knowledge

Challenges Create Opportunity, People Create Change - 4/20/21


There are so many great things that have been said over the years about overcoming challenges, pushing aside the roadblocks of life, dealing with difficulties.  And these are important points of discussion because challenges are all around us.  There are challenges with our personal health or in our personal Read more

The Passive Predicament - 4/13/21


The employee is speaking to you.  Do they have that look in the eyes like they’re hanging on your every word, like they’re processing, interpreting, and getting ready to quickly respond to your key points and questions?  Or do they have the look of somebody in the 2nd hour Read more

Regain Lost Motivation - 4/6/21


For many of us over the last 12 months, our home has also become our workplace.  Our work interaction has been 2-dimensional through the computer screen as opposed to the 3-dimensional experiences we’re used to with co-workers and customers. We are all motivated in our own unique ways.  Some are Read more

The Answer is Right, but the Service is Wrong - 3/30/21


Maggie was irate.  The gift she ordered needed to be received by the 20th of the month so she could give it to her cousin for his birthday.  It was the 19th, and Maggie couldn’t find any shipping update online, so she called the company.  The employee said “Oh!  Read more

Question Everything, but What’s the Question? - 3/23/21


The new leader joins the organization, and she decides she wants to question everything.  She wants employees to question everything.  Why have we always done it this way? Why do we continue to do it that way? Is this the best way to work? Sometimes it’s a great management Read more

The Resourceful Rep - 3/16/21


One of our clients is seeking to develop Customer Service Standards.  We’re working with them to identify those key expectations of staff that will enable the organization to deliver a consistent high-level customer experience.  One of the key attributes that this organization is seeking from its team members is Read more

Be Proactive like a Pro - 3/9/21


We constantly work with clients, encouraging them to become more proactive with customers.  Don’t just be reactive, waiting for the customer to ask questions or to complain.  Instead, go to the customer, anticipate their needs, suggest something to them. But many of us, frankly, don’t know how to be proactive.  Read more

Find One Unique Thing - 3/2/21


Many of us are not in a position to develop long-term relationships with our customers.  Our encounters are often one-time only with a customer - very brief and likely to be our only time chatting with this individual. And even though there may not be a long-term professional relationship developed, Read more

Should I Stay or Should I Go? - 2/23/21


Should I stay or should I go?  That’s not just a classic song by The Clash.  It’s also the question customers ask more and more, especially during difficult economic times. A recent study in the Charlotte Business Journal noted that 50% of North Carolina businesses are concerned with how to Read more

Optimism – A Force for Good in Customer Service - 2/16/21


Will 2021 be a better year than 2020?  I have absolutely no idea.  Maybe it would be nice to see into the future and know for certain, but I can’t and I don’t.  But as I wade further and further into this year, I can hope that the water Read more

Train Customers to LOVE Your Experience – 11/8/16

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week Please leave a comment


What are the components of your customer’s experience?

Let’s say your business sells boots.

How do they find out about your business and how to contact you? How do they know what boots you offer and what needs they address? How do they get a boot to test out or purchase? How do they determine if their preferred size and color are in stock? How much does the boot cost? How do they get it, and who will deliver it? How do they find out the delivery status?

These are the questions to answer, but we’re not designing the customer journey as much as we’re using these questions to ask you one more question.

How do we get customers educated enough on how to do business with you so that they absolutely LOVE your experience?

When businesses view the experience through the customer’s eyes, they can identify potential customer loss points due to frustration with a process, customer lack of knowledge, or customer lack of awareness. When you identify those potential loss points, then put yourself in the position of a teacher or a professor – one who can educate and train others:

  • Create simple infographics or diagrams that explain a process to customers.
  • Ensure that your process documents and your people clearly state what will happen next so the customer’s knowledgeable about what to expect and when.
  • Use webinars, training, and other education-based vehicles to train customers on how things work. Incorporate signage directing customers to next locations and next steps.
  • Give customers documents at the end of one step that clearly articulate what they need to do next or what will happen next and when.

Never assume that your customers are knowledgeable about your people, processes, and products. Make sure they’re knowledgeable enough to be comfortable and confident in doing business with you.

Train Customers to LOVE Your Experience.

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Narrate the Great Customer Experience – 12/8/15 TOW

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With several clients recently, we’ve led visioning workshops to define the great customer experience as well as their desired culture – so these are topics top-of-mind in many industries. The problem for many staff is that they either already think they deliver a great experience, or different people define the great customer experience differently. So even if there is a vision created, how is that vision clearly articulated to staff?

Occasionally part of the communication plan for a new customer experience vision involves developing a narrative. Consider having a customer experience vision such as “We strive to be the premier grocery store in the community, where the best items and greatest attitudes in our region are seen by the quality of our produce and the smile on our employees’ faces!”

Okay – so the grocery store wants good produce and employees to smile. So what, right?

Let’s now paint the picture with a narrative of the vision that conveys what the customer may experience at checkout (read this as if you’re a customer):

It was the usual superb Grocers Unlimited experience. After hitting just those aisles where I knew they had the product I needed, I went to the register to check out. There was only one person ahead of me, and the cashier welcomed me to her area. She looked as though she had been having a great day, joking with the customer ahead of me about the local sports teams.

When it arrived for my turn to check out, bonus card in hand, the clerk again said hello and asked if she could scan my bonus card. She asked if I’d like her to hold onto my coupons until she was done.

The baggers had been flowing very consistently between the different registers to help. It didn’t seem like any cashier had to do his/her own bagging for an entire set of groceries.

Since I was in a talkative mood, I asked her about the customer service award placards on the wall. “How do you earn an award, a 100% rating,” I asked. “You have a mystery shopper come in who is looking for you to address her appropriately, take care of her needs, and ensure she’s satisfied,” she replied. I asked if she tries to figure out who might be a mystery shopper so that she can earn the award. The cashier said, “No. I try to treat everybody, my customer, my co-worker, my team leader like I would want a family member treated. As long as I keep that attitude, when the mystery shopper comes, I’ll get the reward.”

This short narrative about a two-minute transaction addresses many things – attitude, body language, customer engagement, employee knowledge, teamwork, employees who know their roles, proactivity, and efficient processes.

When you define your customer experience, narrate the story to be clear to others what’s expected.

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Be Proactive, in Helping Yourself – 6/2/15 TOW

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The young homeowner went to the hardware store to buy a new chainsaw, and he asked the employee for advice. The employee suggested a particular model and noted that “it can cut up to 25 yards of wood a day.”

The homeowner was thrilled, so he bought the chainsaw and went home to start cutting.

A week later the homeowner went back to the hardware store with the chainsaw and asked to talk to that same employee.

“It’s a pretty good chainsaw,” said the customer, “but I was only able to cut 15 yards of wood a day.”

“Hmm,” said the employee. “Let me check it out.” So the employee pushed a button, pulled the cord, and the chainsaw started right up.

Immediately the customer yelled, “What’s that noise?!!”

I can’t take credit for this story, but I love it! Obviously the customer was trying to use the chainsaw without actually turning it on. He was probably working incredibly hard to get it to cut, and when the employee – who was more experienced in the use of chainsaws – started it up, the customer realized the issue. He was working much harder than necessary, and he wasn’t getting the productivity he needed.

That’s what can happen to us when we rely too much on ourselves. Look around your office. Who has some wisdom to share? Who has specialized knowledge of a product, more experience with a service, appears more adept at handling certain types of customers, or is more comfortable in certain situations?

Identify them, and tap into their wisdom. Maybe you won’t have to work as hard, and you’ll be a little more productive and effective.

Use your proactive nature to help yourself.

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