What First Impression Do You Give to Customers and Clients?

When we're in business for ourselves, and especially when we're long-established, it can be all too easy to lose sight of the impression our business conveys to existing and potential new clients and customers. We may be so preoccupied with completing the tasks in hand, making new contacts, winning actual orders that we forget to…

When we're in business for ourselves, and especially when we're long-established, it can be all too easy to lose sight of the impression our business conveys to existing and potential new clients and customers. We may be so preoccupied with completing the tasks in hand, making new contacts, winning actual orders that we forget to stop and pretend to be our own customer, evaluate how we look, review how our concessions appear, consider the impression we convey.

Impressions, especially first impressions, can make all the difference to how our customers and clients interact with us. This is why some organizations hire secret shoppers, to gain feedback on their customers experience of dealing with them. Their findings help them to keep their fingers on the pulse, keep a focus on what's really important, provide guidance as to any necessary changes and improvements.

It's important to stop and check if our customers see us as professional, high-end or bargain basement, cheap and cheerful. Is that how we want to be considered? Different businesses will have different messages and criteria that they're keen to convey to their customers.

Let's look at some of the things it's important to consider when we reflect on the first impression we give to customers and clients:

– Business literature may be the first introduction that some people have to your business. They may be handed a business card, leaflet or flyer or they may see an advertising poster offering goods for sale or the date of a seminar or workshop you're offering. What impression does it convey, how professional do you appear? Consider your branding and check if it's consistent through. Business cards often benefit from being good quality, especially as they may need to survive being stuffed into someone's pocket or purse alongside a handful of other people's.

A professional impression is given when your stationery, articles and handouts contain relevant information so that customers can read follow-up with you whenever they need. Keep your message clear and specific, especially if it needs to separately target several different niches and demographics to reach a varied customer base. It's important to tailor your message appropriately, while not forgetting to occasion introduce new products, topics or services.

– Some people meet through network meetings. They're an effective way to identify people in business who are looking to make new contacts. A good first impression can be made when you're interested in listening to what new acquentions have to say. Identify what they're looking for, any problems they may be facing and see if there are ways you can help. Even if you can not directly resolve their problem you may know someone who can, which is a great way to establish a reputation as an important point of contact.

– What impression do your concessions convey? It may be feasible to have your business plans in a rundown, inexpensive part of town, which helps keep your overheads down and is an effective way of appearing inconspicuous and low-key. However, might there be times when it's worth renting a more convivial business environment, eg for client meetings?

If your customers and clients regularly call at your concessions it's important to intermittently check on their experience and the impression they receive. Pretend to be your own customer occasionally. What does the area look like? How about your concessions; are they shabby or smart? Would they benefit from a coat of paint, a good clean, some greenery growing in planters? Is there safe car parking, a friendly reception area? Some potential clients may decide to check on your place of work first, prior to booking an appointment or doing business with you.

– And last but not least, what about you, how do you present yourself as the face of your business? It may be that in working for yourself you rarely need to display a corporate image or be especially smart or well turned out, but research has proven that we all unconsciously assess someone within seconds of first meeting. Okay, a business suit or tie may not be necessary, particularly if you work from home but for many potential customers and clients looking professional goes a long way towards making a good impression. It demonstrates that you take your business seriously, care about how you yourself and respect the people with what you come into contact.

The saying 'we only get one chance to make to first impression' is very apt. There are many ways we can influence a potential customer and being mindful to create a good first impression is a positive start to effecting a successful outcome for all concerned.

Know Your Customers Better With a CRM

Technology solutions for business practices do not usually involve reinventing the wheel, so to speak, but adding increased functionality and efficiency to existing processes to improve speed, accuracy and user experience. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a valuable tool that allows businesses to communicate with and serve the needs of their clientele. The purpose of…

Technology solutions for business practices do not usually involve reinventing the wheel, so to speak, but adding increased functionality and efficiency to existing processes to improve speed, accuracy and user experience.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a valuable tool that allows businesses to communicate with and serve the needs of their clientele. The purpose of CRM is to engage customers and create meaningful relationships with them, facilitating lasting dialogues that improve your understanding of the customer base and increase their loyalty to your business' services.

CRM systems can track and measure marketing campaigns and perform detailed customer analysis. They are also expanding beyond the core sales and marketing areas to incorporate support and finance data that gives users a complete view of individual customers and the wider customer base.

In addition to developing and maintaining client relationships, CRM systems have three powerful functions in sales force automation, data warehousing and opportunity management. Sales force automation can implement sales analysis, automate tracking of client account histories, and coordinate sales, marketing, call centers and retail outlets. Data warehousing allows users to aggregate transaction information, follow trends and determine value and KPI by merging the CRM system with existing information storage systems. Opportunity management helps companies manage unpredictable growth and demand through a forecasting model that integrates sales history with sales projections.

A strong CRM system accurately captures key data from customers and collects it in a single, accessible location. It will also generate alerts and notifications that can be sent to customers quickly and easily.

