sales | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 7

Find a Connection Point – Part 2: Situational Connection - 10/4/22


Last week we highlighted key topics to consider when you want to find Personal Connection Points with the customer.  Today, we’ll cover some key questions to ask to uncover information about today’s situation that you can use to establish a rapport with the customer.  This is Part 2 - Read more

Find a Connection Point – Part 1: Personal Connection - 9/27/22


Some people are born almost like a master at communication.  They know how to establish rapport with just about anybody, and they do so in a way that seems so natural and so real.  They can form relationships and be laughing with somebody they met two minutes ago like Read more

Be Proactive without being Pushy - 9/20/22


Delivering great customer service isn’t just about responding and reacting.  It’s also about being proactive.  Developing relationships involves reaching out first, not just extending our hand when somebody reaches out to us. But it’s all too clear that those of us who are in service roles prefer those roles to Read more

Be Kind to Yourself When the Customer Isn’t - 9/13/22


I was having a debrief call with one of my clients recently, and this was regarding a survey of employees who work events.  One of the survey questions asked employees for advice on how to improve the customer experience.  When the employees shared their input on the guest experience, Read more

Being the Emphatic Employee - 9/6/22


Empathy is the key quality of somebody who’s great at customer service.  We talk about it often - what it is, how to convey it, what it looks like, and how it makes the customer feel. But along with knowing how to be empathetic, we also need to know how Read more

The Good, the Really Good, and the Ugly of Customer Service - 8/30/22


Here are three helpful customer service stories.  They may not be from your specific industry, but it’s always good to learn from others. The Good… Paula submitted a ticket to the I.T. vendor.  Below the signature line in the reply she received was the following:  Please share your comments or needs Read more

A Great 2-Minute E-mail - 8/23/22


I know.  You probably get e-mails all the time from customers griping about some aspect of your organization or their experience.  You’ve got too much to do and too little time to do it.  I could not begin to tell you how many times I’ve been told by staff Read more

When They Want to Talk to Your Boss - 8/16/22


“I want to talk to your supervisor.” That’s their opening salvo.  Before you can hardly finish your greeting, the customer is asking for your boss.  This is done by a customer who has tried to get an issue resolved, and it hasn’t worked, so they want to go to somebody Read more

When Passive Voice is a Good Thing - 8/9/22


It’s all your fault, Mr. Customer! We may want to shout it from the rooftops, but other than venting and absolving ourselves of guilt, this wouldn’t help much in the grand scheme of things. We have a customer sitting in front of us or on the phone, and maybe they are Read more

They’re Stressed, So You Can… - 8/2/22


Wow!  That customer looks stressed!  Maybe it’s their body language or their expressions; they could be fidgety or talking really fast. In the past, when we offered guidance in these situations, we focused on how to navigate the conversation step-by-step - what points to cover and what points to avoid. But Read more

10 Key Customer Retention Evaluation Questions

Posted on in Business Advice, World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

Many times when we address key customer retention strategies and customer retention success stories, the crux of what we’re saying is that you have to get to know the customer on more of a personal level. You need to build a relationship and not relegate yourself to viewing a customer as a prospect and selling to them as if you don’t even know them.

But this blog post is different. This time, I want you to envision yourself in a meeting at your business, and the meeting is all about customer retention and growth. Before you can develop a strategy, you have to ask yourself some key questions about your current state:

  1. Do you know why existing customers initially bought?
  2. Do you know why they would not return?
  3. Do you know who your customers view as your competitors?
  4. Do you know what differentiates you from your competitors in your customer’s mind?
  5. Do you know the differences in demographics, purchasing patterns, participation rates of clients who return every year v. those that don’t return?
  6. Do you know what internal operational factors impact those customer retention drivers?
  7. Do you know how you’re performing in those internal operational areas?
  8. Do you stay in contact (proactively) with customers, even when they’re not in your store, on your website, or contacting you directly?
  9. If so, are your proactive communications about you or personalized about them?
  10. In other words, do your proactive communications seek to learn more about them and educate them, or are they primarily pushing your products and services?

Before you embark on the next big strategy, do a self-scan. Find out what you know…or need to know first.

Ask yourself and those in your organization these 10 Key Customer Retention Evaluation Questions.

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The Cubs Way of Changing a Culture and Improving Revenue Retention

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

The Chicago Cubs baseball team is doing better on season ticket renewals this year. According to VP of Sales and Partnerships, Colin Faulkner, “The rate of renewal for full-season and “combo” night and weekend game plans is in the mid-80 percent range, up 5 percentage points compared with this point last off-season.” And to what does Faulkner attribute the improvement? “Better customer service.

They went through a restructuring of their ticket sales department to provide more dedicated resources to retention. There were a couple other points made in the article, but let’s stick with this one – structuring yourself (with dedicated resources) around retention.

You can often tell what’s important to an organization based on how they spend their money and utilize their resources. We also believe that creating a culture that moves you toward a goal requires much more than leaders who give good speeches or incentives to change behaviors. Culture change and the benefits that can result often require change in how a business is organized, how personnel are allocated, and how focused are the responsibilities of those personnel.

Whether you work in the sports industry or not, when you’re looking to hit a home run with a culture change or to dramatically impact some key business outcome, don’t just create a new incentive program or give a great speech. Make a structural change that ensures you have resources dedicated every day to focus on the goals and to execute the strategies to get there.

Ensure you’re structured for success.

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Customer Retention for Marketers

Posted on in Business Advice, World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

Many marketing articles, blogs, apps, other tech-related devices talk “customer retention” but are really talking their true love – “marketing.” They talk about how “marketing drives higher retention” and how relationship development is really “drip marketing.”

I’m not going to debate retention v. marketing because many people think only about sales and marketing, they don’t think in terms of customer service and developing relationships for the long-term.

So for any marketers out there, here’s some customer retention advice on mindset, strategies, key questions from the marketing perspective:

  • When considering retention, think of your customer as an individual person – not a group. Communicate with them as an individual, not as a market segment. If you’ve ever had a company for whom you’ve been a long-term customer market to you like you’re a prospect, that company abdicated their relationship with you for the ease of pushing products.
  • When developing strategies, focus on the concept of what you need to do to still have this customer in 1-2 years. In other words, what would you need to do – and when would you stage those actions – over the next 1-2 years? Companies who think short-term, often come across as doing things in their best interest, not in terms of what’s best for the customer.
  • When communicating with them, first know how they want you to communicate with them (not how you want to communicate with them). I’ve oftentimes received multiple sales telephone calls and just let the machine pickup, never to return their call. However, if they would have e-mailed me in a personal way, I’ll always respond, even if not interested at that time.
  • Communicate with them in their preferred frequency of communication. Some people will opt-out of e-mail campaigns coming at them 3-5 times per week (especially since they’re typically just sell-related), but they won’t opt-out if it’s once every 1-2 weeks and/or if there’s a mix of sales and more educational communications.
  • View a customer as a supplier of information to you – the information you need to retain and sell them. Don’t think “push” first; think “pull” first – spend more of your research strategy in getting to know them, asking questions and pulling information from them (especially at the start of the relationship) than pushing offers to them.
  • Base your decisions on their personal retention drivers; base your strategies on them as individuals. If you know why one customer will stay with you, address it. We conducted research for a client that noted that first-time customers who are likely to renew annual contracts are actually interested in upsell opportunities, but a high percentage of first-time customers are not likely to renew. You can’t do much with that general information, but since we knew which customers had which inclinations, we could recommend to whom to market and to whom to take a service recovery/retention approach.

If you’re a marketer, customer retention is for you – just know through what lens to look to create your marketing strategies.

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