Digitally Savvy Customers Expect Exceptional Customer Service

Digitally Savvy Customers Expect Exceptional Customer Service

Quality customer service has evolved to become a very fast paced process of conflict resolution. Problem with your bank account? Jump online to use the instant chat function and avoid the awkward call waits altogether. Perhaps it’s difficulty with your web-hosting provider? This is now solved with 24/7 support by telephone, email, and text. Today’s customers not only expect problems resolved in under 24 hours, then demand it, and this is only reinforced by our increasingly digital-reliant culture.

Trends in Customer Service

  • Text, email, and 24/7 customer service numbers that are answered on the first ring, by a perceived expert. This is the new norm. Add to this webcam support, online tutorials and you’ve got yourself a happy customer. And trust in the fact that you want, a happy customer because…
  • A happy customer may out promote the best marketing money could buy! Seriously. With more customers going directly to social media to look for answers, your company’s response to a tweet or a Facebook post has the potential to go viral. The Ritz Carlton solidified itself as not only a luxury brand but a family friendly hotel when a little boy left behind his most prized possession. This story is over 3 years old but it is still doing rounds online this week. Applebee’s went above and beyond answering comments on their Facebook page in an interaction that lasted for months and gained countless millennial followers, just watching see where the conversation would turn next. And that brings us to…
  • The unhappy customer on social media. Ignore your customers’ complaints at your own risk. Customers know that by using social media the business is publicly held accountable, and they will share a negative response with everyone they know faster than Amy’s Bistro went under after their social media firestorm.
  • In 2013, an Accenture Global Consumer Pulse survey revealed that, globally, 66 percent of consumers switched brands or businesses because of bad customer service. Eighty-two percent of the switchers said the brand could have done something to stop them. Those are some scary numbers, especially if your business doesn’t even know that a problem is occurring.
  • One of the best trends in digital customer service, is asking to help your customers before they even think of asking—either through savvy social media listening, or those little pop-up customer service boxes, timed delicately to appear when the customer might be considering a purchase. Questions get answered on the spot, sometimes just the nudge a hesitant buyer needs before making a purchase—no surprises or disappointments.

Your company needs to provide proactive customer support and a variety of contact points such as text and instant message chat options. Customers’ questions and complaints must be answered as quickly as possible and if in a social media setting consider what is at stake—your reputation.

With 86 percent of lost customers declaring that something could have been done differently, there are huge opportunities to keep your customers from leaving, as well as opportunities to turn a bad situation into a positive one, for your customers and your brand.

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Leaders Must Keep Learning – Top Leadership Lessons

A true leader is constantly evolving in order to have the greatest long term effects on their team and their business. Every company can benefit from leaders who are motivated and inspire those around them. There are ways to keep your leadership skills sharp to help build strong teams and grow your brand.

Reject Complacency to Identify Opportunities

Complacency is one of the worst enemies of a leader. It obstructs vision and impedes improvement. A complacent person fails to expand his thinking and tends to see only what is in front of his eyes. This makes him blind to the endless opportunities waiting to be tapped. The trends in business are constantly churning out newer ways to evolve. A true leader will be quick to see the opportunities in these trends and find that areas that can be improved. It is the vision of the leader that acts as a catalyst for opportunity. Experience can only take someone so far, but the ability to see and take advantage of opportunities knows no bounds.

Remembering Childhood Lessons

True leaders remember the timeless lessons from childhood when faced with conflicts in the business world. Words our parents said to us as kids are ingrained in our memory and often responsible for building character. People that still practice the wise words we learned as children are often times the people who become successful leaders. We’ve all heard these lessons before, so anyone can benefit from translating them to use in business:

  • Think about what you did. Be introspective and reflect on your actions and see what can be learned from them.
  • Respect your elders. Always give respect to people and they will respect you in return.
  • You have an answer for everything. Listen with your full attention and don’t be so quick to speak up, rather hear what is being said.
  • Play nice. Treat other people the way you want to be treated. Lead by example.
  • Don’t judge a book by its cover. Leaders need to embrace diversity and not be quick to judge. See what can be offered by perspectives different than your own.
  • Finish your homework before you go out and play. This age-old time management lesson is a good reminder of the importance of setting priorities.
  • Don’t fight. Manage your work relationships in ways to solve problems without conflict. Knowledge can be gained by even the simplest disagreement if you are open to it.