A strong CRM system will also open doors to new marketing opportunities, collect customer data and, most importantly, leverage that knowledge such that it results in measurable sales results. Essentially, a CRM system should increase customer satisfaction while decreasing the number of actions required to manage customer relations. However, a deficient or improperly implemented CRM system can end up doubling the number of actions, resulting in more time spent to achieve less results.

As mentioned before, integration is key. A CRM solution must be able to assimilate seamlessly with your business' existing system, or at least be capable of exporting data from that other system. Otherwise, you'll find yourself working from scratch with a long road ahead of you.

The best CRM systems will automatically show trends and display customer analysis data and graphs. Having unwanted fields and unnecessary features in a CRM system often causes more harm than good, slowing down page-load time and increasing the difficulty of locating the features you want to use. You should keep your CRM simple and only implement features that you need.

Choosing the right CRM solution for your business depends mostly on your business' size. A small business, for example, usually does best with a customized solution that meets their smaller scope without adding extraneous features that bog the system down. A medium-sized business may want to use an existing CRM framework with some minor customizations, while large businesses are typically best-served by a major CRM software like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics – these large-scale solutions are designed with big businesses in mind and require minimum customization.

Benefits of implementing the right CRM system for your business include increased customer loyalty and the security of future revenue. With CRM, companies are able to customize their services to each customer, enhancing the perceived quality of products and services. They also enable users to improve reliability by creating a direct channel between the customers and the service that facilitates timely responses and deliveries.

An effective CRM solution should inevitably increase sales without increasing overhead. If you find your CRM solution adds complexity without any benefits, you may be using a system that is not right for your business. But do not give up. The right CRM solution exists for every business – it may take some tweaking and customization, but the benefits it can provide far outweigh the time it takes to calibrate a CRM system to fit your needs.

There's no better solution to organize, automate and synchronize your business' sales, marketing, customer service and technical support through a single, easy-to-use technology. When you implement the right CRM for your business, you simultaneously save time and resources while increasing your customer base and ROI.

Best Ways to Engage Customers

Customer is the king for any business and it is pivotal to keep them satisfied. More so when the business is part of the service industry it becomes imperative to keep the customers happy and engaged. Continuous customer engagement helps to retain the customer and attract new customers. So, how to keep the customers happy…

Customer is the king for any business and it is pivotal to keep them satisfied. More so when the business is part of the service industry it becomes imperative to keep the customers happy and engaged. Continuous customer engagement helps to retain the customer and attract new customers.

So, how to keep the customers happy and engaged? It is a challenging process to keep them engaged till the relationship lasts.

Keep your customers happy

Long term relation with a customer becomes a reality only when the customer sees the worth of services he is being offered. A customer is happy when his problems are resolved by the services provided and with the priority they expect. Interested the customers with the USP to derive the best results of retaining and attracting customers is the key to sustain the relationship. Customers today evaluate the services of the provider to understand if they are taking the right decision.

Nurture the prospects

Understanding the moment of decision may be difficult, but aiding for the momentary decision is a job not to be neglected. Nurturing the prospects by following up through various channels and re-enabling the brand is essential which influences the decision-making process of the customer.

Clarity in Communication

Keeping communication simple, clear and up-to-date never invites problem. Clarifying questions and being honest about the situation instills trust which forms the foundation of the relationship. Timely communication of the progress of the work or what as a provider the company can offer should be honest. Communication makes the way easy.

Showing Interest in Customers

A happy customer means a good healthy long relation. Making a customer feel important will help to know the need and expectation of the customer. Customers are dependent on the provider's services and it is the responsibility of the provider to show at least the same interest level like the customer. This can be achieved by regular interaction with them, taking their feedback or responding to their general inquiry, providing the most appropriate solution, respond and react to their grievances.

Promote your Customers as well as Yourself

Presenting and promoting the customer is as important as self promotion and presentation in the provider's marketing activities. This helps to increase the confidence levels of the customer. Sharing success stories with the customers will make both the parties established presence in their respective networks. A simple effort like a case study or blog in the digital space of the service provider will make the customer gleeful. Any organization would be very much active in their marketing which can be through social media or promotion through blogs or articles, where they will be sharing their achievements and success such try to gleeful customer with their permission, try to tag them or can be stated that we would not be successful without the support of our client, certainly client will appreciate the extra attention and will reciprocate in kind.

Solving Problem Together

Any issue that arises in process, delivery, expectations should be analyzed and presented to the customer along with a solution which can be agreed or brainstormed by the provider and the customer. This method will increase the trust levels of the provider in the customer.

Deputation in clients' place

To become successful in long-term employ engagement, it's always better that a person from the service provider should be discharged in the customer's place who will play a vital role in handling and resolve their questions. Deputing a person variants from industry to industry, more so effective in recruitment as it's a more people oriented industry and the sense of belonging is entrusted.

Celebrate Together

On reaching the milestone everyone love to celebrate the success, it's always good to celebrate it with the customer and making them feel that it would not have been possible without their contribution. The game of success is never “WE” it's “US”, this is the message that should pass to the customers and always make them part of the celebrations.

