In today’s society we have learned, in some cases a harsh lesson; the customer may not always be right, but they are the blood that courses through the veins of our company. Whether they are right or not so right, at the end of the day, doesn’t matter! Every company, everywhere relies on customers. Whether you are selling to an individual or selling to another company. The first and last thing that matters – and all the stuff in between – boils down to the customer.
A customer is someone who is willing to give us money for a product or service we have to offer. Without the customer, our companies would die. Often companies spend thousand of dollars insuring training on hard skills such as the best equipment, the most recent version of software, or the renovation of their branches, yet, few spend money to train their employees on how to talk to their customers – the soft skills!
According to Customer Experience Impact Report in 2010 by Harris Interactive/RightNow, “9 out of 10 customers are willing to pay more for better customer service. Competing on price isn’t the most effective way to build an enduring business. Great service, delivered time and time again, is defensible against the stiffest and most well-funded competition.” In other words, customers are looking to be treated better and appreciated more for choosing your company over your competition.
If you were to look up from your desk right now and look around your business, can you say for sure how your employees are handling your customers? If you pulled your customers into the coffee shop downstairs and asked them how they felt about your company, what do you think they would say?
If you find yourself saying, “Hum, that is an interesting question.” You may not have a pulse on your customer’s experience. Did you know that 80% of companies’ CEOs feel they deliver superior customer service and only 8% of their customers agree with them (Lee Resources)? The most important thing that affects your business is often left to chance.
Over the years I have found that employees’ hearts are almost always in the right place, wanting to do the right things. Often, they simply lack the skills required to give great customer service.
Signature Worldwide has long been known for mystery shopping services. This highly effective tool enables a company to listen to the employee interact with the customer. Then, and maybe most importantly, coach and develop those soft skills with their employees. These types of calls fit most of our customers needs as a developmental tool. Some, however, have asked for a different approach.
Actual recorded customer calls are something some businesses need to assess their employees’ interactions. This type of monitoring is excellent for businesses that have unusual products or customized services. Monitoring your customers' experience is a must in today’s world. How you do that is really determined by the needs of your customer.
Mystery shop calls can give you the benefits of real life scenarios but, not the consequences in some cases. Recorded calls can add richness to the training and development of your employees. These calls give real life examples of scenarios that have benefits and consequences in each call.
The other benefit to live calls is the perspective from the employee. Once they know it was a quality assurance call the employee tends to think of the call differently. Maybe saying they knew it was a mystery call and thus responded differently then they “normally” would have. In the case of live calls, all interactions are how they “normally” interact with the customer.
It is funny to me, when I was training, I would often hear, “I hung up the phone and said, ‘Dang, I hope that wasn’t a mystery shop call!’ ” My response was always the same. “Why? If you messed up the call, thank goodness it wasn’t a real customer, but your concern should be if it was a real customer that they didn’t receive 100% of your best!”
Real customers are the ones that matter!
Whether you choose to use traditional mystery shop calling or recording and pulling live calls, your company will benefit. Offering more experienced staff with better customer experience skills will always move you and your company ahead! It is the ONLY way to truly gauge your customers’ experience.
‟Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game. Service wins the game.”