Customer Care Initiatives

Customer Care Initiatives from Blue Flame Group

By: Blue Flame Group   09-Oct-2008
Keywords: Business Planning, Marketing Training

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Following are some "Extreme Customer Care Initiatives" that could revolutionise your business. Remember that in order to transform your results, you'll have to transform the way you are doing things. Every initiatives suggested is neither here only. You can change them, discard them or enhance them. It's up to you. At the very least they should get you thinking. Initiative 1: Hospitality Offer your Customer a complimentary champagne, wine, orange juice, tea, coffee, filtered water or one of a selection of herbal teas. Have a menu that they can choose from. Record their preference and have that preferred drink ready when they arrive on the next visit. If they are coming to a pre-booked appointment, and it is their first visit to your premises, ask for their preference when they confirm the booking and have it ready for when they arrive. Great first impression. Initiative 2: Getting and Knowing their Details If it's the Customers first visit with you, have them fill out your Customer Profile Form. This form get all their likes, dislikes, personal details and makes a huge impression that you really care about serving them. When they visit the next time, and every time after that, make sure that the person who first greets them on that occasion, is aware of some of their interests so they can commence a conversation about the Customer's interests. Customers are generally comfortable about talking about themselves and get a buzz out of someone taking an interest in them personally and not just as a ”business transaction”. Initiative 3: Your Waiting Area Have a well-stocked selection of current magazines and a selection of quality books including poetry, motivational and “thought for the day” type of material. I think you'll agree that it is not a good experience to see the same old magazines in a tatty state every time you visit a business. Relatively timeless publications such as Australian Geographic are generally fine, but you should ensure that only recent copies of periodicals are kept. Have one of your team responsible for keeping this in order. Initiative 4: Comfort Ideas Offer a Customer a heated “wheat bag” to place on their face while they are waiting. (A simple material bag filled with wheat that can be heated in a microwave. Very relaxing and stays warm for up to half an hour). Or in summer or warm climates, have chilled wet hand towels in the refrigerator for Customers to use while they are waiting. Initiative 5: A Fresh and Alive Look Rather than dusty plastic plants or flower arrangements, which really don't convey the right impression, make sure there are fresh flowers in the business. The fresh flowers add life and vibrancy to the atmosphere and make people feel great. Initiative 6: Pleasant Aromas Have aromatic essential oil burning. Essential oil is very relaxing and it will also help your client to relax immediately when they arrive, because it will trigger memories of their last incredible visit with you. Believe us, this will work in any environment. The more unusual the situation, the more it will be remembered. Initiative 7: Take Time Before you begin, sit down with the Customer eye-to-eye and discuss their needs. Don't sit or stand facing each other directly like opponents. Sit or stand next to them like a friend. You want to connect and make an impact. Don't be in a rush. Make sure they really know you are listening. Initiative 8: Make Them Feel Special Let the Customer know about special features of your product or service that will particularly benefit them. The client will love telling their friends all the "special" features they received - the things about your product or service that they (and friends) didn't know about before. They will feel good about the fact that you cared enough and took enough interest in them to highlight these features especially for them. Initiative 9: Special Indulgent Gifts Give your Customer a handmade chocolate. Chocolate and champagne (or premium juice) together give a real sense of royalty and indulgence to your business. It makes people feel like they are being given a real treat and are being acknowledged as special. Initiative 10: Let Them Know You Care Let every Customer know that if they are having any frustration or difficulties at all after the product or service is supplied, that you want them to call you immediately. Make a pledge that you will return the call the same day every time, and that if you don't "it's a 15% discount next visit". Explain to them that you want to know if there's a problem because "an unhappy Customer is of great concern to me”. If something needs fixing, it will be done immediately at no charge. Ensure that the Customer is not in any way inconvenienced by going out of your way to have the issue fixed with as little interruption to their time as possible. This may create inconvenience for you and your team but it is far better to fix a problem immediately than have that Customer tell their friends that they are not happy. Your prompt action will turn that Customer into one of your true advocates. Initiative 11: Give Them Added Value Make arrangements with other businesses in your area to provide your Customer with Special Offer Vouchers. Have the vouchers specially printed so that you are given the accolades for providing them to your Customer. The vouchers should not just be “sitting around”, but presented to your Customer personally at some appropriate time. The perceived value of these vouchers should be higher than other joint-venture promotions that you do, so that your Customer really does feel they are being treated as a special Customer. Although these could be delivered by mail or courier, the best long-term value comes from presenting it to them personally. All the ideas in this Doing section are just a few ways that you can massively improve your service. You will see many additional ideas in other modules, and you will develop some excellent ideas yourself. Now if you implemented every one of the Nurturing ideas, and every one of the Extreme Customer Care initiatives, do you think there would be any problem in charging at least 10% more? Here's a quick chart that shows what a price increase would look like on a $40 service. 10 % would be $44 instead of $4015 % would be $46 instead of $4020 % would be $48 instead of $4025 % would be $50 instead of $40 Now I can hear saying “we couldn’t increase our prices by 20%”. But if you implemented even half of these initiatives, we recommend that you increase your prices by at least 20%. The only time a Customer will be resistant to a higher price is when they don't understand why and the guarantee is not clear. If there is no risk to try you at the new price then why would they? It is all about education. Explain to them that from now on, they will experience the best and most caring services ever! It's your mission. Tell them you believe people won't mind paying a little extra for a truly special service. Say to them: "Give it a try -- treat yourself! If you don't believe, for whatever reason it was worth the extra, then I want you to tell me and I'll pay it!” You should have zero problems with this approach. Again, if you implemented every single one of these Nurturing ideas and Extreme Customer Care initiatives, do you think the Customer would be far more loyal to you and recommend new business to you? Without question! Completely implemented, the cost per Customer to give them an incredible Experience as opposed to an average experience is just a few dollars. A few dollars that the Customer will pay for anyway! There is no cost to you. The long-term benefit to your business is almost immeasurable. So from now on, be special. Implementing these things at first may require some logistical problems to be solved in some wariness from your Team to be overcome. Remember, business is all about finding a way. What is most important is your overall mindset that "I will either find a way or make one". “We will do everything to the highest standard”. Redefining and developing your unique Customer Experience and continually reviewing and refining your Customer Care Program will revolutionise your profits. Just start doing it!

Keywords: Business Planning, Marketing Training