Tag Archives: Customer service + Web 2.0

Great + Service =Happy Customers

In an issue of the magazine, under their links of “The Things That Suck” Wired told us “Why Things Suck: Customer Service” is hated, they stated the following reasons:

– Some call centers’ focus on getting customers off the phone versus truly resolving issues.- Wired wrote “…See, customer service isn’t really about serving you at all — it’s about getting you off the line as politely …”

– Unmotivated, stressed and untalented customer service representatives.- They only care a little if your problem gets solved — in fact, one out of three call centers don’t measure customer satisfaction. Of course, one in two don’t measure employee satisfaction, either. Their goal is to be done with you.

– Customer service representatives that are unfocused when serving customers.

The best customer service companies don’t run into these issues: they focus on resolving issues and customer satisfaction; they rarely outsource and if they do, they outsource to quality companies; they hired motivated and talented representatives; and they don’t force representatives to help more than one customer at once.

The issues that Wired pointed out are interesting because none of them are difficult to fix. It’s really easy to change policies to measure customer satisfaction and stop outsourcing. The most complicated one is the issue with unmotivated and untalented representatives and by the way Wired words the paragraph, the companies could just tweak their personality tests and avoid that problem.

The short article (part of a series of explanations about why things like traffic, batteries, and customer service suck) also cites some interesting statistics that I had never read before (no source is listed):

1. Employees in Bangalore will work for 85 percent less than equally qualified US employee.

2. One out of three call centers don’t measure customer satisfaction. One in two don’t measure employee satisfaction.

3. The ideal customer service rep (according to personality inventory tests) is uncreative, has low incentive, and demonstrates limited empathy.

4. Half of all service reps are talking, emailing, or IMing with another customer at the same time. One quarter handle up to four people at once.

On average, twice as many people are told about a bad experience than they are about a good experience. A study from 1981 (give Coke attribution in the footnotes, not here) found that a median of 5 persons heard about a good experience, while a median of 10 heard about a bad experience for a small ticket packaged good.

Across industries, it can cost up to five times as much to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one.

90 percent of dissatisfied customers will patronize a competitor. And most customers will not complain about poor customer service.

I think it is critical to give great service!

What are your thoughts about the Wired article? Were they right on or did they miss it totally

Devin Willis

Resources:

Why Things Suck: Customer Service-By Patrick Di Justo 01.18.08

Seven steps to remarkable customer service By Joel Spolsky Monday, February 19, 2007

‘Prosper Learning’ Student Care VisionJourney In Prosper Learning

8 Rules For Good Customer Service -Good Customer Service Made Simple-By Susan Ward, About.com

Sales Through Service Is The Prosper WayDevin Willis

Strategies: Providing great customer service paysBy Rhonda Abrams, USA TODAY

Leave a comment

Filed under customer service, devin willis + prosper, Uncategorized

Sales Through Service

I read a great article ”   Sales through service: The start of social business

” By Jennifer Kirkby.  We have been doing this at Prosper for about a year and our students that were sold through service  are very happy! Please read and let me know your thoughts? She wrote the following:

‘Sales through service’ is a simple concept, and one that is becoming increasingly popular as organisations look to drive their contact centres into profit centres. But sales through service requires a lot of hard work to get it right. Jennifer Kirkby explains what it is, why it’s important – and how it can be implemented successfully. Jennifer Kirkby,shares examples of sales through service:

  • Key account managers, whose role is to understand client’s needs and find solutions from his company. The best do this through personal conversation, like the IBM client manager for an airline who spends most of his time talking in the airline’s staff canteen.
  • The Dyson field service team who, whilst carrying out servicing in the customer’s home, find out through conversation what issues and needs the customer has. They are well versed in all the products and connected to operations to put right any issues. Customers have been highly delighted with this ‘time saving’ service.
  • John Lewis thought that leaving customers to browse was what they wanted, but customers thought staff were being aloof and unfriendly. After a five year sales through service programme, staff now acknowledge the customer, open up conversations and close sales by matching product to need as closely as possible – even if it means selling a lower priced product than the customer had intended to buy.
  • Amazon, which was founded on a sales through service philosophy.
  • O2, which supplies service contact centre staff with information on the customer’s risk of attrition, and the three best offers (sales or service) to make to that customer based on propensity modelling and the content of the call. Around 6% of its 50 million annual calls now generate revenue, and customer satisfaction is reported to have risen.