Proactively Seek Change and Plan for It

Every leader needs to identify the need for change. It becomes even more important to manage change. Rather than wait for the chips to fall where they may, leadership requires that you recognize patterns of change and find ways to manage it upfront. Having a strategy for change management benefits all aspects of business. It evaluates the risks, takes stock of appropriate resources and plans for the most productive outcomes. This strategy will prepare you to respond to changes head on.

Reinvent, Rethink, and Revisit

As a leader one of your goals is taking your organization to the next level. Many times you need to reinvent what is already right there in front of you. While challenging, it keeps the company, the brand and the mindset of the employees fresh and innovative. There are always new ways to think about how you do business. New perspectives breathe life into a brand or company. Revisit policies by setting up an open path for communication. It’s by listening to everyone around you that you really grow as a leader and subsequently grow your business.

Leadership is a unique trait that needs to be carefully developed and constantly upgraded to prevent complacency. Revisiting old lessons, building new strategies to manage change, and identifying growth opportunities are the building blocks to effective leadership. These lessons can advance your business and expand your influence, but more importantly, motivate and inspire those around you.

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What is Holding Back Cloud Unified Communications Adoption?

What is Holding Back Cloud Unified Communications Adoption

With the growing mobile workforce, organizations require flexibility in their processes. UCaaS, or Cloud-based Unified Communications, helps enterprises meet the demands of emerging business scenarios. The 2014 TechTarget/ZK Research Unified Communications survey indicates that 14 percent of participants consider moving to Cloud UC as their next business strategy. Additionally, 10 percent of respondents consider UCaaS as their primary solution. However, the rate of adoption is far from complete. The survey reveals that a third of respondents are yet to decide on adopting Cloud-based solutions. What are the factors contributing to this trend?

Major roadblocks in UC adoption

Two of the biggest challenges hindering UC adoption are the lack of awareness of UC benefits and the issue of Cloud security. Helping employees understand the various benefits of UC that directly impact their productivity and overall performance is very important. Employees need to envision the full potential and value of unified communication for their business. This holistic vision ensures easy adoption. An Evolve IP survey reveals startling facts on Cloud-based UC adoption. Once employees understand its benefits and utilities, 40 percent of the survey respondents claim to adopt UC in their processes. Additionally, 84 percent make it their priority consideration in their corporate roadmap.

The lack of familiarity breeds several other hindrances in effective UC adoption. The inability to determine the appropriate system and the appropriate provider for your UC strategy are chief obstacles impeding adoption. Most organizations do not have a clear understanding of their specific business needs. This prevents identification of the principle mode of communication in your organization. The communication methodology of preference for your internal and external communication is the foundation for your UC strategy. Failure to identify the correct methodology leads to unsuccessful adoption strategies.

Cloud-based UC solutions often face deployment challenges. These primarily center on design issues. This leads to poor adoption. Organizations often generate complex requirements due to their complicated process frameworks. Complex requirements also arise due to organizations running low on infrastructure. Cloud-based UC solutions have a host of deployment options. Effective adoption can occur if you devote time to chart out your specific needs. This will help you decide on the ideal deployment model.

Establishing and maintaining essential connectivity dialogs between collaboration protocols, technologies, and platforms is another big challenge. Adopting a holistic strategy to integrate these various sources is a big test of the provider’s capability. Moreover, factoring in interoperability issues while planning the integration of UC solutions within existing systems is necessary for seamless adoption.

What enterprises need to do?

One of the first requirements in establishing successful UC adoption is ensuring that your employees are comfortably and easily making use of the UC solutions. To achieve this, integrate the UC solutions within existing applications that your employees use.

