Archive for the ‘Customer Service’ Category

 

Give Your Staff the Gift of a Process

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

Having systems and procedures are extremely valuable to us, they help us to get the job done in a professional and efficient way.  Without them your staff could flounder and find themselves in a difficult situation.

Take a complaint as an example.

Imagine a busy day in your office, you may be short staffed and the phones are ringing like mad when a customer calls with a complaint.  It may be the last thing the staff member expected and she’s not prepared.  The customer is unhappy and relays the reason why, his tone is not friendly.

We have all been on the receiving end of an angry person at some stage and it’s not pleasant, it is easy to take it personally and to get upset.  This has the potential for the situation to get out of hand, especially if your staff member has no idea what to say.

When there is a process in place, your staff member can feel confident in resolving the issue by responding to the complaint rather than reacting to it. This is likely to placate the caller quickly and bring the matter to an agreeable and speedy conclusion.

If you are feeling horrified by the thought of having to go to great lengths to get a process in place, rest assured, it doesn’t have to be complicated.

You can put together a simple formula for the staff to remember.  When it comes to complaints our team use the word HEAT to help them.

H is for hear; this is a reminder to listen fully. Give the customer a chance to explain what he is unhappy about.

E is for empathise. Try and look at the situation from the customer’s point of view and be understanding to his plight. Let them know you intend to help them.

A is for apologise. Let the customer know that you are sorry they have had reason to complain and thank them for the opportunity to put it right.

T is for take action. Tell the customer how you can help them and let them know what the next step will be.

Our team have always been encouraged to go the extra mile and dealing with a complaint is often an opportunity to demonstrate a genuine desire to help.

There are many areas of your business where you can apply a standard method or procedure. By giving your staff the gift of a process, you will be helping them to carry out their job in a more professional and efficient way. You can encourage them to create new methods or improve existing ones. It will probably result in a ‘thumbs up’ all round.  Good luck.

Customer Satisfaction Survey

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

Customer Satisfaction Surveys are a great way for us to monitor how we are managing our service and of course how we can improve it. Our aim is to provide value to you and your business.

We do understand that answering lengthy surveys takes time away from your day, that’s why our survey only takes you two minutes to give us a lot of feedback. There are just eight questions and for ease of use the answers are multiple choice, so you really will whizz through it. istockcustomerservice

Please click here to go to our survey

Should you feel that you would like to add your own words and comment on something specific, or tells us about a member of our team who has been particularly helpful, please email our helpdesk. helpdesk@telcare.co.uk

Thank you, we appreciate your help.

Telcare Customer Satisfaction Survey

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

We have moved our Customer Satisfaction Survey to Survey Monkey for 2015/16. We will ask our customers at various point throughout the year if they will be kind enough to give us some feedback. There are 8 questions and it will only take 2 minutes to complete. For ease of use the answers are multiple choice so you really will whizz through it.

As a gesture of our appreciation one lucky contributor will win an iPad mini. Every contributor will have the option to enter into the draw. The winner will be announced in December 2015/16. Please note you DO have to be a customer to enter.

To take part just follow these steps:
1. To take the survey please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/J7NFDBW
2. Once completed send an email to helpdesk@telcare.co.uk with ‘survey completed’ in the subject bar and your email address will be entered into the draw.

Should you feel that a member of our team has been particularly helpful please feel free to email Lisa with details to lisa.settle@telcare.co.uk
Staff members will be rewarded for outstanding service.

Many thanks.

Make Great Service a Way of Life

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

These days a lot of time is spent focusing on delivering outstanding service to our customers. But why do we only direct it to our customers? It seems that we are so wrapped up in providing the ultimate customer experience that general courtesy sometimes falls by the wayside.

Have you ever noticed how a salesperson’s attitude changes when they realise the person they’re talking to isn't a customer of theirs? I have been on the receiving end of such an attitude, it’s not pleasant being dismissed as not important and having no value.

Operating in such a way, ie being nice to customers but having no time for those who are considered as non-customers brings the organisation’s integrity to question. It only takes one bad egg to ruin the cake!

Showing respect and being courteous to everyone regardless of who they are builds great relationships. It brings a mutual respect, which is wonderful to receive and of course in the long term will be brilliant for business.

People that have the ability to provide great service often have excellent people skills. By building some new habits in to your everyday life, your people skills can be improved and therefore you will naturally enhance your service skills.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Smile. Look in the mirror – notice how your face changes when you smile. Wear a smile when you talk to people even if you are talking on the telephone, a smile can be heard in your voice. You’ll find people will respond to you in a friendly way.

2. Knowing what to say. Keep an eye on your vocabulary. Avoid the use of negative phrases. Apply consideration, diplomacy and tact to your conversations. Of course you cannot help everyone but there are positive ways to say that.

3. Give thanks. Be mindful of saying thank you and show appreciation.

4. Put others first, shift your focus on what you can give others rather than thinking about what you can take from them.

5. Be empathetic. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes, share their feelings and then find a way to help them.

Have fun!

