Are You Delivering a Remarkable Customer Experience?

The big thing around customer experience is that what we human beings fail to recognise is that we are emotional beings, that 84% of our buying decision is based on emotion and it’s about how we feel about the service that we have received. 

Listen to Marie talk about how to have our clients talk about you,  refer you to others. It’s just accepting that it’s not rocket science it’s about help people to feel good about the engagement they’re having with you.

Transcript

Dylis

Hi, everybody, this is Dylis Guyan from DylisGuyan.com international sales and marketing leader coach and speaker, but of course, remember you don’t have to be international to work with me.

I’ve got a super guest for you today, Marie Cross. I would call Marie the queen of customer service. She’s customer service extremist, she’s passionate and some in fact say she’s obsessed about developing the talent of front line teams and leaders so that as brand ambassadors, they can enhance their customers experience of the organization that they represent.

And Marie has an impressive track record which has earned her an excellent reputation both as a professional speaker and a first class trainer and coach within her specialized field and she’s worked within the customer service industry for a lifetime really over thirty five years from entry level as a telemarketer for Bupa to running her own customer service training company, First Impression Training aka FIT.  What a fantastic acronym that is.And she’s been doing that for the last sixteen years so there is

very little that she doesn’t know about what it takes to deliver remarkable customer service and ensure a PME, a positive memorable experience another fantastic acronym. And I heard Marie speak recently and she talked about how to create purple Cow Wows and I think you’re already getting the feel of how fabulous Marie is at communicating.So this talk that she had was about how to create these Purple Cow Wows and it’s based on Seth Godin book Purple Cow and Marie waxes lyrical about all things, small things that we can do or we can say that can really make a big difference to our customers’ experience so that we are able to show up and stand out like no one else in our field just like a purple cow.

And after a lifetime of working with blue chip companies Marie has decided to make her wealth of knowledge and experience available to small business owners solopreneurs and congratulations to Marie because I know just yesterday she launched her first ever Online Training Programme, which has been uniquely designed for the individual learner and SME market. And I know that this programme will be top notch and I’d like to touch on that at the end if that’s okay Marie, just so that if people are interested you can tell them where to go to find it.  So welcome!

Marie:

Thank you so much Dylis, thank you for that amazing introduction!

Dylis:

Well you’re pretty amazing Marie! I couldn’t say anything less than that really and I am delighted to talk to you today. I know that you’re an absolute expert in enhancing the customer experience within companies and we know that that’s really important. Could you tell us exactly what you mean when you say creating a great customer experience.

Marie: 

Well you know Dylis, it’s interesting this one because it should be common sense that if you’re going to experience customer service it ought to be a great experience, otherwise why would you choose to go back to that organization.

I think the big thing around customer experience is that what we human beings fail to recognize is that we are emotional beings that 84% of our buying decision let alone our experience, 84% of it is based on emotion and it’s about how we feel about the service that we have received. And so when we talk about delivering a great customer experience and ensuring that your customers have that PME, that positive memorable experience so that they remember you, they talk about you, they refer you to others, it’s just accepting that it’s not rocket science it’s about help people to feel good about the engagement they’re having with you.

Help them to feel good about the interaction, the communication that’s taking place because 84% of that experience is going to be around how they feel because as we know, people will forget what we have said to them. They will even forget what we’ve done for them as a service provider even if we have been a real gem and gone the extra mile, but they will never ever forget how we made them feel.

Dylis:    

That’s exactly right and I know that you would have  experienced this yourself because there are a lot of places, businesses that you deal with where you don’t get that wow experience and there are so many times I’ve been in shops, particularly shops, stores and it’s like you’re an inconvenience.

Marie:

Yes, Yes.

Dylis:     

Or, if I could take another example where you call a call centre, for some help and they don’t listen to what you’re saying.