While security issues may not be ironed out easily, you shield your organization against Cloud security issues by:

  • Reviewing SLAs and vendor contracts to ensure your company’s rights to data and its management are clear.
  • Creating access policies to prevent issues arising out of file-sharing or data exchange errors.
  • Evaluating your vendor’s proof of compliance regularly.

Without proper planning, your UC adoption strategy could fall flat. Before making UC deployments, make a comprehensive roadmap. Consider all the challenges, small or big, that may come up. This way you protect and support your organization through the adoption process.

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Customer Support in our Multi-Channel World

Customer Support in our Multi-Channel World

As technology evolves, it brings many more channels of communication. The days of helping one customer at a time over the phone are fast disappearing as the concept of faster, more dynamic multi-channel customer support becomes the norm. Is it still possible to service customers in all of your different channels and keep them happy? Here are some guidelines and practices for dealing with multi-channel customer service.

What is Multi-channel Customer Support?

Today, people have many different ways to contact customer service. The multi-channel support consists of telephone, email, live chat, and even social media. Customer support has reached new dimensions and with that, people expect immediate and round-the-clock resolution.

The challenge lies in figuring out which channels are most effective and which ones are the best to support. Some people with no social media presence may be reluctant to open a customer service dialog through Facebook, Twitter or even a live chat. Other more tech-savvy customers may actually prefer those venues. Plus, the mobility of smartphones and tablets allows customers to jump between their devices seamlessly, even further challenging companies to keep up service.

Benefits of Multi-Channel Support

Companies can save costs by deflecting the amount of one-on-one contact for customer service with the myriad self-service options that can be applied using multiple channels. The volume of personal attention is decreased, which opens the agent up to help more customers through other channels. In fact, companies with a strong online knowledge base saw a decline in the number of support tickets when using multi-channel support.

It also works to increase sales opportunities. With multiple ways for people to find and reach you, comes the many ways in which you can get your message or product to them. Being more available to customers in need builds better relationships and brand satisfaction. Utilizing social media for help and feedback gives companies great exposure, adding up to free word-of-mouth marketing.

Live chats are especially effective for businesses in getting to someone before they get frustrated or angry. Companies can track web customers and offer help in a way that isn’t invasive. This strategy has shown to increase sales and leave people with a better feeling about that particular brand.

How to Provide Optimum Multi-Channel Support

Customers expect businesses to offer multi-channel support and will be very vocal about the type of service they receive through the various venues. It is import for companies to build and connect support teams effectively to get the best benefits from all the channels. Understanding customer needs and directing requests to appropriate channels for self-service is an excellent way to resolve issues quickly.

Customers often use different channels for different tasks. They might buy something on a website, but look for support on social media. Businesses need to make sure the data they get on each customer travels to those various channels. A unified tool to monitor multiple channels ensures customers get attended to whether they are tweeting, chatting, or clicking on their digital shopping carts.

A balance is needed between human and self-service for customer support to truly be effective. Even while keeping all the channels open, people will still want to contact someone if they don’t get a resolution. This will be valuable in preventing dissatisfied customers from venting on social media about not getting answers.

Businesses are constantly facing the need for immediate options to address customer feedback, good and bad. Multi-channel customer support strategies can offer the ability to identify, receive, and resolve customer issues quickly, effectively, and more accurately. However, it is important to remember that simply having all the channels available does not guarantee success. How multi-channel support is utilized and to what extent is key. Companies need to build an engaging and positive customer experience through various channels in order to survive and compete. Good customer relationships will always remain as the most important business tool.

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Let There be Light: How the Right Lighting Affects your Service

Let There be Light: How the Right Lighting Affects your Service

Church services need to be enriching and fulfilling experiences. Setting the right ambience is crucial. How can this be achieved? By maintaining the right balance between the audio and visual attributes. Here we’ll discuss the impact of visual attributes, particularly lighting, in creating the perfect ambience for services in any HOWs.

Designing the right lighting for your service is a great way set the mood. There are several factors that help you make the right decision as you select lighting arrangements for the perfect service. Let’s discuss those factors.