Import Export Data Helps to Get Correct Information About Related Things

The world economy and business commercial ventures depend vigorously on the global exchange proceeding occurring along the shoreline of different nations. This information is primarily an itemized record of the different products and items that have been foreign made and traded by a specific nation in a specific monetary year. The information with respect to…

The world economy and business commercial ventures depend vigorously on the global exchange proceeding occurring along the shoreline of different nations. This information is primarily an itemized record of the different products and items that have been foreign made and traded by a specific nation in a specific monetary year.

The information with respect to different import export data have likewise turned out to be essential and structures an extremely fundamental piece of the worldwide changing situation. The whole information is nourished into database which specifically facilitated over the web and has worldwide access. As an after-effect of this worldwide openness, merchants and purchasers around the globe can have a subsidiary element investigation with respect to a specific shipper or exporter along these lines guaranteeing a more honest to goodness business. This online import export data can be deleted as and when wanted in whatever conceivable way relying on the client. One can without much of a stretch create magnificent diagrams and reports in regards to purchasers and so on. These databases give easy to understand look choices extending from a general item insightful pursuit question to a more perplexing purchaser or merchant based inquiry. An organization can unduly survey its own or a perspective customer with the assistance of these databases.

The import export data is collected by capable and qualified powers, basically living up to expectations under the traditions division of the nation, who ordered it under different subheadings according to the needs. This is basically made out of names of the purchasers, names of the merchants and exporters, name of different gatherings included specifically or in a roundabout way simultaneously, insights in regards to the item transported in or sent out, its sure Harmonized Code List which is of essential significance, the amount of the item, the quality models under which it was gotten, the business sector top on that specific foreign or traded great and so forth.

The greater part of the nations takes after the bill of passage or the bill filling procedure to gather this information. This procedure permits the custom or other concerned powers to make a note of the record connected with the item at the time the item has touched the nation's shores. These powers then go on the result of the separate ports to continue with the further exchange procedure. This import export data additionally has different reports and contextual investigations particular on a specific item as requested or fancied. It helps making the exchaling process exceptionally straight and helps a specific purchaser or shipper to pick his customers heretofore in this manner making the business legitimate and secure.

Ways to Get Leading Telemarketing Call Center Services

Today, modern call centers have turned into a hub where outsourcing companies hire their services and solutions in order to respond to customers' queries and offer customer services via voice and non-voice telemarketing services. Hiring a telemarketer seems an easy job but it is full of challenges if you are not smart enough to handle…

Today, modern call centers have turned into a hub where outsourcing companies hire their services and solutions in order to respond to customers' queries and offer customer services via voice and non-voice telemarketing services. Hiring a telemarketer seems an easy job but it is full of challenges if you are not smart enough to handle things properly. When hiring a telemarketer for business, you should do your homework first and find out what do you need. It is almost useless to invest hours of your time and energy to find telemarketing services that can turn your fortune easily.

First of all, focus on target customers and the type of calling your business needs. It will help you know everything in detail and bring you in a great position where you can take an instant decision.

The very next thing that can make a real difference to your hiring plan is to know what hours you need your telemarketers to work. It will help in setting time and managing things in a perfect manner.

Finally, you need to know what the product or service you are marketing. It will help you find a call center that has expertise in telemarketing call center services that directly match your needs and wants in a perfect manner. This will also help you easily target your real audience.

To make things happen and interact with customers, the calling executables must have some qualities that make them perfect for the job. Mentioned-below are some of the qualities that you must have find out in telemarketer of your choice as these are genuinely make any person a good Telemarketer for doing the job flawlessly. These include:

The telemarketer you choose must have a clear telephone voice so that he / she can understand all aspects of interaction at all levels.

The telemarketer should have the ability to speak fluently and at a nice pace so that he / she can respond to all questions with no hassles.

The telemarketer must enjoy speaking as it is the only base of the telemarketing jobs.

Moreover, he / she should be sound happy, enthusiastic and friendly so that the targeted audience can be entertained matching their needs and wants.

The telemarketer should have the ability to communicate clearly. Moreover, he / she must have a full knowledge of the products and services that they are selling via voice as well as non-voice processes. A telecaller with no knowledge will create a poor impression on the very first day of his / her job.

Leaders Live Great Customer Service

I walked up to the cashier, who was talking with her co-worker working the other checkout line at a retail store. “How are you?” I asked. She disregarded me and continued talking to the other cashier while running my items through the scanner. She knew I was there, but she never stopped talking long enough…

I walked up to the cashier, who was talking with her co-worker working the other checkout line at a retail store.

“How are you?” I asked. She disregarded me and continued talking to the other cashier while running my items through the scanner. She knew I was there, but she never stopped talking long enough for even a quick acknowledgment. I was actually fascinated by the rudeness, and I wondered how deliberated the behavior was, so I stepped into her line of sight while they continued the conversation about her weekend. My cash register person then altered her stance so she could still talk to and look at the other women. She rang up my three items, and I paid by sliding my card. Throughout the entire transaction, this front-line customer service person never even recognized that I was there nor stopped talking as she handed me my bagged merchandise.