Marie:

I think for the call centre environment in particular which of course, has been fixed bad for the last 16 years, we have been very much focused within the call andcontact center environment, from line teams and leaders and I think the challenge that these guys have working on a front line is that much of the work that they do is very process driven and screen led and when you are in that kind of environment where you are having to process the call you’re always going to be at risk of processing the caller.

Dylis:  

Yes.

Marie:

And I think that’s really where we have come in when we have worked with frontline organisations within the call and contact center industry as recognising that you need to separate the need to transact business, which of course, you have to do, otherwise you’re out of business.

Dylis:  

Of course.

Marie:

So to transact business you have a process that call, you have to deal with that situation but not at the expense of actually building and developing the relationship because as you and I know, Dylis people buy and buy into people that they feel as though they know, like, and trust/ And we’ve got to make sure that that relationship is built and developed first before and in order to transact the business i.e. process that call.

Dylis:

And what I’m really loving is the fact that you’re bringing your experience to the SME market, to the solopreneur.  And this is one of the ways that people can really make themselves stand out, because there is a lot of competition out there and this is an area that can really enhance your reputation as a business

Marie:

So true Dylis, it’s so true and for most of us I would imagine most of the SME’s that you and I come across and the solopreneurs, most of us are operating within that competitive marketplace. There are lots of other organizations large and small who are offering very similar products and services at very similar prices with very similar terms and conditions and so our prospects and customers are choosing who they’ll do business with and remain loyal to, based on the differences that, that organization provides. And as you and I know there is actually only one true differentiator and that is you the people and the service that you and your people provide, that’s it!

Dylis:

Yes.

Marie:

You and your people truly are the kind of vital ingredient in your recipe of success when it comes to delivering remarkable customer service.

Dylis: 

Completely and a lot of my clients have this misconception that people buy the cheapest and they don’t. And if you are by far ahead on price people will still buy because of the experience, because of the feeling, because of that service.

Marie: 

That is so true Dylis and I always use our very own example we’re actually quite, well some would say that it’s the fairly arrogant statement to make, we think it’s a very honest statement to make which is that, when it comes to providing world-class customer service training we are most definitely not the cheapest in the marketplace.

In fact, I will go as far as to say we are probably one of the most expensive in the marketplace. We’re definitely excellent value for money although we do not come cheap. And what we know is that we have built a business, First Impression Training has been built for the last 16 years on personal recommendation and referral when our great clients move organisations and as soon as they moved organisations they are back on the phone to us.

So yeah, you have to be half good to be getting that kind of recommendations and build a business purely on recommendation, to begin with. But on top of that it’s kind of living proof that actually it isn’t only ever about price. Sure, price has to play its part but that’s about the return on your investment that you’re getting from it

Dylis:             

Absolutely.

Marie:

As opposed to the actual price itself. So I think that is so true, I know there is that some research, quite recent research around customers paying or prepared to pay 25% more for a better customer experience.

Dylis:

Yes

Marie:

That’s kind of proof that it’s not all about, it’s not all about the money.

Dylis:

Yes, yes quite right. And one of my clients has a very high ticket product. It’s not a client that I would normally work with, because this is a high-end glass product actually and it is fabulous but also to go along with that it is a fabulous experience when you go into their gallery. It is mind blowingly good.  And people go back and back and back.  So when you’ve got a great product and a great service, wow!  You really can lead the way and I know that’s the case for you.

Marie:

Yes.

Dylis:

And really I suppose you have to demonstrate that when you’re working with clients especially as that’s your service.

Marie:

Of course, absolutely. And I think it’s also about recognising some of the ramifications of not doing your best to show up and stand out like nobody else in your competition. The ramifications are huge, they are massive and it is just recognizing that even though those ramifications of not showing up and standing out like nobody else in your competition, even though they’re huge, they’re massive, actually what you can do to set up and stand out like nobody else can and does are actually very small things.

Dylis:

Yes

Marie:

They aren’t massive, they are actually very, we call the one percenters, they are small things that can make a really big impact on how your customers feel about the experience that they’re getting from your organisation. Remembering of course that 84% of their experience is all around how they feel.