Identify your subject

Before you plan lighting setups, you need to decide on your subject. Which part of your stage do you highlight the most? Once you decide, it is easy to plan your lighting to create the desired effect. Identifying the subject helps you capture your audience’s expressions and comprehend nuances. This way you capture their attention for the entire duration of the service.

Plan your Lighting Locations

After deciding on what you want to light up, it’s a good practice to divide the whole stage into strategic illumination points or zones. This way, you will be able to effectively manage your strategies for creating the lighting effects.

Power your lighting

To ensure that your subject creates amazing effects, you should have the necessary power to support your lighting. If your stage fixtures call for conventional setup, look for dimmable power. However, if it uses contemporary LED fixtures, you require strategic power distribution throughout the church. Make your lighting scalable by introducing additional power modules, using them as necessary.

Define Positions

It is best to identify and locate ideal positions to place your lighting to create the maximum effect. It’s advisable to identify a few additional locations. This caters to any last minute decisions regarding additional lighting.

Focus Your Light
For church service, focusing on the lead singer with a white front light is a great way to ensure they get the maximum focus. Washing the rest of the band in colored light creates a beautiful impact. If the service is in a large room, a two point lighting focus on the singers will greatly impact their performance. Two-point lighting is an excellent way to emphasize your subjects and create dimension. It avoids using too much light, providing subtleness to the performance.

Lighting Fixtures

Lighting fixtures are necessary tools to provide the right illumination. Ellipsoidal fixtures are often the preferred choice for front lighting. These have the unique ability to leave unwanted areas in darkness. At the same time, they provide even lighting along desired areas. LED PAR fixtures are an ideal choice for top and back lighting. Colored LED PAR fixtures that shine down on the pulpit help to set the mood for the service.

Stage lighting is a perfect way for you to deliver a fully engaging Church service experience. It is cost-effective and extremely flexible, and can completely overhaul a service or performance at short notice with no additional strain on your budget.

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VoIP+Video: Why it’s Tops for Startups and Small Business

VoIP Video Why it’s Tops for Startups and Small Business

Communication trends are constantly evolving and have been ever since man uttered his first words. With advancements in technology, particularly the Internet, the art of communicating has reached new horizons that we wouldn’t have imagined even a few decades ago, and VoIP is its latest star.

Though used primarily for verbal communication, VoIP or voice over IP (Internet Protocol), covers a whole host of other possibilities that distinguish it from standard telephones. Its integration with video is one functionality that makes it the perfect prerequisite for startups and small businesses.

Startup Challenges

Every business has challenges that it works to resolve through its technology. Small businesses and start-ups struggle with cost control and can’t always invest in an expensive infrastructure. To further rein in costs and attract and retain staff, many companies encourage working from home. VoIP technology affords the flexibility for staff to remotely receive and make business calls without added expense, which makes it an ideal solution for businesses who have a limited budget.

VoIP in Business

VoIP has become the choice in telephony for businesses because of its distinct advantages over the standard telephone lines. VoIP converts sounds vibrations in phone calls into data signals transmitted over the Internet. The biggest benefits to this tech-savvy approach is cost savings and phone portability. Businesses no longer have to pay for dedicated telephone lines and VoIP can work where ever there is Internet connectivity.

Businesses also benefit from the rich media services provided through VoIP video calls. Videoconferencing through VoIP allows your employees to have meetings from any location. This not only gives the staff flexibility, but also cuts down considerably on resources that can drain a startup. Eliminating travel costs associated with conferences, non-existent long distance phone charges, and the ease of use that makes VoIP efficient, are just a few of the ways that it saves businesses money and gives it the edge over traditional telephony.

VoIP Roadmap for Businesses

Many businesses are taking advantage of the benefits of VoIP technology. By the end of 2015 it is estimated that about 65 percent of businesses will replace traditional phone lines with VoIP. Providing mobility, VoIP ensures startups and small business can avoid extra expenses and overhead costs. Moreover, VoIP providers are introducing innovative ways for people to use the technology with their cell phones. This gives companies even more options and will make VoIP technology even more versatile for the changing workforce. There is predicted growth in business for VoIP providers of $88 billion. This is proof of the growing popularity of VoIP for businesses large and small.

