So, it’s as simple as this. A commitment to customer experience can result in up to 25% more customer retention. And a 5% increase in retention alone can increase profits by 25%-125%. Now those are big fat impressive statistics!
Indeed, many organisations already appreciate the impact customer service has on business, and invest in it royally. However, when it comes to training your people are you actually seeing the return that the research suggests is possible? Having been in Learning & Development for almost 30 years RightTrack has learnt that just four simple shifts in the focus of your customer service development, can make an astounding impact:
1. Build Confidence
Where most customer service training falls down, is that it focusses too much on the customer. (And no, I’m not having a mad moment!) Think about it. We spend hours telling front line staff how they must act and what they must say, or not, what kind of gestures will create a wow experience, but how can an individual create that memorable connection if it doesn’t come from a place of authenticity? You can’t expect someone shy and reserved to impress by being the showman. Neither can you teach the showman to impress with bundles of empathy and care. And if it’s something in-between, but delivered like a service robot, well that’s not going to work well either. However, if we support individuals to develop a personal ‘Me Brand’, to understand how that aligns with the organisation’s brand and the other ‘Me Brands’ within the team, great things begin to happen.
2. From ‘Communication’ to ‘Conversation’
It would be safe to hazard a guess that the majority of customer service training focuses to some degree on communication skills: questioning, active listening, influencing and summarising techniques etc. Now, we are not saying there is anything wrong with building any of these skills but often the trick is missed is not leading it all back to a deeper focus on, not how to just communicate with customers, but how to connect and create memorable moments. By focussing on Conversation rather than Communication, we are more able to leave positive, lasting impression upon the minds of those they meet. The impact can be huge.
3. Raise Awareness of Unconscious Bias
This is very interesting stuff with lots of science behind it. But in summary, we all have a natural tendency to feel more comfortable with people most like us. Which means that we can have a tendency to shy away from groups of people we don’t immediately have an affinity with. This is the phenomenon driving so many persistent workplace equality issues and has been seen to impact negatively on customer service too. The good thing is, that by merely raising awareness of the way our minds work, understanding micro-inequities and what the consequences can be, we can help people to be open and equally helpful to every customer they meet.
4. Use Space and Motion
Ok so ‘Body Language’ is so 1990s! Having been wowed by the GamesMakers of the Olympics in London a few years ago we partnered up with a Mime Artist to understand how to harness the true power of non-verbal communication. Boy were we impressed and have included this kind of stuff in our customer service training ever since. Learning how to go against the flow of movement to stand out in a crowd, or to make yourself seen in a large open spaces, no matter what your size, is a skill that can add to the customer experience whether you’re working in reception, ‘meet & greet’, on a shop floor, a massive entertainment venue, tourism or as a car park attendant.
If you have any question, just give us a call. We can help you to spruce up your existing programme, write something specifically for you for any learning platform (including e-Less learning™!) or alternatively, check out our 2-day How to Wow Customer Service programme here.