All the examples emphasise that sales through service is not just about revenue generating sales, it is about exchanging value. That may be free upgrades, helpful advice or customer care, in exchange for customer engagement, recommendations, valuable data – and yes, at some point sales

I agree, after being involved in Prosper customer/Student care for many years. We have found that Jennifer Kirkby is 100% right on point!

Resource Sales through service: The start of social business” By Jennifer Kirkby-28-Aug-2008-MyCustomer.com

Humbly,

Devin Willis


Explore Related Resources:

Sales Through ServiceThe Forum

Achieving new sales through serviceChartered Quality Institute,

Prosper Learning’ Student Care Vision-Steve Gross-

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Customer service + Web 2.0

Good customer service is the lifeblood of any business. You can offer all the free gifts and promotions and reduce prices to bring in as many new customers as you want, but unless you take care of your customers  your business won’t be profitable for long.   At the place I work, they have a motto

“Your company is your business. Helping it Prosper is Ours”

Prosper,  Inc

They have the understanding of good customer service is all about bringing customers back. And about sending them away  and keeping them happy – happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others, who may then try the product or service you offer for themselves and in their turn become repeat customers. We are not perfect , but are trying to improve everyday!

I read a great post by by Doriano “Paisano” Carta about customer service and Web 2.0 and how they have  “…finally been formally introduced and have gotten rather serious these days. Because of this, it has become extremely easy to share an idea you have for new features or just complain about an existing one..”

He also wrote about

“,,,,Companies are understanding the value of centralizing valuable feedback. They’re also using this new platform to communicate with their user base to keep them informed about service interruptions (made famous by Twitter) and new updates. This appears to be a win-win relationship for companies and customers (sites and users).

Here are a couple of the front-runners in this hot space, including other ways you can share feedback and suggestions with the services you use online:

Third Party

Get Satisfaction is currently the best of the breed when it comes to a centralized method of feedback communication and status updates for companies and customers. It provides a useful Company Directory that shows all of the sites and services that allow you to share your feedback and suggestions. It’s also a great way to check the status updates of problems and bug fixes.

Companies that use Get Satisfaction include twitter, Apple, and Microsoft.

UserVoice is a competitor to Get Satisfaction but there are subtle differences. At this time, there isn’t a centralized directory of all the companies that provide a UserVoice method of communication as there is on Get Satisfaction. This makes finding companies on there nearly impossible. The only way to do so now is through the company’s website.The good news is that companies can host this platform themselves.

Rejaw uses UserVoice.

Opinions, Reviews

Swotti – Provides real world opinions on products and now even about people!

Blippr – A new twitter-like service that lets you review/rate things like movies, books, music, etc.

Angie’s List – Has become the most popular service for letting you rate and review contractors, service companies and health care providers. Their list continues to grow and people really seem to appreciate the fruits of their labors.

Top Lawfirms – A list maintained by LexisNexis Martindale Hubble which uses peer reviews to rate lawyers and law firms.

Hotels.com – The well-known hotel ranking system that keeps on growing.

Yelp – The most popular rating/ranking service today, especially for restaurants and entertainment establishments.

SezWho – Unique in that it allows you to rate the quality of comments on a blog.

Digg – Lets everyone rate news items on the Web.

SchoolMatters – Lets parents

Resource Feedback Frenzy: 35+ Customer Service Resources August 13, 2008 — 11:18 AM PDT — by Doriano “Paisano” CartaMashable.com

More Resources:

Good Customer Service Alone Doesn’t Win Referrals Don’t wait around for your excellent service to pay off. Instead, build a network for word-of-mouth marketing –U.S. News

Local execs unlock door to good customer serviceSan Antonio Business Journal – by Donna J. TuttlePosted July 10, 2008

How Customer Service Works”HowStuffWorks

Care about the Customer , The “Prosper Learning” Way– July 31, 2007 by prosperstudentcare

7 Comments

Filed under customer service