Are you currently utilizing VoIP technology for your business? We would love to hear the reasons why you have chosen to integrate it.

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Telecommuting: The Future of Work

Telecommuting The Future of Work

Today, organizations are identifying smarter ways to be productive. Telecommuting, or remote working, is one such method. Changing business trends redefine work practices, building better relationships between employees and their organizations. Traditionally, not coming to the office has been just an excuse to be away from work. Today, it translates to being more productive. However, organizations need to equip their employees appropriately to assist them in delivering quality work.

Collaboration the Crucial Pillar in Telecommuting

The American Community Survey statistics reveals that the years between 2005 and 2012 saw a 79 percent increase in number of people working from home. Almost 34 percent of organizations at the Global Leadership Summit felt that by 2020 almost 50 percent their employees would be telecommuting. Moreover, research continues to show that people working from home are 13 percent more productive than people who come to the office. Compared to those who don’t telecommute, they devote close to 10 percent more time to work.

This leads to the question of collaboration. When you are not sitting in the same room, collaboration becomes essential to maintaining quality deliverables. Through telecommuting and using unified communications, employees have several login areas. It is essential that each login is seamless and provides an equally rich experience to each remote employee. Therefore, organizations need to be up to date on the latest collaboration tools in order to provide the right work environment.

Tools to Collaborate – Being on Top of Things

While Telecommuting has many benefits, it also has a downside. Most workers complain about being lonely and missing out on the typical “water-cooler” conversations.” It needs extreme self-discipline to get things up and running while working alone. For most senior level positions, it is crucial to be on top of things and effectively manage your team. Clearly, the need to implement effective tools is essential.

Collaboration tools need to provide the following:

  • Real time access
  • Multi-location reach
  • Centralized Content storing and sharing facility
  • Flexible Integration with other collaboration devices
  • Reporting functionality for updates on events and assignments

Technology needs to act as the link. It must firmly establish the collaborative model and ensure seamless functioning of physical and virtual offices.

Telecommuting Benefits

The advantages of telecommuting far outweigh its drawbacks. Let us take a look at some of these:

Lowers Costs

Telecommuting primarily entails working from home. Therefore, organizations save on overhead costs like electricity, janitor expenses, office supplies, beverage inventory, transport costs, and equipment usage.

Enhances Productivity
Telecommuting ensures a definite increase in productivity levels. As workers are free from office distractions, they are more focused on their work. They can turn out quality work faster.

Reduced Rate of Attrition
Telecommuting employees often report better job satisfaction. This leads to a lower attrition rate.

Changing external influences introduce new trends. These impact the global business scenario and redefine their perspectives. Telecommuting, with its gamut of cost and productivity benefits, appears to be the latest trend. It is the future of work practices for organizations across the globe. We must build our forces around it, ensuring optimum results.

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Is Online Customer Service Beating Face to Face?

Is Online Customer Service Beating Face to Face

The digital world has changed the way consumers make purchases today. With more people using smartphones and tablets, shopping online is quickly becoming the norm. In the US, online sales are expected to rise from $306.85 billion in 2014 to $349.20 billion in 2015, according to Centre for Retail Research. Not just purchasing, consumers are increasingly using the web to voice their opinions about a brand, and share their purchase experiences with online communities. Therefore, it’s imperative for brands to engage their customers online through positive brand experiences and better customer support throughout the entire purchase cycle. How are businesses measuring up?

According to new research by Dyn, more than two-thirds of retailers believe their customers get the best customer service online (either through website, mobile, or app). Only 25% of retailers believe that in-store customer services are the best.

However, the study reveals that over 57% of retailers think that most customers demand the same experiences in their online purchases that they receive when they make offline purchases. Yet, over 76% respondents agree that offline and online service experiences are inconsistent.

Are traditional customer service methods, such as face-to-face assistance, winning against online methods? Or is it the other way round?