Wow.

By sharp contrast, at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Singapore last week, the bellman greeted me by name and he said, “Welcome back to your second home.” The reception agent then commented, “We are so pleased to have you back.”

I was in my room in less than 5 minutes. What great customer service!

It does not matter whether you work at a retail store, a major corporation, a hospital, or a fast food drive-in. Across all sectors, people want a good quality product AND they want their interactions with personnel to be pleasant. When people provide better than average service, they are memorable. The customers, as a result, very often keep coming back and become repeat customers.

So why does not that happen more often? Why is great or even decent customer service so difficult to implement?

How do leaders instill a sense of attention to the customer?

Why does customer service sound so easy and yet is so hard for so many people to do well?

How can leaders encourage their employees to deliver great customer service?

What can managers do to develop the mindset to take care of others?

Leaders can:

  1. Be as gracious as they want their employees to be
  2. Common court is not as common as it should be. So provide exceptional service and attention that go beyond the basics of common courtesy.
  3. Communicate the need to take care of customers.
  4. Train employees to think like the customers they serve.
  5. Instill the sense that customers deserve to be valued.
  6. Cherish customers.

The Importance Of Hiring Valet Services For Your Event

When you are the host of an important event, you wish only the best for your guests and you want to leave thinking impressions on them. Offering ample parking for your guests is one of the most important things you can do for the event. It can be stressful when all your guests have shown…

When you are the host of an important event, you wish only the best for your guests and you want to leave thinking impressions on them. Offering ample parking for your guests is one of the most important things you can do for the event. It can be stressful when all your guests have shown up, but you do not have enough space to accommodate their cars. Valet services can save the day for you in such a scenario. The services will not only offer space solutions, but will also leave your guests feeling relieved to have their vehicles taken care of by valet parking concierge. Valet services come with a number of other benefits.

They provide safety

Safety is important in any given scenario and the fact that your guests will have their vehicles parked near the location offers them car safety. It also keeps them safe in that they do not have to walk long distances from where they have parked to the event. When working with a reputable valet service company, you can be sure that they will keep a watchful eye on the guests' cars along the valet lane closures or it can have the area patroled to keep crime outbreaks at bay.

The services provide convenience

This is both for you and your guests in the sense that they do not have to worry about where to park their cars and either will you have to worry about allocating areas for the same. The valet company will use the space you have available in the best way possible and it might have other space options in case your allocated area fills up. Valet parking concierge can also offer other services such as carrying items from the cars and this is always welcomed by the guests. The valets can also fetch forgotten items from parked cars to offer added convenience to your guests.

They offer peace of mind and spare time

This is because you will not have to worry about event parking and you can redirect the focus on other parts of the event to perfect it for your guests. You will be saved from the stress that comes with something going wrong outside with the cars and parking which can be strenuous when trying to entertain your guests. With the valet parking services, you can relax and enjoy the event knowing that everything is well taken care of. You will have a well-orchestrated event when you have made plans for everything that is necessary making the event a success.

They make guests feel honored. Nothing says you care more than valet parking services for your guests. They make them feel welcome and important considering that you took the time to cater to their needs as far as dealing with cars is concerned. They will also find it easy to start enjoying the event as soon as they step out of their cars. For any event, nothing is more rewarding than happy guests at the end of the day.

Reducing Waste for Consumers Through Lean and Continuous Improvement

I'll start this post out with a confession: I was at McDonald's the other evening. I know that for some people, a trip to McDonald's counts as a personal defeat, but hey, I enjoy those fries from time to time. Anyway, on this particular trip the drive-through was packed which led my wife and me…

I'll start this post out with a confession: I was at McDonald's the other evening. I know that for some people, a trip to McDonald's counts as a personal defeat, but hey, I enjoy those fries from time to time. Anyway, on this particular trip the drive-through was packed which led my wife and me to go inside (for the first time in years). I ordered a drink and some fries and my wife got ice cream. While we were eating, I noticed some improvements that they have implemented since the last time I set foot in a McDonald's restaurant. I'd like to commend them on some waste elimination.

Ketchup pumps: I always remember having packs of ketchup in little bins that I could take and use to my heart's desire. I also remember having about a half-dozen of them left on my tray by the time I was done with my meal. In a waste-elimination effort, a ketchup pump would be a great idea. I filled one of the small paper cups and had a seat. About halfway through my pail of fries, I had emptied this cup of ketchup and went back for more. By the time everything was done, I had a very insignificant amount of unused ketchup, which is a stark contrast to the times of my childhood of having plenty of packets that inevitably ended up in the garbage.

Trash compactor: Technology is always cool to see in action, but when I observed the trash bins compacting the garbage inside, I thought it was a great way to maximize the amount of usage they can get out of a single bag. However, this is not just a reduction in trash bags but it also leads to a reduction in manpower required to empty the bins. If they can get double the trash in each bag by compacting it after tray dump, it only requires half the manpower to empty it.

