1. Hot tips to increase customer satisfaction

    March 12, 2016 by BPIR.com Limited

     

    Originally posted on Biztorming by Luciana Paulise

    Customer is king, but do customers actually feel like they are kings?

    That’s’ a very good question. Poor customer service cost companies billions of dollars every year. And sometimes owners don’t even know about it. Customer satisfaction is hard to measure, but it I not impossible. Repeat sales, customer loyalty, recommendation to friends and customer claims are key performance indicators. While you can try to measure them, you need to focus on how to improve them.

    To increase customer satisfaction, you need to work on the 5 key aspects they value most: the product itself, the user, due care, customer service and finally the personnel.

    1. The product itself: The consumer is the most important part of the production line. Customers are the ones that put our company into business, they buy our products, so products need to be suited to them, that’s why Deming, the famous statistician would say that the consumer was the most important part of the production line. He would also say that it is easy to go broke making the wrong product or offering the wrong service. Companies need to increase value through products and services that delight customers, because profit and growth don’t come from the satisfied customer: Satisfied customers switch, for no good reason, just to try something else. They come from the loyal customer. He requires no advertising or persuasion, and he brings a friend along with him.
    2. User: Customer surveys and mystery shoppers are great tools to get to know the voice of your customer. Demands vary from year to year and from market to market, so it is necessary to study customer requirements deeply through Statistical methods such as run charts or scatter diagrams to determine the type pf product that will sell as it links studies of the consumer preferences with the design of products, improving competitive position. Top management then must bring design and customer research together. After starting a project and gathering VOC (voice of the customer) data, it is time to define the critical-to-quality outputs. To prioritize their actions during this process, practitioners may use a quality function deployment (QFD), also known as the house of quality. There are also new tools and methodologies to get the VOC faster and cheaper.
      Social networks: using Facebook, twitter, Instagram, blogs and other networking tools to promote your business, you can not only engage your audience and let them know what you are up to, but you can also get the their insights, depending on the number visits, likes, favorites and comments.
      All ears Personnel: employees are one of the best source of information in regards to customer desires. They should be trained not only to assist the customer but also to listen to them and communicate their needs to upper management.
      Pilot tests: many Entrepreneurs are already into it to develop new products. The most successful startups are applying the Lean startup methodology , which focus on WORKING SMARTER NOT HARDER, that is experimenting with your product as you soon as you have a first version and letting your early adopters test it for you, telling you what they like and what they don’t. A core component of Lean Startup methodology is the build-measure-learn feedback loop. The first step is figuring out the problem that needs to be solved and then developing a minimum viable product (MVP) to offer the customer in order to begin the process of learning.
    3. Due Care: How the user uses the product is important. If the user doesn’t understand it, or doesn’t know how to take care of it, it can reduce his loyalty. Market research can also be used to understand how the product is used, installed and how it is taken care of. Instructions for use of the product and warnings on miss use are part of the records that establish the amount of care taken on the part of the manufacturer.
    4. Customer service: Deming would also say that “No one can measure loss of business that may arise from a defective product that goes to a customer”, that’s why quality of the products are so important. Quality of the products needs to be taken care of to avoid customer complaints and frustration. In the case the defective product goes to a customer, the company needs to take serious action. There must be a customer service department to help customers to use the product, to assist them if it is broken or to receive complaints about defects.
    5. Trained personnel: Front line employees in charge of customer service should be trained to be able to help the customer and provide information to improve the products, as they need to make customers come back, not their products. Front line employees are usually the less trained, the new ones in the Company, but they are also the first contact of the customer. They should be better trained than anyone on describing products and providing excellent service. They key from great companies is that they don’t only focus on the front line employees but also make sure everyone in the Company appreciates the customer, from the accounting department to the cleaning services. Answers like “ I am not in charge”, or “That’s not my business” should be banned. The customer should be the King no matter where you work.

     

    Happy customers who get their issues solved tell 5 people about their experience, but a dissatisfied customer will tell 11 people about their experience

    Any contact with the customer should be an opportunity to drive satisfaction. Several researches show that happy customers who get their issues solved tell 5 people about their experience, but a dissatisfied customer will tell 11 people about their experience. So always remember, the key to business success is keeping your customer satisfaction rates higher than your competition!


  2. When Employee Engagement Delivers Great Customer Service

    October 14, 2015 by BPIR.com Limited

    Originally posted on Beyond Theory by Paul Beesley

    It’s central London. It’s 9.05 am on a Tuesday, October morning. It’s busy. I have arrived at Victoria station via the Tube. My meeting starts at 10.00 am.

    Amazingly for me I have time to kill and I need a coffee. I want to tune in to my emails and be available to take the call that I’m expecting.

    I walk past at least eight cafés and coffee points. My destination is Pret A Manger. I’ve been there before. I know that he coffee is good and the service is fast.

    I arrive at Pret A Manger and it’s heaving – people almost queuing out the door. I almost abort the idea. But I notice that the queue is moving – and moving fast. Within a couple of minutes I am at the counter and being greeted by a smiling face, wishing me good morning and asking what I would like.

