Clients today are busy; some are overwhelmed by the myriad of tasks they now have to perform. By the time they call your help desk or customer care center, they are often frustrated and anything but pleasant.
You can put a smile back on their face about your business, and here are some tips to help ensure this happens:
1. Say you will help
Every time you say, "I can help you," or "Let me see if I can help," it is music to client’s ears. It calms potential anger inside of them waiting to be let loose. You may need to say it more than once. When you sense mounting frustration, repeat your offer to help as often as you feel it is appropriate.
2. Help each step of the way
If you need to pass the caller to another person for additional support, stay on the line with them and explain the situation to the new representative. The last thing the client wants to do is repeat their tale of woe to multiple people.
3. Acknowledge any evident concerns / upset
It is not enough to simply say, "Ok." You must say something more genuine. "I can appreciate how annoying this must be." Yes, you are right, this should not have happened." Your client wants to be heard.
Your client wants you as the representative of the company to see how inconvenienced or disappointed they are with your product or service. An acknowledgement is definitely required.
4. Be sincere
Have an upbeat voice. A voice with a monotone is seen in a negative manner. Your voice must have highs and lows, just as a singer's voice has a range.
5. Don't rush
Take your time explaining how to remedy a situation. Pause at the end of each sentence or thought for a second or two. A fast talker frustrates the person trying to take notes or to envision what you are saying. It makes the caller feel you just want them to get off the line.
6. Involve the client
Ask the client what he or she would like to see happen. Ask the client if this solution would be acceptable. This makes the client feel you value their business.
7. Offer something
Recently, I heard of a scenario when a case of wine was shipped to a friend to celebrate the landing a great new job. The case of wine was shipped to the sender who ordered instead of intended recipient. When the sender called the wine company, they immediately took responsibility. They told the sender to keep the case, rather than ship it back, because of the inconvenience they caused.
The wine company then took care of shipping a new case at no additional charge immediately.
Not every situation warrants something to be thrown in for free, but, on occasion, when your organisation is clearly at fault, it goes a long way to keeping clients satisfied and therefore, loyal.
8. Thank the client
Any time a client complains it is an opportunity for your organisation to correct something that is NOT working. Let the client know that your organisation is constantly striving to achieve better service and will do its best to see that client concerns do not happen in the future.
9. Client loyalty is difficult today
You are the face of your organisation, and you play a significant role in impressing or depressing your clients. The more you can keep your clients singing your praises, the more secure and easier your job will be.
Following these simple tips will help to ensure your clients smile about your business!
Go help somebody
An executive's time is valuable. These individuals go from meeting to meeting. It is not unusual for them to have as many as 10-15 meetings a day.
For Marvin White, Chief Technologist for Innovation at ESPN, a sports entertainment programming network says, "it's all about ideas and figuring out how to execute them.
An interview with Marvin produced the following suggestions on how to succeed when presenting for an executive audience:
1. Arrive with your ideas well thought out
I don't want to try to figure out what the presenter is proposing. I want to get the point and get it quickly. I have a million things on my plate. Keep your ideas tight and concise.
2. Be ready with the data that supports why your idea is a worth listening to
As the CTO, I am responsible for making correct decisions, investing wisely. If you are going to pitch to me, I need your points well supported. Don't show up without the data. On the other hand, people may give me too many details. It makes it difficult to keep everything straight.
Presenters who offer too much information usually do a bad job and go down a rat hole. Again, come in with your ideas well thought out. Think about what information I need to make a decision. Then, stop!!!
3. Show you understand your audience
In the sports entertainment business, empathy for the viewers is critical. You absolutely have to get into the shoes of the sport fans. You must consider how this would relate or be perceived by a variety of audiences.
4. Don't recite a script
I need to be engaged. Ask for my input, my concerns. I am probably going to interrupt you anyway. It makes a better impression on me if we are having a dialogue. I am not a big fan of monologues.
5. Winging it doesn't usually work, unless you're really, really smart
Be ready for some tough questions. Think about what I might ask ahead of time in order to decide.
6. Consider a "Show and Tell"
It's OK to show me PowerPoint, but I am more excited by video clips or examples of devices, such as a hockey puck with electronics. I don't hate slides, but often, it is just not the best way to present the information. Live demonstrations or animated computer clips really help to focus the discussion.
7. Be truthful
In this business, it is easy to indulge in wishful thinking. Be upfront, clear and honest, and you won't go wrong with me. It is important that I stay on top of people's projects. Tell me the milestones. What's difficult or risky? What are the ramifications of not doing something? Be candid. Show me how your idea fits into the business.
Regardless of your industry, Marvin White offers solid advice for ensuring successful presentations for executive audiences.
Apply his suggestions and you will undoubtedly gain and advantage.