Food for Thought

Customer Support

7 Powerful Customer Service Phone Tips

The phone is one of the oldest and most personal customer service channels. Its unique nature calls for a unique approach. While a phone call can feel like you’re talking directly to someone, it lacks the visual feedback of face to face contact. What’s more, you’re not able to reread what was said – as in, say, live chat support.

Let’s keep these unique qualities in mind as we go through these 7 customer service phone tips.

1 Stand up calling

One of the best tips I’ve received for handling important calls was to stand up and walk around. On your feet you’re naturally more energetic than when seated. It’s a simple matter of heart rate and blood flow.

Unfortunately, most people working in call centers are seated all day long. When you get one on the phone, they sound like they could fall asleep anytime.

Tip: Stand up to sound more energetic on the phone.

2 Calling blind

When we’re listening to someone face to face, politeness forces us to focus our eyes on the other person. But on the phone, we lack visual feedback.

This, combined with a world of distractions at your fingertips, makes wandering thoughts a real danger. We tend to overestimate our multitasking skills, so we think we can push in a quick email check and… *blank* What is she talking about again?

Worse, when you lose track, you’re not able to read over the transcript to pick things up again.

One tip for maintaining full focus while calling is to close your eyes, limiting your sensory input almost exclusively to your hearing. Be the Daredevil of phone support.

Tip: Close your eyes to focus fully on what the other person is saying.

3 The smile effect

Smiling isn’t only nice on the eye, it’s nice on the ear as well. Your voice sounds different when you speak with a smile. A study by the University of Portsmouth showed that people can hear whether a person on the other end of the line is smiling.

A laughing voice sounds warmer, making the customer feel welcome. By putting on a smile when you pick up the phone you’ll notice your calls become more friendly.

Tip: Smile to get a warm and welcoming voice.

4 The “Happy to see you!” technique

Phone service reps are generally taught to pick up the phone with warmth and enthusiasm. “Hi! This is Bob, how may I help you?!”

Source: User Like

Lead Generation Trends 2018

Big Trends To Boost Business to Business Lead Generation In 2018

If you’re a B2B marketer, one thing’s for sure: You have fought for the lead generation. The challenging and competing B2B aspect makes it extremely difficult to generate valuable leads.

In fact, CSO Insights found that to be the biggest challenge for sales organizations. And to top it all off, B2B lead-generation tactics evolve every year as organizations gain new penetrations that tell them what does and doesn’t work.

It’s little wonder why, then, that keeping your eyes uncovered for upcoming developments is incredibly important. For 2018, consider adapting your strategy based on the following trends.

1. Targeted and Personalized Email Marketing Campaigns
That’s a big reason for the big brands such as Amazon, GoDaddy etc to target the individuals. B2C retailers have already embraced personalization. Definitely, you’ve received personalized recommendations based on your shopping history, Google search results recommendations etc and you’ve probably received an email with personalized offers from your favorite brands. Clearly, personalization has proved its marketing effectiveness, and now it’s catching on in the B2B industry as well.

2. Social Video
Video is an ongoing trend to become an important part of B2B lead generation processes given that an increasing number of B2B customers are accepting this type of content. In fact, 70% of researchers & customers in the B2B industry watch videos throughout for a better understanding of product or services associated with their purchase journey, according to Google. And 48% of them spend at least 30 minutes watching B2B videos for their research.

3. Social Media On the Go or Live Streaming
You might have noticed that going live by the business personnel via social media channels such as FB live, Youtube r Twitter etc has become a popular trend for brands to engage customers and collect the user information via their shopping search trends/history/patterns. This trend has been now getting an attention for the B2B industry, with more and more companies streaming webinars or webcasts to generate leads and engage existing customers. Once this trend for a company becomes popular, it becomes an in-demand for the consumers as they also want to listen to the company updates and more!

4. Collaborations With Industry Players or Influencers
Influencers have taken the marketing industry to the next level. While you mostly see influencer marketing being used to promote customer products, it’s also starting to impact the B2B niche.

If you have liked the article, please share it widely via social media channels with your friends, colleagues.

Customer Service

3 Trends Shaping Customer Service In 2018

Is the current business year packing up the way you thought it would? For example, are your support or service centers well in hand, satisfying digital consumers? Or, are they lagging behind, out of satisfaction? How will you decide that? The star ratings? or any other criteria? Well, that doesn’t matter, what’s the important point here is: How well you do a customer retention? To get traction, trends need to be integrated into the business. Optimized to deliver great service and satisfaction. Before the year 2017 ends, let’s review a few trends that got traction—and will gain more ground in 2018.

Trend #1: Service solutions need advancement in technology i.e. AI and IAS

Automated processes including self-service solve simple, online transactions. Customers welcome the convenience. With the artificial intelligence, AI-enabled voice assistants are pleasing the consumers. But, they’re not truly human yet.

Trend #2: Customers are redefining their service experiences

As Forbes predicted for the year 2017 that there will be more retail businesses closing than the opening and this trend will likely to continue in the year 2018.  Consumers have started exploring their experience with online dealing and why they should not try when there exists a lot of offers, quality, and varieties for the same type of product they need. Remember, the money back guarantees played a devastating role for the retailers in the decorated and ornamented market.

Trend #3: On-Demand Workforce

This is a trend that is being used by the most of the big businesses. The idea of using this trend is to prepare a fully skilled, technically sound and experienced workforce of salaried professionals those are ready to serve on a business on-demand basis. The best part of it is the flexibility of reusing the workforce on the same day while the worst case is: the cost and structure of the company that hires them. But again, when a business needs fast services, better customer retention and maximum uptime, cost nowhere stands.

We hope you like this blog post.  Please share widely to let your friends, colleagues know more about 2018 business trends. Thanks

People Connect

Automated Response and Business Relationships

“It’s time to show” The world is changing very fast and thus the way we do business. The fundamental approach to gain attention from the people to have them focused is to personalize them with the best quality they have. Literally, when you attend any function or program, you notice a lot of people are gathering and celebrating things for the particular program or in an event. Let’s say if you attend the retirement party of your colleague, you notice that people love to call them personally for anything that they have done special and meaningful that can be rewarded.

The first thing which needs to be focused on business communication is how your employees are responding to your business connections or customers. If they send always a scripted response, the customer won’t bother and will think that you have got the services only which is everyone else is providing. What matters for your customer is to have them listened to and act as they want. The intermediatory talk while assisting them makes an impact of more consolidated care. However, there is a variant form of performance that is very suitable for anyone who interacts with their customers and fellow employees.

There should not be any script when you or your employees are serving to the customers. If you are going to be more concerned with their problem and talking in a more personalized way through which you can engage and respond appropriately, that’s the halfway journey has covered being a successful service executive & as a client resource manager.

We will understand this with a real-life scenario. Let’s say one automobile company is assisting a customer who has got some issues with the vehicle he purchased. The ideal way should be to deal that customer is: what his name, his background and job scenario and why he needed that vehicle meaning the purpose for which he bought it next. Then to serve him in a better way, to identify his problems and make a list of them. Meanwhile, you are asking for the details, you must ask him “You will definitely get this problem resolved, have patience and please cooperate with us” Once you are done with the necessary info, the next thing is to tell him the exact solution & scenario to meet with.  When your employee gives him a timeline, make sure you are in a connection with him to have him feel a complete satisfaction.

When operators of any type of industry come to work, they get into shape and deliver the best representation they can. The goal should be to improve today or to do better as compared to yesterday. The business should provide training and complete resources to their employees.

Thanks for reading. If you liked it, please share with your friends and colleagues.

Business Support

Your Customer Service Team Should Be in Every Strategy Meeting

It used to be that mistreated customers were often powerless to stand up to a large company or organization, but social media is changing that. Even one wrong move has the power to drum up a massive number of interactions on various platforms, such as the video of a man getting dragged off a United Airlines flight earlier this year. Most of the customers who post their gripes on social media aren’t interested in any sort of refund. In fact, Sprout Social reports that whistleblowing unfair practices are much more important to 80 percent of survey respondents.

Customer service interactions are some of the most loaded for a business. They have the capacity to earn lifetime customers or if handled poorly, a slew of public complaints that hurt business and tarnish the reputation of an otherwise upstanding company.

Which side would you rather be on?

 Decision validation

In traditional marketing textbooks, low-cost, immediate purchasing decisions were in a different category than the more complex and intensive buyer decision cycle. When Amazon entered the fray, everything changed. Now, the Pew Research Center points out that up to 82 percent of adults in the United States read online reviews from other customers at least some of the time — of that group, 40 percent report that they almost always do.

Related: Customer Service Is Ground Zero for Success

Percentages for Millennials are even higher, with only 4 percent claiming to never read reviews. Across demographics and at different purchasing levels, customers are looking for feedback on everything from the latest smart TVs to a new bar of soap.

Things that were purchased in stores just a few years ago needed to have the flashiest labels or the best product marketing on the shelf. The buyer journey has since changed, and businesses need to deliver accordingly. Instead of looking at the customer service team as a cost center that solves issues, companies should recognize it as the key to developing consumer intimacy.

Treat customers like family

Contrary to common belief, the best customer service isn’t about the customer always being right. It’s about adding as much value as possible to her purchase of your product or service, even when it means going far out of the way to make it happen. Treating customers like they’re family is a powerful way to win loyalty, and it goes a long way toward ensuring a company’s future is a bright one.

Customers today evaluate every aspect of a brand, going well beyond the products themselves to include how the service fares against the competition. Because of the hypercompetitiveness of the product market, especially in the technology sphere, brands are realizing that customer service is another way to outdo one another and win over more of the market. It’s not always easy, however, so here are three ways for businesses to incorporate customer service teams into their brand strategy:

1. Hire a chief customer officer.

While it’s tempting to take good individual contributors and promote them to a managerial role, they aren’t always the ideal choice. Instead, look for candidates who demonstrate good leadership skills and the capacity to motivate and engage a team.

And, according to a recent Nasdaq survey, the job of a CCO is not only becoming more prevalent, but it’s also becoming infinitely more important. The survey revealed that more CCOs today are responsible for what was once viewed as marketing key performance indicators. This includes indicators such as search rankings, which 65 percent of CCOs are responsible for; content marketing at 57 percent; web traffic at 65 percent; and customer loyalty at 56 percent.

It’s evident the role is necessary — even the big guns like Mars and Johnson & Johnson have recently hired a CCO and found success doing so.

2. Synergize product development and customer service efforts.

Customer service representatives know customer pain points more intimately than anyone else in the company because they’re the ones who deal with the complaints on a daily basis. Loan some of your veterans to the product development team, and you can eliminate problems at the source.

Similarly, leadership should be interacting with the customer service team on a regular basis. Ask team members for feedback, and find out what makes their jobs more difficult. When representatives are frustrated, so are customers.

3. Correlate executive goals and compensation with customer satisfaction.

Incentivize the information sharing described above to ensure the lines of communication between leadership and employees remain open and the latter remain engaged in their work. Paying leadership based on overall customer satisfaction will also lead to a sharp upward trend in company ratings — just as many sales employees operate on a commission basis, the same can be done for customer service representatives. Giving the whole team a goal to work toward will ensure the highest level of cooperation and engagement — and the happiest customers.

Customer support services

Customer Experience & Simplicity in Technology: How Design & Quality Influence the Base

Why is simplicity so important?

Global brand strategy and experience firm Siegel+Gale completed their 7th annual Global Brand Simplicity Index study, which is designed to achieve three things:

  1. Understand the impact of simplicity on consumer behavior and firm performance;
  2. Determine which brands and industries create the simplest experiences;
  3. Figure out which top brands use simplicity to drive disruption

The findings are summarized on Forbes’ CMO Network, with the top 10 brands in this year’s study being:

Customer Support Services

If this was my list, I wouldn’t have included McDonald’s or KFC because of how unhealthy they are and the consequences for those who eat those brands. But I believe they made this list because of simplicity around their customer experience and cost structure, so I understand. I myself wouldn’t have included them.

I was maybe a little bit surprised that more enterprise tech companies weren’t on this list, at least near the top (the only ones here are really Google, Netflix, Amazon, YouTube), in other regions Microsoft, Facebook, and some other tech and electronic companies as GE, Samsung and Paypal and even Apple were far from the top but in the list. In this list, there’s a huge amount of food retails but that makes sense because they absolutely need to deliver great, simple humanized customer experience to get repeat business. Retailers often have it easier designing simpler experiences. But for me is a surprise to see the German chains Lidl and Aldi at the top of the list. Yes, they deliver very simple experiences, but almost without any aspect of a great customer experience here in Germany and around the globe.

Somehow we need to change the mental models of connecting enterprise technology and solutions with the word complexity. Companies like SAP, Dell-EMC, Salesforce, Microsoft, Sprinklr, Lithium, Software AG,IBM, Adobe, Tableau, Genesys, SaS Analytics,  Nice Systems, and others should be regularly appearing on lists such as these, since they are trying to turn complexity in simplicity, and is not a real easy task as you may know in  the enterprise technologies sectors.

Some of the bigger statistics that Siegel+Gale found are important to understanding, including:

  • 64% of consumers will pay more for simpler experiences (46% U.S.A., 48% Germany– but much higher in countries like India, at 92%, and China, at 85%)
  • 61% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand because it’s simpler to use
  • A stock portfolio of companies from these simpler brands outperformed major stock indexes by 330%
  • When your experiences are too complex, an average enterprise brand can leave an estimated share of $86 billion on the table

Now, obviously different regions are used to different kinds of complexity in their products — and each country in surveys like this is unique, in terms of customer experience around services and business as a whole. Look at China as an example. A company like WeChat is a very simplified experience as a complete cockpit of the western world separated social media all conjointly. Other companies, like Huawei (building amazing things) and Alibaba, are very easy to use and understand. This is all based on persons mental models,  and perception, obviously, what is easy for you doesn’t necessarily make easy for others and vice versa. We can’t generalize from one survey, no. But in almost every region on the globe, the simpler products are out-performing the more complex ones. And there are billions of dollars at stake here.

As we know from our last article, complexity should be avoided, and especially in hardware, software, tech user-centered design, customer experience, and services. In any sector, this is the key aspects of loyalty, customer success, adoption, referrals and ultimately revenue generation.

Now we know a bit more that we should avoid complexity, and we have basic statistics on how important simplicity is to a business.

What is simplicity exactly?

To me, simplicity means a demonstration of features, functionalities, processes, governance, and design which are really necessary. They need to be there, the end user understands their role, and they make the experience better.

We also know that in some sectors complexity is part of the daily life, whether we like or not. Note Amazon’s front end interface — what you see when you order anything as a customer —  looks easy and very simple for us. However in their back office, they use a series of very complex algorithms and process to make all easier for us humans, the complexity is so big in essence that enables them delivery an unique hyper-personalized experience for each of us. Amazon is focusing in provide us the right visibility, that is perceived as easy to use or I would say the essence of minimalist experience toward simplicity, even though takes a lot of human centricity design effort from their teams. The #UX and great user interfaces or (UI) design that they are developing, create this unique thing, that we all call  “ The Amazon experience”, which many people around the globe think is among the best of the best, if not the top.

The simplicity or Amazon should also be found or applied to enterprise technologies for user and customers. Therefore and not by coincidence as previously mentioned SAP the big German tech giant, created a division in Berlin to solve those problems and make it simple. Simple sells, simple engage and simple, actually ensure people and companies successful outcomes and that is the way we all want to be even in complex solutions.

The simpler design, human-centric world enables us humans to engage with your enterprise technology in an easy way. So how are you planning to transform your technology in your organization to be nicer to work with?

Aspire to a non-complex world.  To create the right usability and solutions for your customers that they really need, starting with it is a good point of beginning. One good example is “The e-commerce  Zalando, here in Europe, they have simplified shopping to only 3 clicks almost maybe in the beginning a bit more.  Both Zalando and Amazon’s intuitive user interface and experience and its speed and reliable delivery system are good examples, how to simplify in general.

How do we minimize complexity and arrive at simplicity, though?

You will need buy-in

Before we get to any specific examples, this should go without saying but it still must be repeated: you will need buy-in from the executive level to simplify your products and services. The main reason is logically budget and strategy. Without support at the budget-setting and approving level, you will encounter many challenges. This can be a challenge in different sectors that were born out of complexity. Bill McDermott, the CEO of SAP since 2010 understood that early on and as soon he becomes the CEO he also started a series of internal initiatives to make their solutions complexities,  much simpler creating the simplification unit in their Berlin office.

Martin Wezowski, Chief Designer, and Innovation is leading the initiative to simplify SAP. This is a large challenge for SAP, but they are delivering and enhancing their software’s customer experience and usability at a fast pace. Some sectors have such strict rules since they began that, it’s now hard for them to offer simple solutions and transform themselves in both (B2B and B2C). Whether B2B is your sector, it’s going to be a little bit harder to get the buy-in but you will get it as you create the right approach for your leadership.  The glass-half-full here is that technology often enables simplicity, and every week more human-centered designers are being trained to go and help companies with design thinking and crafting and developing better, more intuitive experiences. This is great for every sector — and remember, every sector needs simplicity in design, customer experience, and execution.

Source: eGlobalIs