    My order is taken. There are six people serving and three people operating the baristas. Everyone is smart and everyone is extremely busy. Everyone looks like they want to be there. The different coloured shirts show who does what, the teams work like clockwork. A multi-lingual team serving multi-lingual customers. Some people might even call this choreography. My coffee is served and is exactly what I expected. The price is too and I am wished a good day.

    Despite ordering a coffee to go I decided to stay a while. What I observed was fantastic. The speed at which people were being served is incredible. But the team still had time for manners. They realised what their customers wanted and the speed at which they needed it.

    Another member of the team was merchandising, making sure that shelves were stocked and easy to select from. She skillfully manoeuvred around the customers who were phoning, texting and dragging their luggage.

    From downstairs, other employees were frequently appearing, restocking the shelves with freshly made baguettes and croissants. The concept of teamwork was being displayed.

    As I look around the coffee shop the company’s vision and purpose statement was visible to see. Those working behind the counter could not miss it.

    So what did I learn from this organised chaos, this choreography? Here are my learning points:

    • Employees need to know what they’re doing. They need training to equip them to do the job they are expected to do.
    • Employees need to be clear on their roles, working in unison. To achieve this, they also need to know the roles of others.
    • Employees need to have the equipment to use, serviced and in working order. It needs to be ergonomically designed – for the employees and the customers alike.
    • Employees need to be smart in appearance and smart in attitude – courtesy costs nothing but makes money.
    • Employees need managers to give direction yet be observant to give support when necessary.
    • Employees need to see the vision and connect with how their performance impacts the business strategy.

    I could go on but I am sure you get the picture. Employee engagement and customer excellence are intrinsically linked. Congratulations to Pret A Manger for making it happen. And it’s not just happening in Victoria – I am a loyal customer to Pret A Manger in Central Milton Keynes too.


  3. What makes an effective CX management process?

    August 26, 2015 by BPIR.com Limited

    This is the question that the Cranfield Management Forum (CCMF) set out to answer in its recent white paper: Stages of customer experience management: Case studies from the UK Customer Experience Awards.

    Researcher Dr Farah Arkadan studied the winning entries from the UK Customer Experience Awards 2015 in order to gain insights into how organisations manage and deliver a superior customer experience across seven stages of customer experience.

    To read the full article about the seven management stages of customer experience and download the free white paper


  4. Sheikh Mohammad launches fourth generation of government excellence system in Dubai

    April 20, 2015 by BPIR.com Limited
    Shaikh Mohammed and Shaikh Maktoum at the launching of the fourth generation of the government excellence system

    Shaikh Mohammed and Shaikh Maktoum at the launching of the fourth generation of the government excellence system

    Originally posted on Gulf News

    The aim of the fourth generation of the government excellence system is to upgrade the system of government work on innovative basis

    His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice- President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has launched the fourth generation of the government excellence system which is the first of its kind across the globe that focuses on results and was designed to develop government performance.

    The aim of the fourth generation of the government excellence system is to upgrade the system of government work on innovative basis and standards based on achieved results as a foundation for excellence in government services in three main areas: achieving the vision, innovation and empowerment in realising the highest satisfaction rates and people’s happiness.

    “Today we have launched the fourth generation of the government excellence system representing a new phase of excellence to which we aspire in the work of the government. It paints a proactive approach to the governments of the future to serve our people and country. It is also a completion of the path of excellence that we started 20 years ago when we launched the Dubai Quality Award,” Shaikh Mohammad said.

    “We have come a long way of successful excellence, and the world at large has witnessed to that. Our country has come in first places and topped global competitiveness indexes. Today we want to build over this achievement to move to a new stage in work titled: excellence based on the results,” he added.

    “In the race toward the first place we look to excellence as a challenge rather than an achievement. Achievement is what we realize for the future of our people; while the march of excellence is continuous and does not stop at any limits or borders, however it goes through various stages. The race for excellence does not recognize the limits of time and space,” he further indicated.

    The fourth generation of the government excellence system was launched at the presence of Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Mohammad Abdullah Al Gargawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs.

    Shaikh Mohammad also reviewed some stages of the government excellence process which began in 1994, with the “Dubai Quality Award”. At the time, it drew the first steps toward achieving excellence in the private sector through the adoption of best practices and trends and the construction phase, which was launched in 1997, through the Dubai Award for Government Excellence and developed. It set the international standards for quality to be applied government departments and then the leadership phase marked by the launch of Emirates Award for Excellence in Government Performance in 2009 to form the highest award for institutional excellence at the state’s level.

    “After we passed these stages successfully the government reached an important stage of maturity and excellence in performance, its programmes, goals and clarity of vision. So it was time for a new challenge to build upon and through these achievements to launch a broader and more comprehensive system of excellence, thus to continue through it the road to the future that we aspire for our country, making our country the best in the world and our people the happiest and for the UAE to remain a pioneer and most advanced and innovative in government work in the world,” he pointed out.

    “The content of the fourth generation of the government excellence system is in line with these trends . It focuses on the results of what constitutes an incentive for continuous improvement in the labour regulations proportional with the governments requirements of the future that are capable of understanding the needs and aspirations of the people and meeting them,” he said.

    “It represents a step forward and a new approach in the process of work and performance of future governments” He also stressed that ” The gates of future governments will not allow traditional ideas and outdated work methods to cross.”
    “Every effort by the government aims at making people happy and content. Achieving people’s interest is a government priority before anything else, and this makes it imperative for the government to be proactive and innovative, competing with itself, does not wait or delay, rather it foresees prospects for the future. Government work must focus on achieving results in the field, which is reflected positively and effectively in people’s daily lives,” he concluded.


  5. Employee attitude can create a stellar customer experience

    March 28, 2015 by BPIR.com Limited

    Originally posted on Customer Service Experience by Dr Jason Price

    One of the great things about commenting on customer service is the day you get to tell a story about the little things that, in reality, go to create a truly spectacular customer service experience.

    Leading management author, Ken Blanchard, has written extensively [1] about how customer service employees make the difference in providing an exceptional customer experience.

    Ken’s experiences tell us that satisfied customers aren’t enough – we should look to create experiences that make “raving fans” of our organisation.

    Today, I’m a raving fan of Upper Hutt City Council in New Zealand for the simple, dedicated actions taken – well above and beyond the call of duty – by their website administrator, Maria. It’s a story that I think should be mandatory reading for every customer service advisor who works on an e-mail response team anywhere on the planet.

    Proof positive, just like my previous article on FedEx, how simple, thoughtful and committed belief from one customer-facing employee creates a genuinely exceptional customer experience enhancing an organisation’s brand.

    A great customer experience is driven by employee attitudes

    What’s got me so excited? It wasn’t a tough enquiry, but the response I received from Maria showed the kind of commitment to customer service values that every manager is crying out for in their team.

    Here’s what happened to me last night…

    I’m at home, in the evening, browsing the Upper Hutt City Council website for some property related information. It’s a routine transaction and I quickly find the right page from a first time search. However, when I click on a link to the relevant document, it turns out all the links on this page are broken.

    That happens in any website sometimes, so I selected the ‘feedback’ form on the page and left my comment that the page links were all broken. It was 8:46pm at night.

    At 9:51pm, I received a very polite e-mail from Maria thanking me for the feedback, apologising for the inconvenience caused and letting me know that the site links had been fixed if I’d like to try again.

    This wasn’t an auto-response e-mail letting me know a team would look into it. This was a personalised e-mail from a human being, telling me (at quarter to ten at night) that they’d received my e-mail, fixed my problem and were terribly sorry I’d been inconvenienced.

    Not since Craig from FedEx appeared at my door with a cheery grin holding a parcel have my expectations been so dramatically blown away. I clicked on the page again, and lo and behold, all the links were fixed and I was able to look up the information I wanted – in a fraction over one hour from my first contact.

    Now let’s be clear about this, Upper Hutt City Council is a relatively small Local Government authority at the southern end of New Zealand’s North Island and Maria left the office at 4:30pm.

    Global businesses with 24×7 contact centres that tell me they value my feedback, but refuse to actually respond when I provide it (and trust me, I always provide feedback)? Your contact centres could learn more than a thing or two from Maria at Upper Hutt City Council.

    Going above and beyond to excel in customer service

    Blanchard talks at length about the role of customer contact employees going above and beyond customer service, and that delivering whenever possible is the key to creating raving fans. It’s this dedication to service that creates unforgettable customer experiences [2] .

    In this case, an employee who’d actually finished her working day at 4:30pm cared enough about an individual’s customer experience to put something right – and send them a personal response right there and then to help them get their business done – rather than waiting for the next morning.

    That’s a definitive example of putting the customer first, above and beyond the call of duty.

    As with my FedEx experience, it was the final response I received from Maria that propelled this from a story about commitment into a stellar customer experience. Simply put, her final e-mail demonstrated a personal belief in customer service that would gladden the heart of so many contact centre managers.

    When I expressed my thanks for such a fast fix, her e-mail reply (again, within minutes at 10:21pm) was to say that “I know it’s frustrating and inconvenient when technology does not provide the information you need – when you need it!”

    Rather than an automatic out of hours response, I got a dedicated, personal service from an off duty employee who cares enough about her customers, her job and the brand reputation of Upper Hutt City Council to go the extra mile. In doing so, she created a raving fan.

    Simple, caring employee actions make all the difference.

    Exceptional people, like Maria, make for a stellar customer service experience.


    [1] Blanchard, K, Bowles, S (1993), Raving Fans: A revolutionary approach to customer service, New York: HarperCollins; Blanchard, K (2007), Leading at a Higher Level, London: Pearson.
    [2] Blanchard, K (2007, p.55), Leading at a Higher Level, London: Pearson