Today, businesses are adopting an omnichannel approach to engaging customers. This seamless experience uses several interfaces including websites, mobile apps, social media, and/or live chat. Additionally, they are using those same channels to receive and respond to customer queries and feedback. While the telephone is still a major channel consumers choose to use when expressing concerns to a customer service rep, the growing popularity of social media and online chats with reps and customer assistants lead marketers to question the role face-to-face communication has in customer service.

Can businesses completely ignore the value of face-to-face?

No. The value of face-to-face is undeniable. Firstly, customers are looking to connect with brands in a more “human” way. Face-to-face allows companies to lend a personal touch to their customer communications. Secondly, texts, phone calls, or emails may not be the best way to communicate at certain times, particularly when resolving issues with an angry customer or while making a critical sales pitch.

Traditionally, businesses spend a lot of money sending their employees to visit customers. However, when resources are shrinking, arranging face-to-face meetings with customers is no longer a practical solution. With WebRTC-based web conferencing, face-to-face meetings are faster, easier to arrange, and more financially viable than ever. When face-to-face methods are utilized to communicate with customers, they are more likely to feel valued and develop a sense of loyalty for the brand.

The reality is that both virtual and face-to-face conversations offer strong benefits that enable brands to improve their customer service. While face-to-face helps brands form deeper and long-lasting business relationships with their customers, online services are quite sufficient for taking care of the customers’ grievances, questions, and concerns on an ongoing basis. Developing strategies to marry the benefits of both approaches is the only way to successfully compete in today’s customer-centric world.

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Neets Control Systems

 

Neets Control - EcHo PlusUS and Project Designer - Collage photo

Neets AV Control Systems operate on three core values – reliability, simplicity, and smart functionality. “They look smart, they work even smarter.” The objective of these AV control systems is to make needed operations transparent and smooth. With just a touch of a button, several functions can be performed at once. More importantly, users can easily understand what functions the buttons are designed to perform. At Neets, users are at the center of development and that can be seen in the resulting products. Any AV system, no matter how complex their use, can be connected to a Neets control system to simplify the functions.

What makes Neets Different from ‘Industry Giants’?

Consumer focused development and innovation are at the heart of this Danish private organization. Neets prides itself on being able to offer superior customer care and technical support unlike any other in the AV control systems industry. The demand for Neets AV control systems is huge across Europe. Their products are tailor-made to make any AV presentation uncomplicated. They are perfect in educational institutions, meeting- and video conferencing rooms, as well as other corporate environments.

Easy Installation, Configuration, and Usage

In just a few short minutes, Neets control systems can meet your AV controls demands and meet them head on! With quick mounting on standard receptacles, all Neets hardware modules are supported by amplifiers, switches, and relay boxes to streamline the installation process. Almost all of the connections are dependent on Phoenix-type screw terminals.

Neets control systems can be configured with Neets Project Designer Software, which is compatible with Windows OS. It’s intuitive graphic interface aids in the configuration process and you add functionality just by drag ´n drop to buttons. In addition, the user can configure other rooms based on similar controls by simply copying and pasting the configuration project. These are simple tasks that can be done in only a few seconds, with very little frustration.

Time is money and with Neets every second counts. Every second lost is equivalent to resources wasted in prep time. A LAN, RS-232 or a front-panel USB port can be used to upload projects from your computer. Depending on the layer of functionality that needs to be accessed, the control systems are designed to be automatic or controlled by the consumer from either buttons or standard iOS or Android touch devices.

Neets Control Systems – Simplicity Redefined

Neets product range provides dynamic solutions for end-users:

  • Neets Control – QueBec II/III offers an automatic projector to be used in classrooms or meeting rooms. It has the ability to be configured with a projector allowing for control of its functions as well as the ability to trigger external devices.
  • Neets Control – EcHo is certainly an intuitive AV control system that you can rely for a smooth, remote control free presentations.
  • Neets Control – EcHo Plus provides a larger networked version of EcHo and is a cost-effective solution if you need AV Systems in more than one room as it includes Remote Monitoring from one central computer.
  • Neets Control – SieRRa II with touch control is perfect for wall panel or mobile devices, and is designed for intuitive control of touch device based installations. SieRRa II are compatible with iOS and Android operating platforms.
  • Neets Control – AlFa II has been designed with the goal of integrating video conferencing systems in just one touch.
  • Neets Control – DelTa is the complete meeting room solution for AV controls in auditoriums and large conferencing facilities. With its built-in audio mixer, light- and AV control, you can use either a mobile device or a web browser to establish control.

The versatility of AV control systems, coupled with the simplicity and flexibility of operations and a steady focus on designing customer-driven products has rewarded Neets with survival and growth, in this heavily competitive industry

Which one of Neets control systems would be most useful in your business? How can Neets help you with your AV presentation needs? Click here for more information.

 

 

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Have You Asked for that Referral Lately?

Have You Asked for that Referral Lately

Referrals are the holy grail of sales. According to a New York Times report, 65 percent of business comes from referrals.

Today, we live in a connected world where we prefer to buy from businesses we know and trust rather than unfamiliar companies. Surveys and studies prove that people are more influenced by recommendations from friends or social contacts than by generic ads and pushy sales pitches. Are businesses taking advantage of this social trend? Are we asking our best customers for referrals to help us gain more customers?

You might feel apprehensive, but asking for referrals plays a major role in determining your success. Why?

  • Your happy clients are more likely to buy from you.
  • By speaking highly of you to their social connections, they aid in word-of-mouth marketing.

Most importantly, they do this without charging a single dime. If you’ve built a happy clientele, there is no reason for you not to ask for a referral. Unfortunately, many businesses fail to leverage the power of the referral system and ignore this potential boost to their revenue.

If you are wondering how to ask for that referral, we have a few suggestions.

When to Ask for a Referral

Understanding the best time to ask for a referral is key to actually getting it. It’s counterproductive to ask an unhappy customer with unresolved issues for a business referral. You first need to resolve the issue and win back their confidence before you even utter the word ‘referral’.

Also, it is important to remember the highest rates of referrals come from ongoing working relationships with your clients. For example, a person who is shopping for cars is also aware of others in their social and professional contacts looking for the same product; they can direct you to qualified leads.

A few major points to remember when asking for referrals:

  • While it is totally acceptable to ask for referrals through a phone call or an email, it is better done face-to-face.
  • Avoid asking for a referral when you’re presenting a bill.
  • Do not feel shy to ask for referrals; the more you ask, the more you’ll get.

The Right Way to Ask Your Customers

Now that you know ‘whom’ to ask for referrals, it’s time to focus on the more challenging ‘how’. There is lots of advice available online, but, from the very beginning, it is imperative to focus your sales process in this direction. Put forward your best possible customer service and make sure consumers are fully satisfied with your services and sales process.

Once you are sure, ask them if they know anyone having similar issues, places where you could provide helpful service. Always remember that the person at the receiving end of the communication chain is listening and will relay how genuine you sound in your approach.

Give Them a Reason to Refer Your Business

Why should a customer care about giving you business referrals?

They won’t…unless you give them a reason. Give them your best service and make them feel valued. Quality products, backed by exceptional customer service, are your best bet to exceed their expectations and win their confidence. Besides, you need to work on your interpersonal relationships with your clients and encourage your employees to do the same.

These factors correlate with word-of-mouth marketing significantly. Your secret weapon to win referrals should be efficiency, good service, and empathy; this leads to your customers trusting your brand and wanting to help you. Finally, remember that you need to outdo your client’s expectations before you can ask them to bring you their network of peers.

When it comes to referrals, there is no good time. Make sure you win over your customers’ confidence and outdo their expectations before asking for a referral. At the same time, understand that nothing happens overnight; referrals take time to percolate. It requires strategic planning incorporated in your sales process from the very beginning. However, it’s never too late to formalize a referral process for your business. If you haven’t been asking for that referral, go ahead and ask for it!

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