This week, we’re continuing our series of tips from the Haley Marketing team on delivering shareworthy service. In this installment, we’re sharing inspiration from Brad Smith – featuring his best customer service advice, tips and anecdotes for rocking your customer service in 2016!
“Make a customer, not a sale.”
~ Katherine Barchetti
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
~ Bill Gates (This is why it’s so important to continually survey and collect feedback!)
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”
~ Jeff Bezos
Favorite customer service tip: Disagree with your clients.
First off, I hate the quote “The customer is always right.” It’s simply not true!
Here’s why. In many cases the customer might think they are right, but they may not have all the information needed to make the best possible decision. They may be “right” based on the limited information they have.
As a true consultant (and not just a vendor), it’s our job to provide value in the relationship. Sometimes that value takes the form of disagreeing with a client, but doing so in a nice way with data to back up our position.
A good example of this was a client that replaced a simple Apply form on their website with a nice Haley Marketing Group job board with a lot of robust features. After about two months, they wanted to stop using the job board because the number of applications they received had dropped.
They were basing their decision solely on the total number of applications.
We certainly understood why the client wanted to drop our job board, but we didn’t agree with their choice – because we knew they weren’t making a truly informed business decision. After all, in the staffing industry, companies don’t make money by collecting applications; they make money by placing candidates.
Digging deeper into analytics, we were able to determine that, while total applications were down:
- The number of QUALITY applications were way up.
- Time spent with unqualified candidate screening was down.
- The number of placements were up!
By replacing a general Apply form with real jobs, candidates who were not qualified didn’t apply. Instead, our client received applications from good candidates, could focus their time and efforts on top-tier talent, and placed more people.
Had we just blindly followed the mantra of “The customer is always right” without analyzing the data, we would’ve agreed with our client’s decision to drop our job board. As consultants, however, we looked at key business drivers and helped define what key metrics should be examined. From there, we gathered as much data as possible to drive the most informed business decision.
By disagreeing with our client, we created a customer service “win” for all parties involved.
Favorite Customer Service Tip: Ask questions. And then shut up and listen!
The best solutions come from asking the RIGHT questions. All too often I run into vendors that talk too much and don’t listen enough. Let the customer talk, listen intently and then try to add value once you have the whole story.
Personal Service Manta: Be a consultant, not a vendor.
Add value to the relationship and back everything up with empirical data, not guesses.
Want more great customer service advice?
Check out these earlier posts: