May 23

How to Handle Unhappy Clients

reA client that is unhappy can result in damage of your brand reputation if you do not take proper steps to resolve their issue and give them the needed care. Just making a mistake and simply apologizing for the mistake might not resolve the issue and businesses will have to do much more than that. But it is not bad to have an unhappy client as customers that are unhappy are considered to be the biggest source of learning as far as brands are concerned. Unhappy customers can not only lead to financial losses for the company, but also future business prospects as well. It is always desirable to handle the client requirements in a purely professional manner.

Listen to your Customers

Let your customers express their unhappiness over your brand and the products or services you are offering. Once they say everything they wanted to about your brand, you will have to calmly respond to them with a reassuring response. It is always better to listen carefully and act professionally when it comes to dealing with customers.

Think from their perspective

It is among the best ways you can understand issues of your customers. You will have to think from their perspective including what you will do when you are in their position. By behaving in such a way, your customers would think that you genuinely care their requirements and show concern to their needs. Either you will have to apologize for the inconvenience caused and should assure such things not to take place again or you should tell them that you might be doing the same if you were in their place.

Be Patient

If you want to listen to your clients and want to focus on their requirements carefully, then patience remains the key. This is because listening to issues of your customers and apologizing to them requires patience. You should always assure your empathy towards your customers every time they come up with an issue instead of justifying it.

Identify the problem through Proper Communication

You should always remember that customers approach you to explain the problems they face with your products or services and to get a solution from your company. Do not think that they approach you just for complaining. You have to communicate effectively with them and should get more details from the client before concluding that you have clearly heard and understood them. Identifying the problems from the customer not only makes them feel that you are listening to them and caring them, but also help you to find out the cause of the problem and thereby resolve it at the earliest.

Give them an offer which they can’t refuse

While you suggest a solution to your customers, make it a point that you extend an offer which the customers can never neglect. Also make the client informed about the efforts that was taken for resolving the issue they were facing. Ensure them that the issue has been fixed and the changes have been made precisely as per their expectations.

Follow Up

To gain the lost trust back, it is desirable for you to call your customers and ask them whether the product is working fine. By this time, they would be happier and would be no longer an unhappy client.

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May 23

4 Factors to Consider While Choosing Courier Companies

sxDo you need to send documents or ship items for your trade regularly? If this is the reason, then you must make a proper research of the service options that the courier companies provide in current days. Almost all the businesses mainly use reputed services of parcel delivery that charges heavy rates. However, if you want to assure safe and timely delivery, you must always choose a service according to the delivery needs that you have. The courier companies, these days, generally come with varied services. But always consider choosing a company that offers multiple delivery options at pocket-friendly rates. Here are some specific ideas for you to keep in mind before hiring a delivery or courier service for the trade:

1. Type of Delivery Service

Being an entrepreneur, you must select the kind of service that efficiently meets the shipping needs that you have. However, this majorly depends on the volume and the count of packages. Besides, you must consider the distance and choose a service on the basis of how far and where you are transferring the parcels. If a person is shipping the materials having large volumes over a long distance, you must pick national or else the regional freight carrier services. On the other hand, for single day delivery within 24 hours of light parcels and small documents, select the trusted local messenger or courier service.

2. Security

Before selecting a courier agency, check that the company has the license to conduct trade in the specific area. Besides, make sure that the agency insured and bonded.

3. Delivery Speed

Delivery speed is a crucial factor and the trade holders mainly consider the speed of services before settling for a company. At times, the entrepreneurs come across certain situations where they have to rush the orders. Thus, they must pick a company that offers multiple delivery services like overnight services, single day services, emergency services and a lot more. Picking such a company can save the trade reputation that you hold.

4. Reliability

When an entrepreneur promises a delivery, he or she, directly or indirectly tend to affects the reputation. Thus, the trade holder must pick a company that guarantees him or her to offer dependable service. Ask about the package of the delivery services before considering a company. Also, check out the review and ratings of various courier companies on the sites through the Internet.

Along with this, you must also know that the total approach of a courier company that includes the appearance and presentation if the staffs, drivers vehicles reflects the business to a great level. Thus, pick a company where the drivers are presentable enough and equally maintain the neat approach of vehicles.

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May 22

Managing a Remote Customer Service Team

45If someone is looking to hire customer service online, there is a myriad of freelancing websites available to locate good, quality workers. Running a remote customer service team can be quite profitable but also challenging. It is extremely important to do it the right way. Below are some tips and suggestions.

A business venture such as this is without a doubt the way to go in the ever-growing world of internet outsourcing. Your customer service representatives can be located around the world, all working from the convenience of their own home, while you have the luxury of doing the same and earning profit from your business. Remote work is on the rise, and now is the time to take advantage.

Hiring

First you will need to hire customer service employees. Because a remote worker is not “seen” by you while they are working, as they would be in an office setting, you want to look for certain traits in deciding if the potential employee will be successful working in an at-home setting.

• A key trait is that the individual has worked remotely before, full time. These individuals already have the discipline and knowledge of what it takes.

• Another important trait would be that they have experience freelancing and/or running their own online business. These individuals are much more production because they know being responsible in their online work is what produces the paycheck. The more responsible, the better the paycheck.

At least one of these characteristics should be present when hiring.

Coverage

Honestly, contrary to popular believe, there is no need for 24-hour coverage. Most customers expect a day for a response. And, faster response time is not most important. Good service is. Extraordinary customer service is the goal.

Productivity

The best way to keep your online customer service employees productive is to keep good communication, task management and focus. Use Skype or something similar where your team members can go to communicate with you and each other. This will assist in accountability, praise and keeping everyone in the loop.

Speak to them about site blockers. It is so easy to lose focus when nobody is looking over your shoulder. You can actually put the site blockers in place yourself (if you feel it necessary).

Team “Water Cooler Time”

Customer service can be really hard work, stressful, annoying and exhausting. Allow your team de-stress on the Skype site that you created. Having that option will help them to talk it out with each other, release the stress, and stay productive.

Software

You must research and choose the right help desk software. Be sure that the software performs the following:

• Routing every request for handling and follow-up without slipping through the cracks.
• When necessary, support tickets are forwarded to other team members.
• The same ticket is not responded to more than once.

Choose software that is remote-friendly and runs well. Check out the reviews on each different one. This is essential to the success of your remote customer service team.

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May 7

10 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Favor Boxes

56For weddings, Christmas celebrations, Baby showers, birthday party, or any other important celebration, the use of favor boxes is very important. If you have a business, it will also be nice to give gifts to some of your loyal customers in unique favor packaging. Below are 10 reasons why you should invest in boxes, if you are thinking of appreciating your customers or guests with some gift items.

1. Increase the worth of your gift

The quality or type of gifts to present to your guests will only matter if you don’t conceal them in quality favor printing. This is why favor boxes are very important. No matter the quality of the gifts present to your guests or customers, favor packaging will enhance the value of that gift. Some guests might even continue to make use of these boxes in their homes after using the gifts. This is because of the durability and attractive designs of the boxes.

2. Show deeper appreciation

Another way of saying “thank you” to your guests or customers is by presenting them with gifts. In addition, when you wrap your gifts with attractive and high quality printed boxes, you give people more room to appreciate and place more value on you.

3. Strong publicity and marketing

If you are about to launch a new brand or create more awareness about your business, you can include some information on your boxes. Your customers may read them, and other people will see them. This is a strong way of advertising your business or your brand to more potential customers.

4. Build strong relationship with your customers

By giving gifts in well-designed boxes to your customers, you are also building a strong relationship with them. No matter how small the gifts are, your customers will always appreciate them, especially when they are presented in a high quality boxes. Giving gifts to people is also a way to express your love for them, so when your show love to your customers, they will also reciprocate.

5. For protection

However, boxes are not just for beautification purposes. They also help to protect your gifts from getting destroyed or losing value. You can also determine the thickness of the material used for your boxes.

6. Express your feelings

You can add some words on your boxes. Consumers will read them and know more about your business. It is also a way to connect with your customers.

7. Shows your creativity

When you add some creativity and make your boxes look exceptional, the people you present your gifts to will appreciate it better.

8. Increase customer base

If your boxes are good enough, your customers might take them to other places you never expected. This will make other people to know more about your business and your brand.

9. Enhance your reputation

Whether for wedding, birthday party, Christmas celebration, or any other celebration, presenting your gifts in boxes to your guests will increase your reputation. If you have a business, it will help to enhance your business reputation and make people to be more interested in your brand.

10. Creates strong business presence

It is a very good idea to invest in boxes for the sake of your business. When more information is added to these boxes, consumers will know more about your business and may easily remember your location as well as your brand. It will also show them how committed you are to your business.

Investing in boxes is a very good idea. It will contribute positively to your business or make your party more unique. However, when you present your customers with specially made boxes, it will bring more value to your business and brand.

