customer experience

Home/Tag: customer experience
14 01, 2016

Is Your Customer Wearing an Invisible Cloak?

By |2017-03-03T12:06:49-05:00January 14th, 2016|Categories: Blog, Building your business, Customer Experience, Customer Service, Marketing, Reaching the Consumer|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Share This:
Is your customer invisible?

Is your customer invisible?

My friend said she went into a local high end lighting store the other day; despite there were sales people walking around, no one approached her. It was almost as if she was wearing an invisible cloak.  What kind of customer experience is this? The salespeople may have been busy or maybe they didn’t see her, but does that matter? My mother used to say that she had to “have eyes in the back of her head” when I was little. That’s what salespeople need. They must always be on alert.

She had never been in the store and was in desperate need of a part for a chandelier. Yes, we are closer to developing an invisible cloak, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

I just read an article about how customer service should be invisible; I don’t think so. If you’ve got superb customer service everyone in the world should know about it. By the way, we are close to producing an invisible cloak; then what will happen to our customers?

When it comes to developing a working invisibility cloak, we may not be at Harry Potter level yet, but today’s newest breakthrough is nonetheless impressive.

A team of researchers led by Xingjie Ni—a nano-engineer at Pennsylvania State University—have just unveiled an fascinating invisibility cloak: one that takes the form of a sleek skin of nano-material.

 

We talk about providing a great customer experience; how can that happen if we don’t make a connection? Great customer experiences don’t just happen, we have to make them happen.

 

“Why didn’t anyone wait on me; she asked, didn’t I look right?” There was a hint of sarcasm in her voice, but I think there was some truth in her question. My hunch is you’ve had it happen to you.

Here are 2 simple ways to keep your customers from feeling invisible:

  • Approach your new customer immediately. If you’re with another customer, politely ask them if it’s okay for you to greet the customer coming in the door.
  • Make the customer feel like an old friend. If you can offer them a place to sit or a beverage they will feel acknowledged.
  • Connect with them in other ways. Complement them when you say hello, notice their smart phone of tablet.
  • Be proactive. Can you reach out to your customer before they get to your store?

I know these may seem simple but they are common courtesies that are often forgotten but go a long way in building a customer relationship.

Lisbeth has been helping businesses build positive customer experiences for the past 20 years. To speak with her about your business, call her at 518-495-5380.

Share This:
27 07, 2015

Why do Businesses say Stupid Things to Their Customers?

By |2017-03-03T12:06:52-05:00July 27th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Customer Retention Strategies, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service, Marketing, Reaching the Consumer|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

Share This:

no cookingOn my way to the gym I pass this restaurant; today the sign outside says “No Cook.” I’m assuming that means they’re not open. Why would you put that sign up? This is just a ridiculous thing to post for your customers. What’s the point? What kind of customer service can a restaurant deliver without a cook?

It brings up all kinds of thoughts for me.

  1. They don’t pay their help very much or why would the cook leave?
  2. There will be no food until they get a new cook; will the new cook be good? Should I even try it?
  3. When the new cook comes, will there be a sign that says, “New Cook?”
  4. They don’t sound very resourceful, why not just start cooking? There must be someone who works or owns the place that knows how.
  5. Why do we care about your cook? It’s your problem now it’s mine.

Why would you share any of your misfortune with your customers? Consumers don’t care about your problems only that you make them feel good.

Actually, I would have liked it better if the sign says, ‘cook quit or cook fired.’ At least, I can get a laugh about it. It reminds me of the nursery that had the sign, ‘closed during the winter,’ of course; we know that. Why not the sign that says, ‘can’t wait for spring?’

There was another sign on a restaurant door that said, ‘closed because of lack of customers.’ I guess that’s my fault; nasty implications with that sign.

Why not be positive with your customers? Why not close because you’re giving your business a face lift, or you’re having a face lift? My friend had a sign on her restaurant that said ‘owner taking a cruise; she needs it. Thanks for being my customers see you on July 1.’ Those of us, who know Carmella knows she works really hard and deserves a vacation.  We were all excited to welcome her back and ask about the cruise. She even came with gifts for her ‘regulars.’

Customers always want to know, ‘what’s in it for me?’  There’s nothing in it for me when the cook leaves. We all listen to the radio station, ‘what’s in it for me.’ WIIFM. If you do something that inconveniences the customer you can be sure they won’t be happy.

If you can’t make the customer happy, at least make them laugh, or  hold their hands to improve the customer experience.

 

Lisbeth Calandrino has been helping businesses build sales and customer service strategies for over twenty years. To have Lisbeth consult with you, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

Share This:
25 01, 2015

“Undercover Boss” Uncovers Bad Leadership

By |2017-03-03T12:06:53-05:00January 25th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Customer Satisfaction, Training|Tags: , , |5 Comments

Share This:
Discovers some inept bosses.

Discovers some inept bosses.

After watching season after season of “Undercover Boss” I’m thinking we need  a show called “Undercover Employees.” They could find out what their bosses are doing.

“Undercover Boss” is  an American reality television series, based on the British series of the same name and producted by Studio Lambert in both countries. Just as the title suggests, the boss goes undercover to see what his entry-level employees are doing.

Two things that seem glaring; there is little customer service training and “bosses” don’t know what’s going on in their businesses. In fact, most of the bosses are amazed at what’s going on!

I was watching the “Undercover Boss” last week and was disturbed by the boss’s decisions. He was very generous with the employees he worked with, giving them large sums of money. The problem, as I see it, is that people were getting money to help with their “troubled lives” but weren’t asked to “better themselves” or attend schools, so they could obtain leadership positions.

