If you have ever brought a new born baby back home you’ll know that it doesn’t come with any training or even an instruction leaflet. The nurses pretty much hand the baby to you with the unsaid instructions of ‘keep it alive’. And that’s what you do. Guiding all your actions and decisions is the one directive ‘keep it alive’ even when you get to the toddling stage when the toddlers directive is to kill itself you still know that whatever it takes you have to keep it alive. So you bubble wrap all the sharp edges and barricade the stairs. We may all have different methods, but all parents are united in the one goal – help this child survive and thrive. So what has this got to do with customer service? Well I’ll tell you! Continue reading
We all buy stuff all the time. Some things are habitual buys and others are more impulsive and spontaneous but they are linked by the same driver DESIRE!
A product doesn’t have to be sexy for us to desire it, we just have to directly link it to a need, goal or problem we have and it becomes desirable. Take rubbish bins for example, not sexy but desirable! The more needs something meets and problems it solves the more desirable it becomes.
People don’t always know what they want to buy but they always know the problems and needs they have. I see many examples of sales and marketing material that is too self-promoting, banging on about the company’s products and processes and not the buyer’s needs and goals. Continue reading
21st October 2015 is the date Marty McFly arrived in the future in the iconic film Back to the Future. Whilst we might not be whizzing around on hoverboards (well not in my town anyway!) imagine being Marty and glimpsing at future trends such as listening to our music on a tiny device that fits into a pocket or a company that customers can’t get enough of such as Amazon.
Great forward thinkers like Apple and Amazon (and many more) didn’t have a Delorean to take them into the future, but they did have the ability to anticipate what we would want even before we knew we wanted it! This great ability is called customer foresight and we all need to develop it in our organisations if we want to excel at selling and serving and remain one step ahead of the competition.
Most organisations have some insight activity focused on the needs, goals and problems customers currently have and how they can help them, but customer foresight is a different thing entirely. This is about solving problems before the buyer realises it’s a problem. Continue reading
Over the years I have run various customer services courses and as there was a demand for it, I supplied it. I rarely ran them as open courses because I wanted to ‘vet’ the companies to make sure they were ready for the training. The truth is that customer service ‘training’ is the last step for your organisation to take if you truly want to be customer centred (and then in the end you may not actually need it!).
Many call this process I’m talking about ‘Creating a Customer Culture’ and that in essence is what it is. I prefer to call it making customer care part of your DNA – where it drives your people instinctively, rather than you having to inspire it in them with initiative after initiative!
I’m including your sales and marketing functions in this too as from the customer’s prospective it is all service to them. And I’m also including internal customers because in business everyone who isn’t you is a customer. So that’s pretty much your whole organisation! Continue reading
When salespeople tell me they are still cold calling I ask them ‘When did you last buy from a cold call?’ Almost all say never!
If they want training on how to get passed gatekeepers I ask them ‘How would you feel if someone tricked their way passed your gatekeeper? Would you want to build rapport and buy from them?’ Guess how they answer that one!
We have a wealth of knowledge about how people buy because we all buy stuff all the time. If a fancy sales trick doesn’t work on you then it probably won’t work on anyone like you. Continue reading
The key to winning back business is in service recovery and rebuilding trust and faith.
It’s rare that you can just pick up the phone and resell to a customer that no longer uses you. There will be reasons they no longer buy and they may not welcome a sales call from you.
Taking decisive service recovery steps are a must and even if your efforts don’t result in winning a lost customer back, they may help recover your reputation.
If they left you they were probably unhappy with something you did (or didn’t do) and unhappy people tell others. At one time I think the stats were that happy customers told 3 in 10 people and unhappy told 7 in 10. With social media you can add several zeros to that figure!
Try my 5 step service and reputation recovery method! Continue reading
No I’m not talking about my customers or even yours.
I’m talking about you and me.
I want you to take off your business hat and put on your customer hat and look at service through those eyes.
As buyers, we receive poor service all the time. We expect and accept shoddy service and broken promises as standard. We are amazed and surprised when we get the rare glimpse of terrific service. Continue reading
No company owns a customer. At best you get to ‘caretake’ them until they no longer need you or a better offer comes along.
Most customers are like cats; they come when they need something, have little loyalty (and several ‘owners’) and are easily tempted away by a more tasty meal. They know you need them more than they need you and that there is always a better offer to be had somewhere else.
Now dogs on the other hand, they are so loyal it hurts. You can shout at a dog and it still looks at you as if you are the most magnificent and lovable thing in the world. They don’t eat anywhere else or have several ‘owners’, in fact they will bark to defend you and scare off any threat to your union.
When it comes to customers, we need more dogs! Continue reading
…And what you can do about it.
Have you ever wondered why some sales are easy and others take ages or never convert?
Of course you have! It’s all down to desire or lack of it!
Grabbing attention and building desire is a fundamental part of the sales process.
Buyers buy when they see a direct link between a need, goal or problem they have and your product or service AND they will only buy from YOU if they feel confident that you are better than your competitors. Continue reading
Anyone can sell with the 5 P’s of Selling Success
Product – It has to be good, proven and competitively priced (which does not necessarily mean the cheapest) and you need to know how to promote its value points
Passion – You have to love what you do and it has to show! No-one wants to buy from a misery. A buyer can only get as excited about your product or service as you are. There is no place for the apologetic or lacklustre approach Continue reading