Dylis:

Absolutely.  So let’s just go back a step then, Marie. Something you mentioned there about the ramifications of not giving a great service, what is the impact of that? What are the consequences for businesses?

Marie:

Well. Some of them are dire.  In that when you experience, as we all know, when you experience great service sadly, it’s slightly improving with the explosion of social media and things going viral.  When we get great service we do tend to tell more from a viral perspective but we do tend to tell more people now but traditionally we know that when we get great service we tell between 5 and 10 people. When we get bad service of course, apart from the fact that social media has ensured that literally we go viral within seconds there, I think the latest research from the Institute of Customer Service showing that 48% of people who are complaining about poor service are doing so via social media and expecting a response from the organization within sixty minutes so within the hour they want it sorted, they want it resolved.

So I think that the ramifications are around how quickly bad news spreads and that kind of that furnace is fueled by others who then jump on the bandwagon about, wow you think that’s bad listen to the bad experience I had the other day. And before we know it as we know negativity breeds more negativity. So I think just from that point of view the fact that we cannot ignore, to me that’s the positive of the likes of social media of when you receive bad service you absolutely have the right to go viral on it to make that organization accountable for all the experience that you have encountered.

But I think where there is value in doing something about those ramifications, is for me, what was in the research that I did last year around complaining customers. We’d done a few projects in the last twelve months, I’m not quite sure how that’s worked out but have been around complaint teams and around how they can improve, not just the complaint handling process within the organisation but how they can handle their customer’s experience around the complaint once it’s got to that stage in a more effective way.

And the research that we that we concluded or that we took to the market that we got back, was when you have a customer who has received very poor service, perhaps that has escalated into a complaint because the front liners haven’t been given those little one percenters and they kind of keep the lid on things and deal with things. We call it, get it right the first time. When that hasn’t happened but those customers have gone on to their complaint to become public that they then have their complaint resolved, they actually go on to become four times more loyal than customers who have never had cause to complain. And I think that’s quite interesting!

Dylis:

Wow, that’s interesting.

Marie:

And I think the reason why it’s so interesting is because it’s about giving those customers an opportunity to voice their concerns so that the organization has the chance to put it right,  we always say that it’s 68% of your customers who are choosing, it’s that word again, who are choosing to move their business elsewhere or move their loyalty elsewhere or choose a different provider to buy from are doing so due to a, and this is the actual terminology used in the research, due to a lack of care or contact by the provider.

And so if you have a complaint that’s been brought to your attention you’re clearly in contact with them so you’ve got some engagement going on and as we say, a tiny little one percentre. Create a purple cow wow around a complaint by thanking that individual for giving you the opportunity to put things right. Thank them for the feedback about the poor service that they’ve received and thank them too for the opportunity that you have been given as the brand ambassador to do something to put that situation right.

Dylis:

Yeah, and that’s absolutely right I’m just thinking of a personal experience where we had a decorator in and I don’t know what would had happened when he had done the staircase it was actually starting to come off when scraped with your fingernail, but when I rang him he said I would be around this afternoon, I will come round and have a look and from there he was brilliant. He rubbed it all down and it may have been something on the original paint work, whatever it was it didn’t matter he dealt with it immediately and I really appreciated that and respected the fact that he had enough respect for me to come and put it right. So, in fact, I sing his praises because we do know that humans will make errors, processes can sometimes break down but you’re absolutely right it’s how it’s dealt with following that.

Marie:

Yes, absolutely.

Dylis:

That’s brilliant. So Marie, I’d like you to give us the secrets. What’s the secret sauce for remarkable customer service? So for anyone listening what are those one percenters that people can just put in place today?