Soda cups: Alright, this one is a stretch, but I feel like it is a waste-elimination effort nonetheless. When I ordered, I noticed that they did not give me my soda cup right away. I could have sworn up and down they used to deliver those to you immediately as your order finished, but not this time. Whenever I get a soda cup right as I'm done ordering the first thing I do is head to the soda fountain and fill it up while I'm standing there waiting for food. Then, once I have food, I head back to the fountain, top it off, and find a seat. So by giving me the cup with my food, McDonald's is reducing their soda consumption by what, maybe 8oz per customer? It might not seem like a lot, but I'm sure it adds up over time.

There is a delicious balance between eliminating waste and making sure your customers are satisfied. I'm certain that if I had asked for my soda cup at the time I completed my order, they would have been happy to give it to me. I did not mind waiting for the cup with the completed order and I did not mind the lack of ketchup packets. I will continue to go to McDonald's as often as my lapses in dietary judgment permit. However, if they had been so stingy as to keep ketchup behind the counter and dole it out in very limited quantities, I would not be returning. They have figured out how to strike a balance between eliminating waste and keeping customers satisfied, and for that, I commend them.

Some Customers Aren’t Worth Doing Business With

One of the most quoted untruths in business is this: “The customer is always right.” However, when the customer is not right, there is still a right way to handle the situation. This is my take: The customer is NOT always right! But, they are always the customer. So if they are wrong, let them…

One of the most quoted untruths in business is this: “The customer is always right.” However, when the customer is not right, there is still a right way to handle the situation. This is my take:

The customer is NOT always right!

But, they are always the customer. So if they are wrong, let them be wrong with dignity and respect.

Customers may be misinformed or make a mistake – and that's OK. But there are other times that the customer is way beyond being “not right,” and that is when they are disrespectful or abusive to employees who are doing their best to be helpful.

I decided to address this topic after hearing the same story three times in one week. The story has been around for years, and the short version goes like this: A Southwest Airlines passenger wrote several letters to the airline to voice her unhappiness with many aspects her traveling experience. Her complaints ranged from the boarding process to the lack of assigned seats, small bag of peanuts instead of a meal, and more. After several letters, one of them made its way to Herb Kelleher, CEO of the airline. He took the time to respond. He wrote:

We're going to miss you. Love Herb

This simple message did two things. It sent a clear message to the customer: We appreciate you, but it's not working out. In addition, it sent a message to the employees: We value the work that you do, even enough to put you ahead of the customer.

Some customers are not worth doing business with!

Can you guess what the response is when I use that line in speaking engagements? It's almost always applause. I explain that it's OK to “fire” certain customers. Employees should not have to deal with abusive, disrespectful customers on an ongoing basis. It brings down morale, puts employees in a bad mood (not good for the next customer), and generally sucks out the positive energy that you are trying to build into your culture.

If your company culture promotes the customer is always right concept, accepting anything up to the point of actual abuse from customers, you are putting your employees in a bad situation. You are giving customers the freedom to bully your employees, and making employees uncomfortable. They lose confidence, dignity and self-respect and be unsure about how to react. Ultimately, the employee may lose respect for the manager and even the company, and you may lose a good employee.

The customer is not always right. Some customers are not worth doing business with, and that's OK. Toxic customers may be bad for your company's health and may merit a polite parting of the ways.

Five Major Types of Loyalty Programs

Types of Customer Loyalty Programs When you think about the number of customer loyalty programs that are available from so many different companies, it can be quite trying to keep track of all of them. All too often, people miss on working towards the different loyalty programs that so many different businesses advertise. Customer Reward…

Types of Customer Loyalty Programs

When you think about the number of customer loyalty programs that are available from so many different companies, it can be quite trying to keep track of all of them. All too often, people miss on working towards the different loyalty programs that so many different businesses advertise.

Customer Reward Programs

Essentially, there are five major types of reward programs that are geared for customers. Each of these programs has their beneficial and problematic issues which separately may make them a burden for many customers to keep track.

Reward Point : This is a system that rewards a customer with a point value when something that qualifies has been accomplished. Reward points can be either monetary or non-monetary depending on their structure. This is one of the most common types of customer reward systems as it is used by many different businesses.

Cash Back : This is where you receive a rebate for your purchase that is generally a small percentage of what you originally paid. Most reward programs of this nature are generally 1% to 2% which is applicable on your next purchase.

Stamp Chop : Here, a stamp chop can be provided to a customer based on certain actions that you take. It is similar to the reward point except that you earn a stamp for a purchase and when you collect a pre-selected amount you can turn them in for a free reward.

Privilege Tier Membership : Basically, you get a higher status on your purchases after meeting certain qualifications. So, every purchase from that point entitles you to a discount such as getting 5% off when paying your bill or purchasing certain items.

Vouchers : This is a type of reward that has a pre-designated value. Such as getting a $ 5 or $ 10 cash voucher for a particular product or service. A voucher can be used to purchase a service that you want such as a massage or sometimes a product from a particular company.

How Mobile Customer Loyalty Program App Works for You

By putting all of your rewards strategies into a single customer loyalty rewarding mobile app , you can now keep track of them so much easier for a number of reasons.