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April 19

Is a Customer Service Job Right for You

8If you have a strong desire to own or to work in a service centered company or industry, I’d like to be the first to tell you that I think you’re totally out of your mind. Why would any sane person want to deal with crying, whining, complaining customers all day, or for an entire career? On the other hand, if you have a strong desire to own or work in a service centered company or industry; I’d also like to be the first to tell you that it can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying careers of a lifetime. Why? If you have the required skills and the right personality, dealing with crying, whining, complaining customers all day can be quite gratifying.

As I’ve travelled around our country presenting my corporate training programs, I’ve been very lucky and privileged to meet some of the most talented and highest paid customer service reps in the industry. I have found them to be motivated, enthusiastic, personable, witty, and conscientious. They also have very high levels of productivity and most of the time they work with a smile and positive attitude.

After spending so much time with so many service reps I slowly became aware of 4 specific personality traits that they all had in common. I believe these traits are keys to their success. Let me share them with you:

First, they all have a genuine love of people. This is a master key! If you don’t love dealing with people do not apply for any job where you’re required to serve them. Truthfully, some employees are more productive if you lock them alone in a room in the back office without any type of human interaction. These folks should not be on the front line and should not deal with customers in any way, shape or form. Honestly ask yourself, “Do I love people and interpersonal interactions?” If your answer is an enthusiastic,”Yes,” then a customer service career could be a perfect fit for you.

Second, I’ve noticed they also place great value in serving others. They enjoy pleasing people, they enjoy seeing people happy, and they enjoy helping people solve problems. Inherent in the job title, “customer service” is the word, “service.” Therefore, if you place high value on serving others, then a client service business or customer service job could be a perfect fit for you.

Third, all successful customer service reps are also very good communicators. Now this doesn’t mean you need to memorize a dictionary or thesaurus and have a multi-million dollar vocabulary, although that is impressive. Actually, all of the reps I’ve worked with or trained simply knew their jobs and consistently projected an authentic aura of concern, friendliness and compassion. Their demeanor was positive and their body language was always congruent with what they were saying. Truthfully, these are all important ingredients required for impressive communication skills. If you can project your love of people and desire to serve “within” your communication style, then a customer service job could be a perfect fit for you.

Fourth and just as important as the previous three, if you want to be involved in a service centered industry you must have the gift of patience and plenty of it. Patience is a crucial skill when dealing with clients and customers. Patience helps you to communicate more effectively, listen better, think clearer, and resolve issues more successfully. Some of your clients will complain, some will speak very slowly, some very quickly, they may have a difficult dialect to understand, some will lie, and some will call all day, every day. Patience is truly a virtue because with it, you can rise above all of the so-called negative parts of the customer service job and really find great value in transforming your customers into raving fans and lifelong, loyal patrons.

So, as a review, here are the 4 questions for you:

1. Do you genuinely love people?

2. Do you place great value on serving others?

3. Are you a good communicator?

4. Do you have lots of patience?

If you can without hesitation enthusiastically answer, “Yes” to the above questions, then WELCOME to the customer service industry. You will enjoy a fulfilling career. You will enjoy a very nice salary. You will be a great asset to any company. More importantly, you will go to sleep every night knowing that you’ve made a difference in many customers’ lives.

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March 29

Features Your Online Booking System Needs

c4One of the most commonly used systems now available is the online booking system, which can allow customers to book appointments, travel tickets, classes, accommodation and much more, simply via an online tool provided by the business offering their specific services. These systems are often customisable, meaning that each business can invest in a system that suits them best.

Included into these systems are generally a range of features which can be added or taken away to make sure that customers using the service get the most out of the experience. Furthermore, there are features that are designed specifically to help businesses employing this system to make more sales, gather analytical data and offer promotional deals to customers.

One of the best features that an online booking system can have is the opportunity to take bookings on all kinds of devices, ranging from smartphones right through to laptops. There may also be the opportunity to make third party bookings via third party agents to offer a complete booking experience to customers.

This is extremely valuable as it means that the customer can choose the option that is best suited to them. With online booking on different devices or by telephone, this is the final in convenience, which is likely to make booking with a particular company or service far more attractive and easy to use for potential customers.

In addition to providing a range of booking or ordering options, another aspect which can be extremely beneficial is offering many payment options, from PayPal and credit cards through to Stripe payments or voucher redemption. The latter is particularly useful for companies who offer number money-off promotional deals on their products and services.

Another great feature for those who are looking to sell online is the option to up sell via their online booking system, such as by offering a discount if customers reserve an extra night in a hotel or book a longer health and fitness personal training session at a gym. These valuable pricing options can mean that there is a great deal of flexibility when it comes to sales.

Another feature that is essential when a business invests in an online booking system is the option to customise the connection and the booking forms as much as possible. This includes the possibility for branding opportunities, customisable checkout questions, and customisable reminders for customers about the bookings that they have made.

