Are You (Management) Sleeping On The Job?

When your brand promise doesn’t translate to a great and memorable customer experience – then that is the fastest way to lose customers and referrals. Your management should hit the PANIC button right now.

Low Customer Engagement = Low Sales

Evidently, there should always be a connection between your brand promise with what your customers experience first-hand.

Or your customers will simply move on to your competition and forget about your business.

According to Prof. Rene Domingo @RTDInsights, “ In e-commerce, you can even lose more sales and faster because of poor customer engagement. Lost sales due to bad service are not captured in sales reports and income statements. Management that fails to manage customer experience is sleeping on the job.” 

And it hurts to be called out for sleeping on the job.

While you’re confident that your brand messaging or marketing strategy resonates so deeply with your target customers, you’ll end up disappointing them when you don’t meet expectations while customers are interacting with your brand.

Management Should Always Project an Authentic Brand

Before working on specific communications to support your brand, let your brand seep into your company’s culture. This exercise in developing a brand archetype will only truly work if you are thorough, authentic, and consistent. Every aspect of how you do business should reflect and be consistent with how you project your brand externally.

For example, if you convey a sense of fun to your customers and prospects, it falls flat if your employees aren’t enjoying their jobs. If their morale is low or they are just punching time in, the message will hit a false note. If they don’t reflect the brand in their interactions with customers, prospects, and each other, the brand promise won’t ring true, causing your branding efforts to be in vain.

Or, if your management projects the image of a modern or rebel externally, it doesn’t work if you have a hierarchical, old-school culture in your organization. 

Project Authenticity

Monitor what is happening at all customer touchpoints to make sure that brand behavior is consistent throughout your company.

How is Your Customer Experience?

You build brand loyalty by giving your customers the feeling that they are important to you. There are many levels to this — from using language they'll connect with, to treating them like they matter on social media.

If You're Not Listening to Your Customers - Someone Else Will

Almost 90% of social media messages are unanswered by brands that send four times as many posts as replies. Build an emotional connection with your customers and create compelling stories by developing a social customer satisfaction strategy. Establish what resources you'll need to ensure consistency, listen carefully to what your customers are saying, and respond authentically in a timely manner.  

An authentic relationship matters more than an emotional connection in creating customer satisfaction. Marketing strategies that are most effective have, at their foundation, a commitment to creating a genuine human connection and authentic relationship. Once that's in place, and trust and rapport are the frameworks, marketing strategies are more likely to succeed.  

To emotionally connect with customers we must listen. Listening sends a strong message that tells customers that this relationship will be more about their needs than ours. That builds trust. 

In addition, when we listen, customers tell us what they need - in their words. As marketers, we can use their language when we market. Using their language say we listened, we heard, and we are responding

Customer Experience is Always Personal

You want people to get excited about your business, and that can’t happen without establishing an emotional connection. That means treating every touchpoint with your customers like a face-to-face conversation.

What information would you share? How would you talk about your products? Would your customers be smiling when they think of your products? Consumers have a lot of choices. It's your job as a marketer to give them a reason to care.  

Every marketer has moments of truth around which to build strategies that build trust and an emotional connection with the client. The moments of truth are little slivers of experience in which a client decides whether or not to do business with you or to share you with their network.  

Effective marketers understand that brand experience is more emotional than cognitive. This starts on the front end with marketing messages and continues into the long-term relationship through appreciation and even up-selling by leveraging quality customer data.

The key is to "humanize" the brand through products and services that solve problems.  

Now, it will really depend on who your customers are such as their personalities so you must modify your communication style to fit your customers.

Customer Experience is Always Personal

Customize messaging to four communication styles and mitigate the underlying fear. Task-oriented extroverts fear being taken advantage of, so sell data-driven results. People-focused extroverts fear social rejection, so pitch client testimonials. Task-oriented introverts fear criticism of their work, so minimize personal risk. People-focused introverts fear the loss of security, so sell family safety.  

Decoding What Your Customers Want (Versus Management Point of View)

Management Should Understand Customer Needs

Customer frustration stems from a discontinuity between the expectation of a customer service interaction, and what’s actually delivered. Nearly three-quarters of consumers expect you to understand their needs and expectations.
Many businesses have learned that it’s often advantageous to “underpromise and overdeliver” in order to increase the likelihood of exceeding customer expectations. Others take pride in high expectations, knowing full well that they can deliver the goods.

Whatever you do, make sure you understand and set those expectations with your customers from the beginning and then deliver on them.

Open Communication Channels

Listening Means Your Brand Cares

There’s a wealth of recent data citing the importance of channel preference on customer satisfaction. In a nutshell, customers expect companies to communicate with them on their preferred channel, be it in person, online, or on the phone. 

Modern consumers expect to be able to communicate with you across at least three different channels — depending on the type of inquiry.

Studies show that channel preference depends on the type of interaction.

For example, for simple inquiries, online self-service portals and emails are the preferred channels. However, as the inquiry gets more complex, speaking with a live agent through live chat or on the phone becomes the preferred choice.

