Tag: business planning

Secrets Secrets they Can Be Fun… Let me tell you one.

Secrets Secrets they Can Be Fun… Let me tell you one.

Top secrets customer service information

In the last post, we talked about the first secret to building a solid customer service plan and how to decide what your vision is. 

Today we’ll talk about the second secret in taking your satisfied customers to raving fans. You must know what your customers want. Know who your customers are, and you will know better how to serve them. Having a defined ideal client is really important here. An upper-class woman in her 30’s is going to have completely different expectations than a working-class man in his 50’s.

When considering what your customer wants, there are four main areas to focus in:

  • Listen to your client
  • Ask Your Customers Sincerely
  • Offer More than Just a Product/Service
  • Know When to thank them for their feedback 

These are all important when deciding what your customers want out of their experience. 

Listen to Your Client

You need to listen to both what they say and what they don’t say. Clients may say they want one thing and mean something else. For example, if your customers are begging for lower prices, you may find their real priority is quick delivery. Your clients fall into four categories.

First, you have the raving fan; they’re the person who will self-identify with your brand. Take, for example, the hipster that will say I will only use apple products. Most of the time, they love what you do and provide you with positive feedback. This is your 20% sweet spot. However, if you’re looking to grow or pivot, you have to listen to what they say and prod them for negative feedback.

Second, you have the passive client; you need to listen to customers who only reply with “fine.” These customers are so used to bad customer service they only give a monotone response. Think of the client that leaves the 3-star review and writes it was good—clearly, no a lot to go on here. 

Third, you have the silent client. Listen to your “silent” customers. These customers don’t bother to complain because the service is so bad they’ve just given up and don’t feel like their voice matters. They feel unwanted, and when a competitor shows up, they’ll be gone.

Lastly, you have the detracter or “Karen.” These are your clients who had such a negative experience that will actively try to cause harm to your business. This can be in the form of a poor review or youtube rant. It is essential to make sure that you have a plan in place to handle these people. One suggestion is to create a Non-ideal client profile; this will allow you to figure out who that person is before they even have a chance to buy from you.

Ask Your Customers Sincerely

If you aren’t sincere when you ask their opinion, they will see right through you. It is essential to understand why you are asking them for their feedback. Are you truly prepared to take feedback and make changes? If not, don’t ask. Client feedback is not an opportunity to pander to them in an attempt to create some false value. This is your chance to reengage them and keep them as loyal customers.

You need to ask them sincere questions that get them thinking about their experiences. Make them feel like you really care, and you should! 

Extra tip: If you have a plan of how their feedback is being used, share it with them during your review process.

Offer More than Just a Product/Service

Your customer service process does not just start after you have completed the sale. Make sure you are thinking holistically about your client’s experience. It starts from the first contact and continues indefinitely.

Your customers are looking for much more than a simple product or service; they are looking for an experience that makes them feel good. They gauge every step of the process with a value. When you consider this and treat them like people, they will feel like they belong. That is when your product or service becomes a community.

Know When to Ignore Them

First, you must acknowledge that your business is not for everyone and everyone is not your customer. You will sell to people, and people will buy from you that really shouldn’t have. 

It is okay; in reality, you can’t give them everything, and some people you will never make happy. You have to set limits and stick to them. If your vision and company don’t meet the customer’s needs, they will be best suited elsewhere. 

Be direct, tell them this is not working out, and create a process to help them find the right place for them, and then move on to those you can help.

Start Here

  • Who is my customer? 
  • What are my goals for my customer experience?
  • What questions can I ask to make sure I am delivering on that experience?
  • How will I use their answers?

Now that you have learned some quick tips and tricks. If you get stuck, I am happy to answer questions. Email me: doogie@ideasactionssuccess.com 

 

Customer Service Secrets

Customer Service Secrets

Attract client to post about customer service

Shhh... I Have a Secret

You can create a great customer service system for your business in 3 easy steps.

Customer service is a pretty hot topic and can make or break your business. Consumers have little patience for lousy customer service and quickly get tired of waiting in long lines, trying to get a live person on the line, going through an interrogation to return something, or trying to communicate through a language barrier. 

If you provide them with a simple, efficient, pleasant experience, they will revisit your business over and over. More importantly, your clients will tell everyone they know! 

There are three secrets to good customer service; the first one we’re going to conquer is knowing exactly what YOU want.

You are the captain of the ship and the visionary for your business’s future, so you need to have a clearly defined plan for your business, including customer service. There are three main goals you need to consider:

  • Understand Your Road Blocks
    • It needs to be easy for your customers to do business with you. You can do this with advertised discounts, kiosks, your website, and other technology-based programs to help them shop. No matter what medium you chose, make sure you understand all of the steps your asking your client to do. Then make sure you can make them as easy as possible.