Marie:

Yeah, sure.  Do you know Dylis, you spoke earlier about us bringing our wealth of knowledge and experience around what it takes to, you know what are the secrets of remarkable customer service to the SME markets. We launched yesterday and in our programme which is called the Ultimate Customer Service Training Programme there are in fact 21 secrets that we share in that programme. I’m going to give you our top three today.

Dylis:

Right, brilliant.

Marie:

That you can share with your listeners and with your followers to say that the great news is guys it isn’t rocket science. It’s common sense. I know that that isn’t very common having said that. Back to those small things that can make a big difference. So for example, one good example was that thanking a customer for bringing something negative to your attention and giving you the opportunity remembering that people buy or buy into people first before they buy into anything that you are trying to sell them or tell them, they have to buy into you.

So recognise secret number one is recognise you are the difference that makes the difference. You can make or break your customer’s relationship with your organization, all dependent on how you come across whether that’s face to face or over the telephone or indeed even through the written word. So for us that is super secret number one about ensuring remarkable customer service is flaunt every positive ingredient that you have in your makeup and your behavior because you are the difference that makes the difference. You are the brand ambassador of your business.

Linked to that super secret number two for us is around use of the customer name and it seems like such an obvious one but there are so many little one percenters attached to that big one percentre about use the customer’s name not just to build rapport because when you know someone’s name you use it, It is a nice way to build rapport but it’s also a really nice way to control the conversation in a very assertive yet not interrogative way.

So if a customer is going off on one, trying to interject  whether that’s over the phone or face-to-face then actually when you hear their half of breath, then you could jump in with the use of their name which will catch their attention immediately and then you can take back control. But of course, when I say lots about the one percent is linked to that it is also recognising that getting the customer name wrong can disable rapport as quickly as it can build rapport.

Dylis:

Yes.

Marie:

whether that’s in writing or whether that’s been spoken.

Dylis:

And Marie, I’d really just like to make a point on that because I know when we very first met, I called you Maria at one point and actually I knew it was Marie  but people get my surname wrong so my name is Dylis Guyan and without exception they get the surname wrong, so I’m Goo Yang, Goo Chin and so on but if people call me Phyllis or Glennis or Denise it really hits that raw nerve  doesn’t it and it is just a one percentre, it’s a tiny little thing, but it has such a big impact if you get it wrong

Marie:

It really does and it also has, the great news is it has a very big impact if you get it right.  Just remember guys that over use is as bad as no use at all.

Dylis:

Yes, I’m glad you said that.

Marie:

And using it inappropriately is also a good way to disable rapport.  I always use the example of me that when I asked my name especially in a B2C environment if I’m asked for my name I would say it’s Marie Cross.  I would expect the person whether across the way or the other end of the phone to ask me is that Miss or Mrs.  I would say it’s Mrs., but please do call me Marie. But I would wait, I would not expect them that it would be okay for them to assume it was okay for them to call me Marie until they checked that was okay. So that’s a little one percentre of use of a customer’s name.

They’re all kind of rules around it but it is a great way to both build rapport and of course to keep control of the conversation to say whether you’re face-to-face or over the phone. And as I said, there are 21 one percenters in total but I think my third most favorite has got to be the little one percentre of what FIT refer to as the Tape Technique and it’s where we have to deliver a little bit of bad news, in inverted commas, to a customer.

So perhaps as a good example, we can get our customers order to them, because they’re phoning very late in the day. We can’t get it to them but we’ve obviously missed the run for today to get it processed so it will actually be on the van first thin tomorrow.

It is normal and natural to focus on what we can’t do when we are in a customer service environment.

Dylis:

Yes.

Marie:

That kind of comes, it trips of the tongue to say in all that what we refer to as RIP language. Unfortunately, I am ever so sorry, I’m afraid to tell you that the process has already been completed today so it won’t be on the van tomorrow, but I can definitely get it on the van for you first thing where are we today, Tuesday, first thing tomorrow yes Wednesday.