Keeping Compliant

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

We like to assure our customers that their business is safe in our hands.  In order to do this we continually assess our processes and procedures with a view to identifying any areas that may need improving and making sure that our standards are maintained.  Our standards, values and customers expectations carry great importance to us.

Quality Assurance:

Our quality management system has been created to bring a set of measurable targets to ensure the company’s objectives are constantly met.

Our quality management system is compliant with BS EN ISO 9001:2008

Environmental:

We can confirm that we’re keeping our beady eye on the planet and encourage others to do the same.  The environment is considered in everything we do and we comply with the legislation in this respect.

Our quality management system is compliant with BS EN ISO 14001: 2004

 

Health & Safety:

We are dedicated to providing a safe working environment for our staff and customers alike.  Our team are given the appropriate training to enable them to perform their roles in a way that will not put them or those around them at risk.

Our health & safety policy and system is compliant with and registered in the CHAS national database.

Should you wish to have further details such as certificate numbers for your records, please get in touch, we will be be pleased to assist.

Telephone training tips for new staff

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

When you welcome a new employee to your office they may not necessarily know how to operate your telephone system; so you would naturally run through the fundamentals, showing them how to transfer a call, how to put someone on hold and how to operate their voice mail and so on.

You may not, however, give thought to how the new member of your team will communicate with your customers on the phone.  You might assume that they will deal with callers just the way you do, but that can be a dangerous assumption and somewhat unfair on the employee.

By providing a short training session on the first day, all these issues can be put to bed.

Here are a few tips to help you get it right from day one.

  1.  Explain that telephone customer service skills are an important part of the job and in order to offer customers an exceptional service you have the following guidelines to help.
  2. How you would like the telephone answered? There are a number of different ways to greet your customers.  You might like to say your company name so that the caller knows they have come through to the right place.  You may prefer that the operator gives his/her name so the caller knows exactly who they are speaking to.  Be careful of giving too much information, this may result in the operator speaking too quickly and the caller will immediately be overwhelmed.
  3. Advise that each caller should be treated courteously using a polite and friendly manner. Remember your tone on the phone.
  4. Delays in answering a call should be avoided; one would normally expect to be answered within three rings.
  5. Putting the caller on hold. Bearing in mind that being left on hold is a major bug bear for most people, let your staff know that on hold time should be kept to a minimum.  If you cannot connect the caller with the right person then the alternative would be to take a message and offer to call them back.
  6. Message taking should obtain the following information. Time, date, name, number and message. Always record who the message is for. It is perfectly acceptable to ask how to spell a name and to take time in getting the details correct. Repeat details back to the customer to confirm that you have understood.
  7. Avoid negative statements, such as “I’ve no idea” or “I don’t know” take responsibility and say “let me check that for you” or “I will find out”.
  8. Provide some examples of unacceptable telephone techniques, ie mouth noises (eating), rudeness, not paying attention, cutting the caller off, placing a hand over the receiver instead of using on hold feature, being miserable or angry.
  9. Make sure every staff member is capable of dealing with a complaint. It is good to have a procedure to follow; this will keep your team confident and able to maintain a good level of customer service.
  10. Reassure new staff that you don’t expect them to get it right on the first day, it will take time but convey you have every confidence that they will pick things up really quickly.

5 Ways to Keep Customers Coming Back

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

No matter the size of your business great customer service will always give your business the upper hand. Providing your customers with such a pleasing experience will not only satisfy them into returning but also encourage them to recommend you.  The good news is, it’s easy to do; so keep on track with these 5 reminders and give your customer service a boost.

1. Create a relationship with your customers.  It’s so important to build a feeling of trust and that’s what will gradually develop when your customers get to know you and like you.

2. Say yes. Be prepared to be flexible, one customers needs may not match another, so place your customers interests first and look into tailor making something to suit. The general fear is that people will take advantage of this generosity but in our experience very few have, in fact it results in more customers expressing gratitude for affability.

3. Add some extra little touches. You will be remembered for the extra value you provide. Your customers will always expect you to do what you say you’ll do but if you provide something above and beyond then that’s bound to impress them.

4. Show thanks wherever you can. Your customers are your greatest asset, without them you wouldn’t be in business. Everyone likes to be appreciated and there are many different ways in doing this. Look for ideas from saying ‘Thank you for your custom’ when corresponding to giving customer appreciation certificates for loyalty and gift vouchers for referrals.

5. Provide your staff with a method of response to ensure a high level of service.  We use the HEAT method.

  • H is for hear. Listen to what the customer has to say, let them explain their situation fully without interrupting.
  • E is for empathy. Place yourself in the customer’s position and try to see it from their point of view. By conveying that you understand will let the customer know you are on their side and that you intend to help them.
  • A is for apology. If the customer has a complaint then apologise. Be genuine, say that you are really sorry that they have had reason to complain and thank them for the opportunity to put it right.
  • T is for take action. Tell the customer what the next step will be and what you plan to do to help them. Keeping a customer informed should always be priority.

Practice these points and you soon will be sending your customers away happy and bringing them back for more business. Good luck.

 

Do your customers say WOW!