Being where the customer is — wherever that is at the time — is the key to meeting customer expectations.

Quick Response

It doesn’t matter if you’re in a store, on the phone, or online – no one likes to wait. Accordingly, the response times of the channels you provide service on should be reasonable.

What’s reasonable, of course, depends on your customers and their channel preference. When it comes down to wait times, remember that technology can be your ally. For example, call-back solutions can help eliminate hold time, while also reducing abandon rates and telco costs in the call center.

Personalize

Though we live in a seemingly anonymous culture — where “self-service” is so prevalent — customers increasingly want a personalized experience when it matters most.

CRM technology allows businesses to have proper relationships with customers all the way from the shop floor to the call center — take advantage of it. This approach can also extend to proactively contacting customers, for example, sending electronic communication about relevant promotions, follow-up calls to ensure satisfaction, etc.

Fostering relationships with customers can significantly increase the likelihood of exceeding their expectations, turning them into advocates of your brand.

And it’s well worth the investment: even just the perception of personalization could significantly increase revenue.

Personalization Boosts Revenue

Listen Intently

Just like anyone, your customers want you to listen to them. Really listen. You may collect feedback but do you act on it?

Consumers today have a louder voice than ever, and if you’re not listening to them, someone else will. Overwhelmingly, customers want to give you feedback — and customers also expect you to give them the opportunity to provide feedback.

More than half of people don't believe that companies take action on the feedback they receive. And companies that let consumer expectations and feedback guide them dominate many industries today such as Amazon. By making it easier for customers to get what they wanted, and creating products based directly on feedback, Amazon has obliterated many traditional retailers in their space.

Solve Pain Points With Good Management

Solve Pain Points and Grow Your Customer Base

At the root of every customer inquiry is a desire for a quick resolution. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that customers don’t want to jump through hoops to get their problems fixed and questions answered.

Empowering your front-line agents so they have the ability to resolve customer issues is key. With each transfer, subsequent call, or email, customers lose patience with your organization, resulting in a loss of goodwill which can significantly affect your ability to retain and grow your customer base.

Solving customer problems right away is a surefire way to avoid issues from your customers down the line.

People strongly favor companies that are proactive when it comes to customer service — both personal notifications about service issues and more public social media statements.

Customer service has long been in a reactionary trench; don’t wait for your customers to reach out to you with their problems and questions. Being proactive is how you present your brand as ‘going the extra mile’ for your customers.

Don't wait for your customers to reach out with their problems - being proactive shows you care.

Create opportunities for them to provide feedback at any point. Formalize the processes around when you reach out to certain customers, depending on how they interact with your content. Make customer focus groups a regular part of your engagement strategy.

Be Proactive

People strongly favor companies that are proactive when it comes to customer service — both personal notifications about service issues and more public social media statements.

Customer service has long been in a reactionary trench; don’t wait for your customers to reach out to you with their problems and questions. Being proactive is how you present your brand as ‘going the extra mile’ for your customers.

Don't wait for your customers to reach out with their problems - being proactive shows you care.

Create opportunities for them to provide feedback at any point. Formalize the processes around when you reach out to certain customers, depending on how they interact with your content. Make customer focus groups a regular part of your engagement strategy.

Surprise Your Customers

Customers love to be surprised. In fact, surprise can light up the same pleasure area of your brain as drugs, indicating humans are designed to crave the unexpected.

Surprise is an incredibly powerful tool for shaping the customer experience. And remember, you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money. A handwritten note in their delivery, a small discount, or a birthday card could be enough.

Based on some of our earlier stats, they’ll probably be surprised if you’re proactive about solving their problems or listen to their feedback!

Save Time Over Money

Contrary to what many believe, most people value their time over money. The best way to sell someone something is by presenting it as something that can either save them time or improve the quality of the time they have.

That’s why McDonald’s marketing strategy focuses on ‘happiness’ and not on ‘cheap food’. Time is of the essence now more than ever. The majority of customers feel that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do.

Consistency

Besides repeating themselves, the customers hate the most is inconsistency. In fact, getting inconsistent answers from support agents is a major frustration for them.

With the majority of consumers using multiple channels to communicate with you, it’s time to make sure that it feels like a single conversation. Are you giving customers the same answers and the same level of service across all your channels?

Connect Your Brand Messaging with Customer Experience

Don’t sleep on the job.

The key to delivering excellent customer service — and a chorus of customers advocating your brand — is by truly understanding your customers’ needs and expectations.

Providing great customer service does not have to cost you an arm and leg either. You don’t have to invest billions on advertising that just works on a surface level or attraction but won’t retain customers. In fact, some companies that have excelled in customer service have even managed to remove their advertising departments entirely.

Customer service today is not about telling people how great you are and giving figures to prove it. It’s about creating memorable experiences that do the talking for you. At TeleworkPh, we call our customer experience simply going above and beyond.

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