In today’s economy, it is vital that everyone learns to improve their customer service skills.
We all serve somebody. At the top of the list are the customers you’re trying to attract and retain. But if your goal is “satisfaction,” you’re aiming too low–and your competition will take advantage of this.
Customers who are merely satisfied with your products or services can easily be swayed to do business elsewhere. In this course, we reference studies showing that people who are “rationally satisfied” behave no differently than those who are dissatisfied.
The only customers who will keep coming back are those who feel emotionally connected to your company, product, or service.
During Beyond Service Excellence, our trainers provide a working knowledge of key opportunities to make these connections, as well as awareness of behaviors that can weaken or strengthen them.
- Three Types of Customers
- Promoter – emotionally satisfied
- Customer – rationally satisfied
- Detractor – emotionally dissatisfied
- Participants are asked to give real life examples of customers from these three categories, as well as to delineate the different effects each type of customer will have on their business.
- Research and case studies from the Gallup Organization are used to support the qualitative difference between emotionally connected customers, rationally satisfied customers, and dissatisfied customers.
- We introduce the Customer Service Ladder–to gain a Promoter, you must achieve success on all five rungs:
- Bottom rung: Procedural Efficiency
- Second rung: Technical Excellence
- Third rung: Professional Courtesy
- Fourth rung: Product Innovation
- Top rung: Personal Connection
- Participants are asked to prioritize each rung from the perspective of senior leadership, their direct supervisor, and themselves.
- Participants are asked to grade the success of their entire organization, their particular department, and themselves with respect to each rung.
The Four Opportunities to Create an Emotional Connection
- Disinterest creates a disconnect. “Disinterest” is when you come across as impersonal, indifferent, rude, or disingenuous.
- Participants are asked to split into small groups and asked to share their own experiences, as customers, with employees who had bad attitudes. They are encouraged to reflect on how it affected their commitment to that place of business.
- We present a psychological analysis concerning why some people have a disinterested attitude at work.
- Enthusiasm creates a connection. “Enthusiasm” is when you demonstrate a sincere belief in your product or service, coupled with a genuine desire to help.
- Each group is asked to simulate one of the previously told stories of bad attitude in a roleplay. They then roleplay the same situation but with a different (good) attitude.
- We present a psychological analysis concerning why some people have an enthusiastic attitude at work.
- We explain and practice together the mental technique of developing and maintaining a positive attitude.
- Self-centered communication creates a disconnect. This is when you talk more than you listen. This can include an overemphasis on process, product, or personal knowledge (“Let me tell you what we can do”).
- We conduct discussion to determine ways in which customers feel processed rather than genuinely served.
- Altruistic communication creates a connection. This is when you listen more than you talk. This includes inquiring, empathizing, and validating their needs (“Let me ask you what we can do”).
- Our trainers review what it means to make a good impression. Some aspects of this include:
- Being accessible
- Showing interest
- Demonstrating balance
- Defensiveness creates a disconnect. This is when you refuse to admit or correct a service failure.
- We ask participants to share stories of their own experiences, as customers, with service failures, with a focus on times when an employee, manager, or owner was defensive and refused to take responsibility.
- Taking ownership creates a connection. This is when you do everything within your power to completely rectify a service failure in order to win customer loyalty.
- Participants are asked to share their own experiences with service failures in which the employee, manager, or owner took extraordinary measures to make things right.
- Then, participants brainstorm together about potential frustrations and grievances that customers might have, and discuss appropriate corrective responses. This time will be particularly tailored to the unique needs and context of your company / industry.
- We review research from Gallup and GPW Institute that demonstrates the link between employee engagement and customer engagement.
- Engaged employees are the by-product of inclusive managers.
- We stress the importance of a workplace culture of positivity. Managers need to communicate positive and affirming messages at a 5:1 ratio to achieve highly engaged employees.
- Participants are paired off with a partner and asked to share a story of when they were able to make a strong emotional connection with a customer. The RDR facilitator will debrief after this time, and help participants identify the specific factors involved in winning customer loyalty in each situation.
- Finally, participants will be asked to complete a personal action plan that articulates ways they can improve on creating emotional connections with their customers.