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I Wont Tell My Lawyer but I Will Tell You
A general counsel of a large international consulting firm told us about his experience talking to an interviewer who had called to discuss his satisfaction level with his outside law firm. He had been using the services of a "high end, expensive" law firm out of New York.
We asked if the interview questions allowed him to speak about all the issues that were on his mind regarding his relationship with his lawyers. His response was, "There were many small things that had been bothering me about our law firm but none that I thought were big enough to discuss with them. This interview allowed me to get some things off my chest."
That's interesting, but his next comment floored us. "I know now if those issues had gone unchecked I may have gotten to such a level of annoyance I would have shopped for another law firm." That's pretty explosive. In other words, if his high-priced law firm had not taken the initiative to determine the loyalty levels of their key clients, they wouldn't have known about accounts that were silently in jeopardy.
He told us he would not have responded to a traditional survey!
When we talk to our clients' customers, we know we must ask the questions that allow the customer to respond with information that will be of value to our client. In the previous story, the upper management in the law firm can now act on information that's of significant business value. We won't argue, by the way, that they used the most effective method of gaining real information about what resides in the heads of their customers. People respond well to personal interviews using open-ended questions that allow them to use their own words. It's those very words and thoughts that must be captured, not the responses to questions created by survey designers.
Speaking of surveys. If your company surveys your customers regularly, don't be mislead into thinking that you understand what is in the heads of your customers. There is a difference between gathering information and allowing people to vent, which requires specialists (like Davis, Kingsley & Company).
Surveys collect point-in-time responses using pre-determined answers. However, it's difficult and sometimes impossible to find out how to improve business performance in any area. You might get information about what's broken but unless a company lets customers express their own thoughts, they won't have solid information on what and how to improve things. Surveys have limits on the value they can offer. Upper management should know this.
The "high-end law firm from New York" dodged a bullet by finding out what's in their blind spot. The cost of not asking or not knowing could have lost them a great deal of business. Ask the right questions, allow customers the freedom to speak their mind and analyze their feedback to be of solid value to make improvements.
Does your firm have a process to capture what resides in the thoughts and minds of your key clients? Can you afford to leave it unattended?
Darcie Davis, President of Davis, Kingsley & Company is a management consultant, speaker, author and trainer. She works with companies to secure genuine feedback from their clients before advising them on strategic decisions about sales, marketing, and operations. Her advice will keep your clients out of the jaws of the competition.
Customer Service - Google News
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Customer Service Has Moved Toward Customer Care
As I waited for an answer to my VCR inquiry from a stereo company, the recording stated a "customer care" representative would be available shortly. At that moment, I realized it's finally catching on everywhere.
Transforming Disgruntled Customers into Your Biggest Advocates
"I am writing to complain about the widget I bought from your site the other day."Sell anything and eventually you will be on the receiving end of a sentence like this.
Can Three Words In Websters Dictionary Be The Key To Customer Loyalty?
Are you concerned about customer loyalty? Are your customers so loyal that they will stick with you through hell and high water? And if not, you really need to question how you can create a customer relationship that's so gluey, that you never go bluey in the face. Funnily you don't have to go far.
How CRM Software Works -- Creating Customer Satisfaction with a Click
When people ask, "What is CRM?" the literal answer is, "Customer Relationship Management," but that doesn't really convey much in terms of what all CRM does for a business. This CRM definition is too narrow to really explain everything the system does if it is working to its fullest potential and is user-friendly enough to expand and grow as a customer-client relationship changes and grows.
Finding Out Why a Potential Customer is Calling On You
Our challenge as the business owner/sales person answering the telephone, is to build rapport with the caller, quickly and easily.In most cases, the caller has been told something about you and your product or service.
Be the Customer: See Yourself as Your Customers Do
What do your customers experience when they interact with your business? As a mystery shopper, I help businesses see themselves through the eyes of their customers by posing as a typical customer and evaluating their service, quality and cleanliness. Was it easy to find what I needed? Were the employees polite and helpful? Was everything neat and clean? Was I thanked for my business? What happened when I made a return?Whether your business is an international retailer or a small one-person shop, what you don't know about your customers' perceptions of your quality and service can hurt you.
The Drawback of Hacking Off a Blogger Through Weak Process Gaps and Pathetic Customer Service
With all of the recent data theft in the financial sector, it is important to make sure that we don't go crazy trying to protect ourselves from risk. Risk management does have a value but this value lies mostly on the front end.
Attitude of Service
When conducting a training session about customer service, I always spend a fair amount of time talking about attitudes. After all, to be of service, you must develop an attitude of service.
Listen to Suggestions
If you are up to your ears in a stressful situation, it becomes difficult to think clearly. Sometimes, it is best to walk away from a problem, and think about it, rather than try to solve it with an instant solution.
What Every Manager Should Know About How to Prevent Customer Service Conflicts
There are five techniques that have been proven to be effective in resolving, minimizing, and preventing conflicts. And by conflicts I am referring to any of the following that may take place between two or more people: misunderstanding, miscommunications, arguments, disagreements, mixed messages, fighting, etc.
The Importance of Good Customer Service
Do you have good customer service? Even for your free giveaways?I have been thinking over the past couple of weeks why some WAHP's have trouble growing their business. They host chats or do online parties.
Should I Have My Company Mystery Shopped?
I wish I had a nickel for every time someone said to me, "Oh, you do Mystery Shopping; I always wanted to do that!" I think most people do find the thought of posing as a customer and reporting back on how they were treated, rather intriguing. But there is a lot more to it that skulking around in a trench coat and spy glass!I believe most companies have taken the plunge and decided that it really is important to conduct frequent "mystery or secret shops" of their businesses.
6 Reasons Why Complaining Customers are Golden
With Some Tips on How to RespondTt has probably happened to you if you own your own online business. You get an email or even a phone call from someone who is upset or unhappy with this or that about your business.
Customer Service and Marketing that Works
Go into many businesses today and try and get service, its sometimes impossible! The customer service officer is on the phone talking about personal issues, there is not enough staff, and they are disinterested and distracted.The old days of customer service is where you the customer were viewed as valuable and important and you received service from a person and not a machine.
Dont Forget your Existing Clients
Quest for new clients shouldn't ignore those who pay the billsAcquisition. It's a big word in small business marketing.
Developing A Customer Complaint System
BackgroundThe company was experiencing an increase in the number of customer complaints and an increase in the cost of processing them and we were hired to analyze the current situation and develop recommendations to increase the effectiveness of the process of administering and resolving the complaints.Identify Customer Requirements A consultant was assigned to the design of customer service systems and complaint processes, and who had done extensive work in QFD (Quality Function Deployment), which is a methodology that analyzes the needs of the customer and integrates them with the company processes to ensure the needs are met.
Customer Service Is More Than Just Being Nice To People
Many organizations tackle to the issue of customer service by exhorting their employees to speak with a smile. Be polite.
How to Transform Your Voicemail into an Effective Medium of Communication
"Hi this is Randy. Leave me a message after the beep and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
Is Your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) System Doomed To Fail?
"Right, People. Let's blast out that mail campaign we've been planning for so long.
What Type Of Software Is This?
The other day while at the book store, I came across some accounting software CDs strewn with other CDs and books in garage sale box.How can any self respecting businessman (even a small one at that) pick up a copy of this cheap sale accounting CD from the box for his business to use? He'd think "what type of accounting system is this that would end up in a garage sale?".
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