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28 03, 2015

“Do You Have Leaving on Your Mind?” 5 Things you can do to Stop Customers from Cheating on you

By |2017-03-03T12:06:53-05:00March 28th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Customer Experience, Customer Retention Strategies, Customer Satisfaction|Tags: , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

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Customers don't tell you when they're getting ready to leave--they just leave.

Customers don’t tell you when they’re getting ready to leave–they just leave.

I was listening to Patsy Cline sing, “Do you Have Leaving on Your Mind?” She’s asking her lover to tell her if he wants out. Customers rarely tell you their leaving—they just go.

The years 2008 and 2009 were tough years on many businesses. When the dust cleared you found you had lost many of your “regulars.” Sure some of this was due to the economy, but how much of it was due to “negligence” on your part?
The statistics in 2014 are no different than they were 20 years ago.

68% of customers leave because of the treatment they receive and 71% specifically said because they received poor customer service. Here are some ideas for keeping those “cheatin” customers.

1. Make it easy for them to talk with you. Is your voice mail filled to the brim? Do you resist picking up the phone when you’re really not that busy? The nicest thing you can do for a customer is to answer their phone call or at least sending a quick text that you will can back in a few. I love the phone app that sends a text  to callers telling them you’re driving, and you will call back once you reach your destination.

2. Have you noticed them in the “box” stores? After my gym workout, I stop at one of the “box” stores to be nosy. I walk the departments to look for signs of “cheating customers.” You know the type; they’re laughing and getting friendly with the store clerks. They are hanging around making small talk. Good businesses know that small talk can lead to big sales. Maybe the customer just needs a friendly hello?

3. How good are your salespeople at “small talk?” Some clerks are “all business” and forget that before business there’s small talk or building rapport. People still buy from people they like and feel comfortable with.

4. Can you get your customers to follow you—everywhere? If you want to get follow, it should be “around the Internet.” Are customers connected to you in the usual places— Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, Houzz and to your blog? Do they like what you post?

Customers leave because of "perceived indifference"

Customers leave because of “perceived indifference”

5. Be “nicer than nice.” Do your employees have the latitude to go out of their way for your customers or does everything have to be cleared through the manager? As a customer, we all want to speak with someone in authority.

Why not give your salespeople “perks” to share with complaining I was watching an undercover complainer at Zappos. She said she didn’t want the shoes, and the clerk said she should return them, and she would give her a free pair! This might be tough on your business, but a coupon on the next purchase shouldn’t be. Zappos motto,  “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing with a WOW!”

RedHotCustomerService“Without customer service, a customer doesn’t have any customers,  good sales don’t necessarily bring back customers, but good customer service does.”
Lisbeth has been teaching businesses how to improve their customer service and the customer experience for over 20 years. To schedule a consultation or speak at your business, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. If she’s not in her office, she can often be found mornings at the YMCA in East Greenbush.

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16 02, 2014

Are Your Salespeople Missing in Action?

By |2017-03-03T12:06:59-05:00February 16th, 2014|Categories: Blog, Customer Service|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

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Sales people must always be on alert for new customers.

The client’s journey begins long before they set foot in a retail store. They are talking with friends, researching products, and looking for testimonials, all before they determine which store to shop. What’s missing? The salesperson.

 

Most stores are  having their salespeople sit around and wait for the client to come into the store.  The customer is in command. This used to work but these days the customer is in control.

 

Why would you want your salesperson to sit around and wait when they can be influencing clients to come into the store? Why are they waiting for the customer to make the decision when they have the opportunity to influence their decision? Why not have them be proactive and go online connecting with the “potential customer?”

 

I know that many business owners are concerned about what their salespeople will say online. Will they insult the customer? Will they be unprofessional? What will be the outcome of their conversation? If this is your concern set some parameters.

But people still buy from people they like and trust. Technology has changed our lives, but it offers the opportunity to for the consumer and salesperson to build their relationship online. The salesperson had to wait until the consumer came into their store to get to know them.  Now they have tremendous opportunities to build important relationships.

If your salespeople could connect with potential customers before they even walk through the door, you would have an advantage over everyone else in the business.

Google (check out this video)  suggests to connect effectively, you must know who your customers are, where they are “hanging out”  and what you’re going to say to them when you find them .

Who knows your customers better than your salespeople?

So it just comes down to what they’ll say. This is a matter of training and policy. Ignoring the potential pitfalls of online communication doesn’t make them go away,it just provides another challenge. A challenge that can be easily managed.   Why not determine the parameters  and dynamics of your salespeople’s conversation? Train them in how to market themselves and the business. This way you can  humanize your marketing, and make your salespeople more attractive to new customers.

The internet is about building relationships; start building yours.

 

These days, a good salesperson has to be a good marketer – there are those of us who think marketing has replaced sales. They must also understand their customer and always be “customer service focused.” Connecting on line is “great” customer service.

 

Social media is not going away nor will customers decide to stop making the Internet their first stop in determining where to shop. The sooner you determine your online policies and how you’re going to have your salespeople connect, the quicker you will increase your customer base.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been doing sales and customer service training for over 20 years. She believes that technology is the key to doing business and salespeople need to be marking and connecting with customers before they come into your place of business. For training or a consultation on the “new selling,” Lisbeth can be reached at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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