Boundaries between nations are fading, and the global economy is taking center stage. In light of this, businesses now need to adopt new strategies to attract customers. Having a renowned name is not enough to encourage loyalty to your services or products. The power lies in your customer service. Companies such as H&M have faced backlash over little “mistakes” that customers didn’t take too kindly. People were calling for a boycott of its products. But, some organizations have been able to amass what we could term as fanatic following.
So, what is it that they do differently from the rest?
For the lovers of iEverything; every Apple product launch has something that excites. They are those who have helped the company cross over the $1 trillion market cap, in August.
This drive to use Apple products isn’t in merely having the apple logo, to show. Their retail elite goes through extensive training. The training allows them to identify, and take advantage of human emotions by:
1. Making Sales a Science
Sometimes you may feel guilty, after buying something, that you hadn’t planned. It may be because the retailer at the store, convinced you to buy the item. In response to this, the salespeople in Apple get trained to empower the customer.
In that, they guide you to make the purchasing decision without seeming pushy. It works by (Approaching) a potential client and (Probing) them about their needs. Then, the seller (Provides) you with options that may meet that need.
At this stage, (Listening) to the customer is essential. The final step is where he/she (Ends) and seals the deal. They achieve this by guiding the interaction with the customer. Who in the end feels like they decided on their own.]
2. Understanding Emotions Conveyed through Nonverbal Gestures
Have you ever been through a sales pitch that you didn’t have an interest in? You may have given all the possible clues to the sales agent who either didn’t get it or ignored it. In the end, you didn’t buy what they were selling, and both your time and theirs gets wasted.
The company trains its salespeople on how to interpret gestures, accurately. A blank stare signifies boredom. When you move in closer, it indicates acceptance. Some people, stroke their chins when they are evaluating a situation.
Some interpretations may make little sense though. For instance, clearing one’s throat as a sign of nervousness. You could as well have a sore throat.
3. The Value of Feedback
I presume, most of us don’t like to be wrong, but it happens. The company’s training manual encourages their staff to give each other feedback. They describe it as “open dialogue,” one that has “positive intent.”
The Genius system maintains that this is an essential aspect to help preserve their retail culture. Oh! And that, it is also good for one’s personal development. There’s even a sample conversation to demonstrate this.
4. Employee Empowerment
If you have worked a 9-5 job, you have probably come to terms with having decisions made for you. At Ritz Carlton, they entrust their employees to solve the problems that a client faces, by allowing them to spend up to $2000 each day.
You don’t have to go to the higher-ups to make a decision. Thus allowing the staff to solve the challenges of a client, immediately. It demonstrates the company’s trust in their team, as they face little red tape.
5. Continuous Training
The company measures the performance of their staff against specific criteria. Each year, every employee has to complete about 200 hours of training. It comes in different formats as the organization understands that every person has their unique learning style.
They also have what they call, “The Daily Lineup.” Each day, employees gather for 15 minutes to share the testimonies of their clients. This activity ensures that the staff delivers consistent customer service.
Also, the orientation of new hires mainly revolves around culture. It is so because your employees are the first advocates of any business.
6. Exceptional Quality through the focus on Priorities
The business climate of today encourages companies to follow what’s currently trending. The company has been able to create the “Ritz Carlton Mystique” by understanding the three main priorities of clients. For a luxury hotel, it is a clean room, service that’s timely, and a hotel that delivers on its promise.
What started as an online bookstore, has since branched into different industries. Its reach is in the film industry, too.
7. Customer Focus
It is in their mission statement. They have to account for the client in any decision they make. Well, it is so because it’s a client who pays the wages for any business.
All their products demonstrate this. Take Kindle, for example; its existence is mainly based on the desires of the customer. The preferences of engineers, or other people, comes after taking this into account.
The company’s departments are also data-driven, depending on the success or failure of customer experience.
I bet it is safe to say that all companies face some controversy. The latest for Amazon is the negative report on how they treat workers and poor working conditions. The strike by workers on Prime Day didn’t help the matter.
In 2009 also, they remotely deleted certain books from users’ Kindles. However, rather than address the issue using an inhuman press statement, Jeff took the time to release a heartfelt apology.
He took responsibility for the blunder and apologized. It helped the company regain the trust of their customers.
From the Cinema, Parks to Products, we cannot sum up the effect of the Disney experience during our childhood years and for some, even in adulthood.
They have been able to and continue to connect with customers emotionally and deliver value, at the same time through:
9. Emphasis on Consistency
Cast members have to abide by the enforced rules. These rules affect how they act. The first training referred to as “Traditions”, dives deep into the quality of service expected and the culture of the company.
The rules are founded on the feedback of the guests. Every customer experience comes with the pressure to deliver as per, if not exceeding their expectations. Thus, the enforced rules try to ensure this.
10. Use LAST on Unhappy Customers
This model emphasizes on (Listening) to the complaints of the customer. For when you have the Disney badge, you represent the company. One then (Apologises) for the poor experience. It’s not an admission of wrongdoing.
Then one tries to (Solve) the problem if there’s a solution to it. Finally, the staff (Thanks) the client for bringing the issue to their attention. Negative feedback helps them identify the areas that need change.
It’s not only the business giants who are reinventing customer services. Their success comes from developing employee training models that are customer-centric.
You can also learn a tip or two from the small businesses such as:
They are an essay writing service that helps their clients submit top not papers that are original, free of error, and in line with the instructions. For services such as this to get recurring customers, they have to:
11. Be Present
Even though they hire expert writers, clients need assurance that they can get in touch with them, at any time. Here is where, instant access to the service provider, is essential.
They are available 24/7 and provide users with timely responses. It makes their offer of free revisions, and unlimited amendments, useful. It applies as long as it’s within the company’s 30 days offer period.
In this digital age, the value of customer experience is tremendous. One negative experience highlighted on the internet could prove costly to the business. So, you need to focus your training on empowering your employees. Also, you should ensure that customers relish their experience with you.
It is what keep them coming back for more, even if they have to add some to the cost of the service or product. Also, in all the strategies you adopt, keep in mind that your employees are your first advocate. As the opinion of a client about a business depends on their interactions with the staff.
Purpose to give them room for personal development. Also, equipping employees with problem-solving ability, allows you to gain their trust. As solving a problem immediately, is less costly than what you address, later.