In both good times and bad the lifetime value of a customer can be exponentially greater than the value of a series of single transactions from one-time customers.
In this era of social networking, it only takes one Tweet or Facebook status update to seriously damage a company’s reputation.
One bad customer experience can cost you that customer for life.
Hospitality, travel, retail, healthcare, and financial services are especially prone to losing customers who have a negative experience. Think about these situations from the perspective of a customer. It doesn’t take much for a customer to decide that you and your company aren’t worth his time, effort, or money. That’s why we encourage our clients to carefully consider how well an employee’s core behaviors fit with the actual job he or she will be performing.
The core behaviors of your employees who interface with customers that make the biggest difference for your business are:
Tact – Your customers don’t know what they don’t know, and they may make incorrect assumptions about what they need or how something works. It’s your employees’ job to make your customers at ease and familiar with your products/services and their capabilities. The last thing your customers want to feel is stupid or offended. So use tact when your selling.
The bottom line is that how you say something to a customer can be just as important as what you say.
Empathy – Customers like to feel loved, and they get turned off very quickly when they sense that you don’t care about the pain they’re feeling. Even if you can’t help them because the situation is beyond your control, acknowledge that you understand both the situation and their frustration.
Conformity – The key is understanding your customers’ objectives and expectations, and then aligning your people with your customers.
For example, The Ritz-Carlton is famous for empowering its frontline people to make good decisions that allow them to deliver exceptional experiences for customers. This is probably a good thing given their ultra-luxury market segment.
Focus – Obviously, no customer wants the person serving her to be distracted or preoccupied, but being too focused can be a bad thing too. How do you find the right balance?
Be sure your employees understand the degree of focus required for the job.
Flexibility – Companies that provide the best service think in terms of the customer, and this requires employee willingness and flexibility.
Did you know?
The best way to know about your customer experience is to ask them.
Using the Customer Service Profile™ (CSP) to determine which behaviors and strengths are most in line with your organizations customer service initiatives increases the likelihood of success for your customer service employees and your organization. Match the core behaviors of the individual to the actual job that he will be performing.
Skills can be learned by employees willing to put forth the effort, but our personalities and core behaviors are difficult to change. That’s why we encourage our clients to carefully consider how well an employee’s core behaviors fit with the actual job he or she will be performing.
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