Monday, March 11th, 2013

I recently purchased a pair of boots from the shoe store Schuh. After a month the stitching came undone so I had to take them back. As a regular customer I knew that this wouldn't be a problem as the company have an excellent returns policy. Unfortunately, when I arrived at the store I found that I had left the receipt at home, but I did have email confirmation of the purchase with me. The sales assistant said it wouldn't be a problem as long as I didn't mind waiting whilst she searched their records. Five minutes passed and the manager came over and asked if everything was ok and apologised for my wait. I explained that I was to blame for not having the receipt. A few more minutes later, whilst I was trying on a replacement pair of boots, the assistant announced that she was having difficulty finding a record of the original sale, so she was going to make a quick call to head office. She did this and got it all sorted. Again she apologised for keeping me waiting and then asked if she could have my credit card, I looked at her quizzically; "so that I can issue you with a refund to make up for all the inconvenience." She gave me a 10% refund.
As I walked out of the shop my friend turned to me and said "wow, I've never bought anything in here before but I will be from now on."
My expectations were that I would get the boots replaced. I would have been happy with this but the truth is I probably wouldn't be writing a blog about it and my friend probably wouldn’t have commented on it. That part of the service was a given expectation, so it wasn't remarkable. Receiving a refund however, was not expected, it was an extra, a total surprise and certainly worth commenting on.

Those extra touches are often not difficult to do or costly but make for a great customer experience, one that we want to tell our friends about. I call this Magic Marketing. As a result of my visit to the store that day I have told countless friends about the experience, I have tweeted about it, written a blog and my friend has become a customer. All it cost Schuh was £10, I’d say that was a smart move!

What extras do you offer your customers that make them say "wow"? By building these touches into your service you will stand out from the crowd and keep your customers coming back for more.

Going That Extra Mile

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Some of the Telcare team are currently taking NVQs in Customer Service. I recently had to meet with our Assessor to give examples of how individual staff members contribute to providing our customers with a high level of service.

One of the questions he asked me was “Can you give an example of when this particular staff member went that extra mile for their customer in order to maintain a positive relationship with them?”

It was at this point when I realised how lucky we are to have such fabulous staff. I could actually come up with lots of examples.

I recalled when Bekki had made sure a customer would receive an urgent order, despite it being late in the day and the courier had already collected from us. She went out of her way to drive over to the courier’s depot on her way home from work. It resulted in the parcel arriving with the customer the very next morning.

I also remembered when Jamie was particularly foxed when a customer’s system was suffering a very unusual intermittent fault. After doing everything he could remotely, Jamie knew the next stage would be an engineer’s visit to replace equipment. As the customer was local, instead of passing to the next available engineer, Jamie jumped in his car and visited the customer site during his lunch break. He was so keen to get this fault fixed once and for all, which of course he did. I’m not sure who was the most delighted him or the customer.

During a very busy period recently, Victoria received a call from a former customer who no longer had their system covered for maintenance. They were desperate as they had no phones at all. Our priority is of course to systems that are covered for maintenance so we could only send an engineer when all maintained jobs had been completed. A bit of a problem given that our engineers had full workloads. Victoria noticed that this particular customer’s premises was in fact on one of the engineer’s route and so she arranged for that engineer to start earlier the next day in order to help out.

Having systems and procedures are extremely valuable to us, they help us to get the job done in a professional and efficient way. Our team have always been encouraged to demonstrate goodwill. However, naturally going that extra mile is often above and beyond a procedure, it reflects the individual’s positive attitude and their genuine desire to help. It is a privilege to have such people in our team and I’m grateful to our NVQ Assessor for reminding me just how wonderful they are.

Customer Appreciation at Telcare

Monday, December 17th, 2012

We have great customers and truly appreciate that they choose to do business with us. Saying thank you to them for their support is important to us.

As an SME we don’t have access to unlimited funds and are unable to constantly wine and dine them or take them to the latest sporting events so we have had to look for other ways in which we can show our gratitude. We’ve found that you really can show your appreciation without spending a fortune.

Here are some of the ways that have worked well for us over the years.

Customer Quarterly Draw
We hold a quarterly draw to say thanks for customer loyalty. Each quarter two customer’s names are pulled from a hat and both receive a £50 gift card. The winners are announced in our customer newsletter. We have received great feedback from the draw. We love hearing how our customer’s choose to spend their winnings. One customer was due to get married and she told us how she used her M&S gift card to buy her wedding cake. We got to see the stunning photos of the happy day including one of the cake!

Charity donations
Instead of giving random donations we try to support customers and suppliers in their various charitable efforts. This year we have supported many events from bike rides and marathons to a climb up Kilimanjaro and a sponsored chest wax – ouch!

Birthdays, babies and weddings
We always keep an ear to the ground to listen for good news. When we hear of a new arrival, a wedding or a birthday we love to respond with a message from the team.

Recommendations
Our newsletter encourages our customers to recommend our services, again offering gift cards for referrals.

Long standing customers
We keep an eye on our customer statistics and like to reward long standing customers with anything from appreciation certificates to discount vouchers and wine.

Saying thank you really matters and sometimes little gestures mean a lot.