My hunch is the people will spend their money, have great vacations or new toys but what will they have learned? I believe that people will be more apt to change is there are some conditions to these generous gifts. In fact, I feel so strongly about it. I sent a letter to the “Undercover Boss” and sent some customer service books.  I don’t know if I’ll get an  answer, but maybe the letter with my suggestions will get read! My biggest gripe, where in the  business  world do people get free handouts with no “strings attached?” And what’s the point if the gift isn’t connected with your business?

One great thing about the program is that bosses get to understand their employee struggles and help them grow. One of the best ways to help them grow is to provide opportunities for them to advance within the organization. Promoting good employees is essential to their learning.

In order for a business to perform adequately the “boss” must  be able to communicate with his employees.

There must be a way for the boss to know what their employees are doing without spying on them. This reminds me of mystery shopping; another task that I think is ridiculous. If you think, you’re employees are not acting appropriately they probably aren’t. This problem usually starts when a company doesn’t have a suitable training and accountability program. Teaching and training is one thing, if you don’t hold people accountable for what’s expected to don’t waste the training program. CEO’s must create a business model that is in line with the customer’s and employee needs.

Everything goes back to customer service and how customers are being treated. Front line employees are the ones who need the training and usually get the least amount. Because they’re not seen as the ones who “bring in the money,” they typically don’t get best training.

So far, 100% of the companies have leaders who have no idea of what’s going on in their businesses. How sad.

Many of the problems could be avoided if the leader spent time reading employee evaluations and staying in touch with their businesses.  No matter what business you have, the only thing that makes it work is the customers. The first customer of any business is the employees.

Lisbeth has been coaching business for over 25 years. To schedule a consultation or have her speak at your business, she can be reached at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. Lisbeth lives in Historic Hudson Park in Albany, New York, with her cat Rainyday.

Share This:
3 11, 2014

5 Ways To Get Your Salespeople Connected To Customers

By |2017-03-03T12:06:54-05:00November 3rd, 2014|Categories: Customer Experience, Customer Retention Strategies, Customer Service, Motivation, Reaching the Consumer, Sales, Training|Tags: , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Share This:

connecting-with-customer-service-advisorI have been doing sales training for over 25 years, and I am always amazed when I see a salesperson having trouble building rapport. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say on the subject:

 “Rapport is one of the most important features or characteristics of subconscious communication. It is commonality of perspective: being ‘in sync’ with, or being ‘on the same wavelength’ as the person with whom you are talking.”

In other words, rapport is when we ‘get each other’. It’s as simple as that, but it becomes complicated when we believe that everyone should think like us. Not only do we think it, we spend time trying to convince the other person of our position. If you’re spending your time convincing, it shows a lack of understanding of communication. Building rapport is part of customer service and the customer experience.

In order to be a good salesperson, you have to give up your position of having to be right and hand it over to your customer. Remember, if you want to be right to win, that means the customer has to be wrong. In any transaction or relationship, no one wants to be wrong.

  1. Before conducting any type of sales training, I always suggest we do a standard sales training inventory – a test that will show the person how they communicate, who they communicate best with and what gets in their way. The one I like the best comes from BEST Instruments. It is short but conveys lots of information.
  2. Learning about your communication style makes it easier for you to absorb new information and understand how it will help you. This is why school is so difficult for many; they can’t understand why they need the information and how it will help them. Once you do some communication testing, people will open up and want to learn.
  3. Building rapport is the concept of connecting to your customer. Instinctively, we know how to communicate with people like ourselves. If you ask people why it works, they often say, “We just click.”
  4. You can click with anyone. Isn’t that amazing? Instead of passing on a customer because you don’t like them or just don’t get them, once you learn about yourself you can make adjustments in your communication style.
  5. Great salespeople are in control of their communication. They know why they connect and what makes it work. On the other hand, amateurs leave it up to fate. Another great line is, “The customer just wasn’t ready to buy.” Building good rapport has little to do with the customer buying your product; it has a lot to do with whether the customer buys you!

Give a gift to your salespeople: the ability to understand their communication and sales skills. It will benefit them and your business many times over.

To schedule Lisbeth to speak to your employees or schedule a consultation, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

Share This:
4 08, 2014

“Don’t I Deserve a “Twisty” With That Bag?”

By |2017-03-03T12:06:55-05:00August 4th, 2014|Categories: Blog, Customer Experience|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Share This:

Saturday I stopped at what I thought was a farmer’s market. You know the cry now is, “Buy local.” I picked up a few vegetables for my gazpacho and took them to the counter. Like you, I was out having another customer experience.

“You can put them in a plastic bag, “I said.

“We don’t have any, “she said.

“Paper will do just fine,” I said.

“Don’t have it,” she said.

“Well a twisty on that bag will do.” I said.

“Don’t have them,” she said. Okay no bags, no “twisties” and not really a local market. I should have guessed the eggplant was $5.00!

Yesterday I went to the grocery store and couldn’t find my low salt tomato juice. I went to customer service and asked if they might get it for me, and she said, “I don’t know” and walked away. Now what would you have said? How about a big smile, some questions about “why” and then “Of course I’ll tell a manager.”” Don’t forget a tag online, “Give me your phone number, so I can call you when it gets in or let you know what happens.”

As a customer, I don’t care what you do with my request, I just care that you acknowledge me and my concerns. If you’re store is convenient, I’ll probably continue to shop at your store anyway. I can stop drinking the tomato juice, make my own or get it somewhere else. Just let me know I matter.

I don’t care if you throw out the customer’s request and call to tell them you’re never going to get the product. Just do something. Doesn’t anyone train on these things?

  1. “A smile and thank you for your inquiry or request.”
  2. “I’ll look into it for you.”
  3. “How come it’s important to you?”
  4. “We’re glad you shop here.”
  5. “Let me get the manager now and she