 

  • Your Experience Needs to be Like Talking with Mom
    • Doing business with you needs to be a warm and pleasant experience. Your staff has to be knowledgeable, approachable, warm, and patient. Your customers need to feel like they are getting good value for their time and money. Perceived value goes beyond the price of the products and extends to their shopping experience.

 

  • A Penny Wise a Dollar Foolish
    • Change your mindset and ask yourself, “How can I NOT afford to do these things?” This shouldn’t be a question of expenses, but making and keep happy customers. It is always essential to think about customer lifetime value when dealing with complaints, refunds, replacements, etc. Think a penny today is a dollar tomorrow.

With these thoughts in mind, you also need to consider a few things when deciding on the actual programs and standards you’ll put into place.

  • Share your customer service vision with the rest of your staff. 
  • Empower your staff to make decisions at the moment.
  • Connect your incentive programs and bonuses directly to customer service.
  • Monitor the level of customer service your staff is putting out.
  • Set a time to review and improve your customer experience regularly.
  • Know when you can ignore what your customers want.
  • Continuously focus on your goals.

 

Now that you know what you want, you can start thinking about meeting those wants and creating a positive customer service experience.

If you’re having a hard time deciding on what you want, the tools, resources, and coaches in our GUIDED TOUR can help you define your company’s wants and needs in relation to customer service.

Expand the Life of Your Business

Expand the Life of Your Business

Business Growth is like life

Let’s talk life cycle, specifically your business’s life cycle, and how to get the most out of each stage while also extending your business’s lifespan. Many of you probably are unaware of the business life cycle.

I first heard of this concept while reading the E-myth by Michael Gerber. The book is filled with many great ideas, and one of those is thinking about your business as if it has life stages. He expresses there are three different stages:

  • Infancy
  • Adolescence
  • Maturity

I like to add a fourth business stage, Retirement

We’ll talk a little about each stage, the characteristics, and how understanding where you are can help expand your business’ lifespan.

Infancy

Geber would say you are in the technician’s phase. At this point, the relationship between the business and the owner is that of a parent and a new baby. There is an impenetrable bond that is necessary to determine the path your business will follow. 

Your business is fragile, small, and mostly reliant on you to keep it alive. You spend long hours confused, doing everything. You’re intensely focused on survival and living day by day. Dropping the metaphor for a minute, here some characteristics of an infancy business:

  • You have yet to hit your breakeven point.
  • The owner and business are one and the same; if you disappear, so does your business.

The key is to know your business must grow by finding a way to replace your technician tasks.  You cannot stay in this stage forever.

Adolescence

In this stage, you begin to become the manager; you need to start bringing your support staff together to delegate to and allow growth to happen. The first line of defense is your technical person, as they need to replace you or exceed the experience you brought. 

This is the point in every business when business explodes and becomes chaotic. This is referred to as growing pains. It’s a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless. You are often faced with many choices:

  • Is it time to invest in bringing in the staff to grow your business or remain small
  • Is it time to give responsibilities to your subordinates, trust them to care for your baby like you?
  • Is it time to make long-term plans?
  • Am I ready to embrace the change?
  • What do I want my business to look like? 

 

To progress to the next stage, you must move from the world of tactics to strategies. Start creating plans and commit to them. You need to find your inner business owner.

 

Maturity

According to Gerber, the last cycle is maturity, though this doesn’t mean the end of your business. Your passion for growth must continue in order for your business to succeed. You need to keep an entrepreneurial perspective to push your business forward. 

You need to become the business owner; you need to complete the transition from the everyday tasks to the long-term strategy. You need to establish the policies and procedures to have your managers manage, and your technicians build. 

What does this phase look like? Well, you might have a picture of you kicking your feet up behind the desk, reviling in your success. This might be true for you. What it really is freedom; to choose how you use your time. 

Retirement 

The final stage of life which Gerber failed to acknowledge is retirement. This the stage that most people don’t want to talk about. In this stage, you embrace that your business might no last forever, and you choose what to do with it. 

  • Should I pass the business on to my children or a worth employee?
  • Should I sell the business? 
  • Should I take the business public?

This is your exit strategy; every great business has an exit strategy or more than one. It is essential to have this conversation with yourself and your team and make these decisions before you a forced to.

As you can see, the life cycle of a business is complicated. But knowing where you are is the first step to getting the outcome you want. I hope that this blog has given you some language to thinking about where your business is at.

If you’re having trouble putting together your business life cycles and figuring out which of the critical roles you fit into, feel free to email me, and I will be happy to chat with you.

If this was helpful to you please leave a comment below or share it with someone you feel will benefit.