First, you can keep them all in one place so that you do not have to search through different drawers to find your cards. In fact, you can eliminate your different PVC gift cards so that you can manage all of your reward and loyalty programs more efficiently thanks to mobile app.

As a brand lover, you can keep multiple brands inside this app and leave behind your stamp card or plastic member card. Instead of overloading your wallet or purse, you can keep all the information on your app. Arguably the best aspect of this app is that it can comprise all types of loyalty programs running them simultaneously or concurrently depending on your needs.

Lifetime Customer Value: Measuring Customer Service Performance

Do not we all wish that customers came with a lifetime guarantee? They'd make their first purchase and be irrevocably smitten for life? In that perfect world, customer retention would be at 100% and customer turnover would be zero. Since that's not the world we live in, customers need to experience prompt and dedicated attention…

Do not we all wish that customers came with a lifetime guarantee? They'd make their first purchase and be irrevocably smitten for life? In that perfect world, customer retention would be at 100% and customer turnover would be zero.

Since that's not the world we live in, customers need to experience prompt and dedicated attention at every major customer touch point. Otherwise, you risk turning healthy customer retention rates into customer turnover turmoil, and ultimately reducing the lifetime value of your customer base. For anyone who does not like the sound of that (and we certainly do not), it's important that you are effectively measuring the customer service performance metrics that roll up into the customer value equation.

Can Any One Contact Center KPI Boost Customer Lifespan?

Let's start by dispelling one misconception. There is no one contact center KPI that can totally predict a given customer lifespan. In certain companies, some customer service metrics are more relevant than others, but none come without their own limitations.

Plus, each contact center has its own panorama of values ​​and service objectives that make a one-size-fits-all approach to measuring customer service performance a little questionable. Here are a few incisive ways to sift through the data for a glimpse at what makes customer loyalty last.

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) – How would you rate your overall satisfaction (1 being very dissatisfied and 5 being very satisfied) with the service you received?

On the surface, it looks like this question for measuring customer service performance is all about the immediacy. Yet how do you translate that gut response into an action plan for prolonging the lifetime of your customer?

It starts by adopting the right mentality. 80% of customer service organizations use the CSAT score, and those who see results remain aware of certain realities:

Any customer service performance data is bound to be altered in some ways by the non-response bias – most people with lukewarm responses will not take the time to rate their satisfaction. Remember to factor that in to keep your stats honest.

Peak, unwavering satisfaction does not happen in one go. Every customer interaction needs to feel consistent and unique, as if your customer service is tailor to the specific customer and conveys that you want them back next time. Otherwise, research shows that there's not much keeping them tethered to your business.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) – How likely is your customer to recommend your company to a friend or colleague? It's the simple question that gets to the heart of where you stand with customers. For NPS metrics, Promoters (10-9), Passives (8-7), and Detractors (6-0) partition how you'll be measuring customer service performance, but they alone will not give you the keys to the castle.

It's critical to know the tangible value of your promoters to the overall lifetime customer value.

Promoters are your moneymakers. Although it's an obvious conclusion, the revenue differences between promoters and detractors is worth a glance.

One company studied the difference between detractors who were converted up and those who stayed dissatisfied, finding the average sales growth to be notable. Those converted to promoters increased their average purchases by 25% while those who remained detractors dropped in purchases by 36%. Even detractors who became passives saw a 16% increase in purchases.

Moreover, when you have a higher Promoter score it should be more than just a pat on the back. 80% of your positive referrals come from your Promoters. That means the positive experiences that encourage referrals need to be a custom part of your customer service model. Once again, these points to why you can not let an exceptional experience be a one-time thing.

Customer Effort Score (CES) –

Customer Effort Score (CES) – This measurement essentially boils down to asking your customer to rate how hard it was for them personally to have their request handled. Usually this is measured by asking the customer to answer the question: How much effort did you personally have to put forth to handle your request? The customer can provide a score from 1 (very low effort) to 5 (very high effort.) Looking at customer effort from a holistic, end-to-end experience requires collaboration from many functional areas – on both the client and the contact center side.

At first glance, the concept of measuring customer effort seems weighed against the negative. But the value in CES measurement comes from narrowing your focus from the full spectrum of service interactions to just the negative, high effort ones because that's what your customers remember.

Terrible experiences are what affect customer loyalty the most. Even social psychologists tend to agree. Bad impressions tend to outweigh and outlast good impressions in our memories. One bad experience can tarnish all the good ones that came prior.

Because of that, the greatest value of the CES for your customer service solution comes from identifying barriers to a quick and painless customer interaction. That means, ensuring that none of the following problems diminish your first-contact resolution:

IVR phone systems that run customers through a maze of extensions.

Email communication that is sluggish or repetitive.

Multiple interactions to resolve a single, repeated problem.

Shifting between multiple channels of communication to resolve a problem.

Do you think you have excellent first-contact resolution? You may be wrong. Almost a quarter (22%) of all downstream issues are related to the issue that encrypted your client to reach out in the first place.