This customisation is important as it allows the company to really communicate their brand message to clients. This also allows them to tailor their communication to make a bigger impact on clients, encouraging more sales, more satisfied customers and an unparalleled customer experience.

Finally, an online booking system should not come without support for the company that will be using it. This means making sure that there are online tutorials and videos available instructing businesses how to set up their system and use it the way they want. Furthermore, there should also be telephone and email support provided for when businesses run into any issues.

This support will basically make sure that everything runs smoothly, and that any concerns are addressed as soon as they crop up. This means that not only are customers happy, but the businesses that are using the online booking system are completely satisfied too, and are able to make the most of the tools that they have invested in.

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March 25

Strategies for Strengthening Customer Relationships

sfgIn a global world in which competition is often only a computer mouse click away, service providers must constantly work to create and maintain positive customer relationships. One way to do this is striving to create a partnership with each customer by showing that you are working in their best interests and aim to meet their needs, wants and expectations. Customers who feel that they have an active role and power in a customer-provider interaction often feel more important and valued. Your efforts to improve interpersonal communication and deliver the best possible customer service can help create this situation. They can also lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction and retention and reduced stress for you and your co-workers.

Take advantage of the following strategies to build stronger relationships with your internal and external customers.

Gather Information

Ask for customer comments when possible. By knowing more about their needs, wants and expectations, you will be better able to offer services and products that satisfy them. Use a variety of strategies to gather information from customers.

Be Consistent

People tend to like what is familiar. If customers come to know that they can depend on you and your organization to regularly give timely, factual information, they will likely be more loyal. Provide information and updates to customers on a regular basis, not just when it is convenient to you. This is especially true when you are working on a problem or service breakdown. Remember that they do now know what you know. For example, if you are gathering information or need more time than expected, come back to the customer with periodic updates to give them a status check.

Demonstrate Openness

Customers often want to see that service providers understand them on a personal level. The worst thing you can do as a service provider is to hide behind policy or deflect responsibility when dealing with a customer issue or question. Think of how you likely react when a service provider says something like, “I can’t do that because our policy says… ” You probably feel the hairs rise on the back of your neck and become agitated. Your customers are no different. When interacting with them, take the time to put yourself in their place before saying something or taking an action that might create an adversarial situation.

Be Personable

Service providers are “all business” or robotic in their service delivery often fail to get high marks from customers. Even if you are knowledgeable, efficient and follow all the rules in delivering service, you could end up with a customer who is dissatisfied if you do not demonstrate some degree of humanness. That means connecting on a personal level, actively listening, and showing compassion and concern for your customer and their emotional needs. For example, if someone tells you during an interaction that they are celebrating a special event take the time to explore the topic briefly or relate a personal example. If it their child’s birthday, you might turn you attention to the child, wish an enthusiastic “Happy Birthday,” and ask him or her how old they are or what they hope to get for their birthday. Depending on the type of business you are in, you might even offer a small present (e.g. a free dessert, a piece of candy, a toy, coupon for a discount on their next visit, or whatever might be appropriate). At the least, upon concluding the transaction, wish them well or congratulate them one more time.

Excellent customer service is about taking time to consider the customer, how they feel, and what they need, want and expect from a customer-provider interaction. Make sure that you empathize and imagine how you would feel in their shoes during each interaction. Then, act accordingly.

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March 19

Call-Backs Providing Concrete ROI for Call Center in Outbound Telemarketing

f5The best way for a call center to shine from the outbound telemarketing rivalry is by supplying an ‘outstanding customer experience’ – we all know this, right? And yet, in the event you ask consumers what can tarnish the call center experience for them, hold time is frequently at the top of their list.

Hold time is the amount of time that you put your client on hold. It may be irritating – especially in outbound telemarketing when the usual method is making a cold call. Clients don’t want to waste their time, unless they are specifically interested in a product or service. On the other hand, that is the challenge telemarketers usually face – converting a cold call to a warm lead. It takes competitive skillset to be able to get a call recipient to be interested in the product/service you are presenting.

Moreover, it’s hard to supply a great experience to callers especially in the field of outbound telemarketing after they’ve been put on hold. Most will lose patience quickly, resulting in either an angry caller or – worse – a deserted call. Either way, the effect is a terrible customer experience, something no corporation can afford to take gently.

On the other hand, facing angry/irritated customers is inevitable – although it is preventable. However it also takes skill to be able to handle the situation with ease – being able to maintain the conversation and to end the discourse in the nicest way possible.

