well as how they say it. It’s important for staff to realize how their voice projection, tone, pace, pitch and body language all combine to convey a message, and to learn how to make sure they convey the right message.
But good communication is a two-way street, so it’s also critical to develop good listening skills, helping personnel become better aware of their customers’ needs in order to address them satisfactorily. At Fathom we take this a step further and delve into the proper handling of even the most disgruntled customers. By helping your staff learn how to truly “own” the customer’s problems, they’re better prepared to resolve any conflict and collaborate for a successful outcome.
With new insight into what customers expect and training on how to remove roadblocks, your staff will be able to deliver exceptional customer service. And as a result, your business will enjoy the direct results of higher morale, increased revenues, a cohesive workplace, and most importantly, satisfied customers.
Can your business benefit by converting customer service zeroes into heroes?
John Males is Founder and President of Fathom Corporate Training. With more than 20 years of experience in management, sales and negotiations, he helps clients increase employee satisfaction, lower turnover, increase revenue and raise profit margins.