By gathering extensive data about related issues in your customer effort survey, you can expand the information and offers your contact center reps provide in the initial interaction, reducing the level of overall effort your clients need to exert.

The Extensive Effort Behind Lifetime Customer Value

What happens after you go through the process of taking all these measures? You do it again and again. Effective metrics are constantly updated. Good customer service is never interrupted (not even for a minute). It can be a strain on your work, but having a customer service arm without measurement tools makes it little more than a cost center.

With all of the features of modern multichannel customer service – telephone, email, live chat, social media support, SMS texting, and more – it can be tough to keep up strong customer retention on your own. That's why you bring on a contact center that drives to be an authentic extension of your business and your brand.

Online Transcription – Smart, Efficient Technology for the Global Business Model

Not so long ago, I worked for an executive who would hand me an aging, warped cassette tape every month (usually while I was trying to finish another urgent project for him). The tape contained his reports to the company's board of directors. Sighing, I would then load the tape into a dusty playback device,…

Not so long ago, I worked for an executive who would hand me an aging, warped cassette tape every month (usually while I was trying to finish another urgent project for him). The tape contained his reports to the company's board of directors. Sighing, I would then load the tape into a dusty playback device, struggle to find the machine's foot pedal among the computer cords under my desk, and then painstakingly transcribe its reports. My executive was not the clearest speaker; he often trailed off, mispronounced names, and ate his lunch while dictating his notes. Since we erased and reused tapes, previous recordings would have often bleed into the most recent dictation. Two or three hours later, I would finally have a verbatim transcription, which I then needed to edit into a final, error-free report. Meantime, the phone would ring, emails will fill my inbox, and I would silently despise that monthly event I called “tape day.” An entire workday would be lost due to outmoded technology and inefficient processes. Surely, I thought, there is a better way.

And, of course, there is. With the advent of digital media and online transcription services, there's really no need (or excuse) for cassette tapes, or for confining an employee to the task of transcription when outside professionals can handle such projects with greater efficiency, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness . Transcription itself remains vital, since written records of audio and video files provide valuable archive information and insight. The key is to find the transcription service provider that can best meet your needs.

Online transcription services have several advantages over traditional transcription services. As more businesses move to an online (rather than bricks-and-mortar) model, overhead costs decrease, and the savings are passed along to the consumer in lower prices. Both traditional and online services can save clients time, but online services-many of which are globally based-surpass their traditional counterparts here. With an online service, a client can securely upload audio or video files at the end of his workday, which is often the start of a new workday in the online provider's time zone. Once the client returns to the office, the finished transcription is ready.

Because of their global reach, online services have greater access to experienced transcriptionists who are fluent in various languages, cultural nuances, and terminology in various industries (including finance, medicine, law, and IT). Using a blend of speech-to-text software and human intelligence, online services can quickly process and refine audio and video file translations. Larger online services, such as

5 Steps to Choosing the Best Transcription Provider

If you are looking for a transcription service company, there are several important factors that you should keep in mind before choosing the company that you will hire. Even though there are many providers and a variety of services, you will find that the quality of the finished product can vary depending on the company…

If you are looking for a transcription service company, there are several important factors that you should keep in mind before choosing the company that you will hire. Even though there are many providers and a variety of services, you will find that the quality of the finished product can vary depending on the company that you choose.

Here are the factors to consider when hiring a company for video or audio transcription:

1. Quality of Service

Look for an online transcription company that has a good track record and high quality service. Ask about the accuracy rating and look for testimonials or reviews from other clients that have hired the company that you are considering.

Make sure that the transcriptionists are experienced, because higher levels of experience will increase the accuracy of the transcription. Additionally, you may need to find a service that meets specific certifications and training for your industry. For example, medical transcriptions should be done by a transcriptionist familiar with HIPAA updates and regulations.

2. Clear Pricing Structure

There is nothing more frustrating than having extra fees and costs that are added onto a project. Learn about the pricing in advance, and make sure that it is clear about the costs that you can expect for the product. Many transcription service companies will charge a flat amount per minute of audio, which makes it easy to plan your budget in advance.

Find out if there is a different price for video transcription and audio transcription, so that you have a clear pricing structure for the types of files that you will be providing. Many companies charge the same price for these services, but it is always a good idea to double check in case the prices are different depending on the files that you provide.

3. Are Quality Assurance Services Available?

Some transcription companies include quality assurance in their services, to ensure that the finished transcription is high quality. It can be beneficial for a second service provider to go through the audio, especially if the files are hard to understand. Find out if a full review of the audio will be completed, or if it is just random spot-checking to look for potential errors.

4. Turnaround Time

How long will it take for your transcription to be complete? Check on the anticipated turnaround time for the project, and understand that sometimes it might be worth paying a premium for a faster service. Ask about the file delivery process, so that you do not hold up the delivery because it takes you too long to provide the files that are needed.

5. Do Your Research

Once you have narrowed down your choices to the transcription service company that you are interested in hiring, make sure to do a little research about the company. A quick online search can help you learn about the company and their reputation, so that you can rest assured that you will be working with high quality service providers.