Doing away with the frustration associated with long hold time directly ends up with happier callers and a more financially rewarding customer experience. What’s even better, when utilized correctly, call-backs can present concrete ROI!

On iBeacon: They can’t find the money for to invest capital on risky investment strategies.

Because retailers frequently have constrained finances, most are resistant to invest in technological innovations which have yet to confirm their worth. While companies comprehend the overall primary advantages of iBeacon implementation, few have the monetary methods to risk on something that’s not necessarily put into practice. Retailers rarely shell out in the technology itself, as their essential issue lies with the overall customer experience. They don’t have time (or money) to squander on dicey innovations which may or may not surge in the long run. Thus, until iBeacon sets out to gather interest on both sides of the experience formula, brands will probably steer clear of focusing resources to this developing technology especially in the field of outbound telemarketing.

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March 18

Can Previous Customer Feedback Really Help Your Future Business? Yes It Can

r5It has always been a good idea to obtain feedback from your clients. It tells you what you’re doing right, what you’re doing wrong and what your clients would like to see from you going forward. But have you thought about using that feedback as a marketing tool for your future business?

Now, there are multiple ways for feedback to be collected and they each have advantages and they each have disadvantages. Some feedback collection methods include:

· Written surveys with multiple choice

· Phone interviews

· One-on-one interviews by an unbiased person

· Written testimonials

· Video testimonials right after the experience

· Third party referral services

The feedback you obtain may be posted on your company’s website (see mine for example) or on your social media pages like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. However, the majority of these methods can take a customer’s time to capitulate. So there are more people that don’t do them or they are very inaccurate and vague in their responses.

There is one speaker whose programs are about an hour to two hours long, so having an attendee complete a lengthy feedback form may not be acceptable or successful. So he asks the attendees to write one word on the back of their business card what they thought of his presentation. He also has blank paper to hand out for those who don’t carry a business card with them.

Then the attendees are asked to put the card or piece of paper in a bowl on their way out the door. He has found that there is a higher rate of response doing it this way and even though it isn’t detailed, it does provide him some information. This same feedback process can be used in restaurants, stores, or any business that provides products or a service.

While this is a great method that this speaker has created and gets the job done, I recommend taking it one step further. Use those business cards for a point of contact and follow up with the person in a week or so! Make sure you have them on your mailing list, electronic and postal, and send them special announcements.

These days, there are online surveys from every restaurant and store asking for customer’s feedback on a receipt that will most likely get thrown away. By creating this type of feedback method, you’re able to get two-for-one from your effort, money, and time it took to create the feedback.

Audrey has been a Freelance Writer for 8 years. She lives with her husband of 38 years in a small North Texas town. They have 3 grown children, 5 grandchildren. They find antique stores, flea markets, garage sales, and resale shops to be a necessity as they restore their 100-year-old house they live in.

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March 12

Tips On How to Improve Customer Experience in the Support Industry

23Customer experience refers to how a customer interacts with your company and its products and services. If you are in the support industry, just like any other industry you need to ensure that your customers to have a great experience. To help you out, here are some of the ways of ensuring that your customers have a great experience:

Offer stellar mobile support

We can all agree that of all the modern technology, mobile technology has received the highest uptake where it’s estimated that over 91% of all adults have mobile phones. Studies show that over 60% of people use their mobile phones to search for customer and product support. To ensure that people searching for support information get the service that they are looking for, make your website responsive to mobile phones.

Regularly update self-service resources

Self-service resources are resources that customers use by themselves to find what they are looking for. The most popular resources are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). To keep your customers happy regularly update the FAQs with fresh, correct information. In addition to this, regularly answer the questions that most of the customers are asking.

Offer live chat option

The live chat option is common with online retailers, but there is no harm with you using it in your industry. This option is that it makes it easy for people to reach you. The customers also get to chat with you or representative in real time. Studies show that almost 60% of people looking for information about a product or service prefer live chat to phone calling or sending emails.

To take advantage of the option and make your customers happy you should have the live chat feature on your phone and app (if you have one). As rule of thumb, ensure that there is always someone available to answer the questions asked.

In addition to the customers using the feature to communicate, you should also integrate it in such a way that the customers are also able to co-browse while chatting with you. This is to make it easy for you to direct them to the page or exact area where they can get the answers that they are looking for.

Offer excellent and professional social media support

When social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedln, Snapchat and others) were created, most of them were aimed at bringing people together. Businesses and corporate companies use them to keep their customers on the know on the available products and services. They also use them to answer questions from their customers.

According to studies, most young people like asking questions on social media sites. To address this group, have a social media expert dedicated to answering questions asked by people via the sites. As rule of thumb maintain professionalism when answering the questions.

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