So it’s kind of normal and natural for us to focus on what we can’t do before than or rather than focus on what we can do. And so the way the tape technique works it uses reverse psychology, so it’s about making sure that you get your customer’s good news tape playing first so that when you go on to deliver the bad news it actually gets delivered on to the good news tape which just kind of lessens the impact of the bad news.

So I can certainly get your order processed for you today and ensure that it’s on the van for delivery for you tomorrow, although the van has already left the yard for today. So it’s same message that you’re delivering, you’re just doing it in a much more positive way.  That for me has to be my favourite third one percent.

Dylis:

Yes.

Marie:

There are twenty one in total in our new programme the Ultimate Customer Service Training Programme.

Dylis:

Fantastic, I love that one, about what you can do and not what you can’t do. It’s brilliant!  And I am certainly going to get your 21 secrets to remarkable customer service and I am very aware of it as well, but we are always learning, there will always be something that we can add to what we already do.  So Marie that has been absolutely super, thank you so much and if the listeners would like to find out more or just engage with you where they can find you?

Marie:

Yes, sure. Well you can always give us a ring so on FIT at, email us so Fit@calltraining.co.uk. as in give us a call, calltrainng.co.uk or you give us a call on 01622761321. Please do link up with me, follow me, find me. Let’s become friends and yeah we would be delighted to engage with your listeners and your followers Dylis. There is a link that will be on the First Impression Training Facebook page.

If you want to find out any more there is a free preview of the Ultimate Customer Service Training Programme that your followers can take advantage of at absolutely no cost to them whatsoever to see whether or not it would be suitable for their particular business and if not that’s fine and if so well that’s fantastic too.

Dylis:

Great and also they can download the 21 secrets, is it seven secrets or 21 secrets

Marie:

We have a free guide called the 7 super secret to become remarkable customer service. So how to become a true brand ambassador on your front line. That is a free giveaway or you have to do is go to our website to do that and if you take the tour once you’re there Dylis of our website as I say www.calltraining.co.uk.

Dylis:

That’s call as in C-A-L-L

Marie:

Yes, calltraining.co.uk. Then on the website you will find if you take the tour there are all sorts of success resources, lots of blueprints that you can download completely free and just some really great little one percenters across the site that will help you both stay on track and keep positive when we are in this space of ensuring a PME for every prospect or customer, day in day out. Because sometimes it can be a hard slog.

Dylis:

Yes indeed. But sometimes Marie, it’s just bringing these one percenters to people’s notice and them say well actually we can implement this easily.  And I think there’s another thing I would like to add It’s about keeping it live.

Marie:

Yes.

Dylis:

It’s about implementing. I call this keeping the red paint red so that everybody has got the message and it stays that same depth of red, in other words, the same message just going down from top to bottom and that it is kept live and people continue to do it and take that responsibility for it and say actually how can we make this even better?

Marie:

Yes.

Dylis:

And actually we could have Marie in and that would make it even better.

Marie:

Yes. Yes we do that too. But I love that analogy Dylis.  I love that analogy because it is so true what we say about FIT. FIT was built on fitting in with each individual organisation that we have worked with over the last 16 years and prior to that, I was a freelancer for 10 years and I was all about fitting in with each individual front line too. But it’s recognising that every single one of those one percenters that we share in the Ultimate Customer Service Training Programme can be quickly contextualized. It’s not about theory I mean I’m fascinated as a psychologist I’m fascinated with theories and concepts studying psychology. But having said all of that, actually I am also a pragmatist having worked on the front line, I want to know how does that little one percenter work in practice. And the great news for anyone investing in the Ultimate Customer Service Training Program is that each little one percenter, you get the opportunity to contextualise it into your specific environment because that what keeps it real.

Dylis:

That’s fantastic, Marie thanks once again it’s been super I absolutely love talking to you and I hope that the listeners have got lots from this too. So until I see you again bye for now

Marie:

Thank you so much Dylis, great talking to you as well.

Dylis:

Bye

Marie:

Bye for now.

 

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