Sound Advice To Enhance Customer Experience

Have you ever walked into a store and the music blaring through the speakers was so bad you turned around and walked out? Twice, in recent months, I had my blood pressure taken at a lab inside my doctor's office. I mentioned that the numbers were probably high due to the annoying hard rock music…

Have you ever walked into a store and the music blaring through the speakers was so bad you turned around and walked out?

Twice, in recent months, I had my blood pressure taken at a lab inside my doctor's office. I mentioned that the numbers were probably high due to the annoying hard rock music blaring from the tinny-sounding radio. She laughed and said she does not even hear it anymore. I mentioned spa-like music might make patients relax, especially the elderly patients waiting in the next room. The next time I went in, the same horrible sounds were coming from the same horrible radio.

For many people, noise is nuisance. It can be a significant source of productivity loss at work – or, if you get it right, you can increase sales by up to 39%. Play music that creates the appropriate ambiance for your customers.

At a local Thai restaurant recently, I noticed a news program was airing through the overhead speakers. The restaurant was playing a local radio station so diners' conversations had to compete with loud commercials. I suggested to the owner that she play traditional Thai music to match the beautiful ambience they had created with the décor … she was astounded that anyone would want to listen to it but was really happy with the recommendation.

If you operate a spa with quick services so customers can get a fast manicure or pedicure and be back to work on their lunch hour, you want to have faster, and perhaps louder, music. If it's a relaxing space to unwind, you want ambient sounds to soothe the soul. Think of the tranquil sounds playing in the background as you ignore the daily stresses during a massage.

In-store music can even affect product choice. According to Jordan Stevens, a study conducted in a liquor store, two identical displays of wine were set up. One display carried French wine and another cared German wine. Each display was designed to be identical in every way except for the region the wine was from. The results of the study found that when French music was played, the French wine would outsell the German wine by 77%. When the music was switched to German music, the German wine would outsell the French wine by 73%.

Remember, music needs to fit the brand you want present – and that may not be the type of music you prefer.

5 Golden Parameters To Follow Before Selecting A CRM Software

I often hear people complaining about their CRM software. Most of them claim that it fails to help them interact with their customers. I was always skeptical about what they said, purely because I have seen people turning the tides of their business using a CRM system. I did a bit of research and it…

I often hear people complaining about their CRM software. Most of them claim that it fails to help them interact with their customers. I was always skeptical about what they said, purely because I have seen people turning the tides of their business using a CRM system.

I did a bit of research and it did not take me much time to discover why some people were unhappy with their CRM software. The systems they opted for were not capable enough to satisfy customer requirements. But it would be criminal to blame it on the software. Without a second thought I'd question the buyers because they failed to select a CRM that works for them.

It's a common problem all around the place. Most businesses think that buying a CRM will guarantee them a happy customer circle. The fact is, it does. But, it has to be the right one.

How do you know that the CRM you're opting for is the one you need?

Consider the following list; a tick on all 5 checkboxes will definitely get you your dream CRM software!

1. Customizable forms:

Are you going to bug your customers or potential customers with a flurry of calls for a feedback? That'd be disastrous, right? Rather, offer them forms that they can fill up at their own volition. Do not settle for generic formats that ask the same, unfruitful questions. While choosing a CRM software, ensure that it empowers you to customize the forms.

This way, you will be able to record specific data that can be used to understand your customer base better, and cater to their needs in an enhanced manner.

2. Lead assignment:

It is a well known fact that, if you make tasks simpler for your employees, they'll be able to function better and deliver more. A major chuck of work involves segregation and task assignment. It can get complex at times, sucking out valuable energy and time from your employees. To avoid such situations, opt for a CRM that offers Lead Assignment.

Automatic Lead Assignment segregates leads as they come, assigns them to the right people and keeps a track of the same. It saves a lot of organizing effort, helping your employees focus just on the leads and nothing else.

3. Activity History:

Have you ever called people 4-5 times just to remind them about an offer? That happens to most businesses out there. And if you are met with a hurl of abuses, you probably deserve it!

Not knowing the progress with a particular lead is disastrous. You got to know where you stand. But at the same time, it is very difficult to keep a check. That's precisely why you need a CRM software that records and shows activity history of every lead.

Using the same, you'll be able to be more precise with your communication and you've certain dodge some abuse before they're thrown at you!

4. Scheduling and Tracking:

'Customer Relationship' is all about communication and interaction. You have to schedule messages and reminders and keep a track of all communication. If your CRM software does that, buy it within a blink of an eye!

5. Reporting and Analysis:

'In God we trust, all others must bring data!'

Quantifying your progress is the single most powerful tool you need to have in order to know how well your business is functioning. Reports and analysis speak volumes about where you stand, reflects upon where you need to improve and highlight your strong points.

A customer is satisfied only when you change for the better, right? Quantifying helps! Make sure that the next CRM software you purchase helps you with reports and analysis.

5 ticks on the checklist and you are done! You have bought yourself a CRM software that will not disappoint.