Monday

The Customer Journey

"Every journey starts with a single step". We have heard this saying time and time again, and we know it to be true. However, we almost never hear about the end. Every journey, also has an end.

Have you planned your customer journey? From that first step, to the very end. 


Customers need to know how to start their journey with you

  • Where should i start? 
  • What should i do first? 
  • What information do i need to proceed?
These are questions customers ask themselves in a matter of seconds. You MUST answers these, or you will have no customer.

You need to create a road map. As customers navigate their way from exploration to action they need to know how to take each subsequent step in the process. Your job is to provide instructions, guides, and live assistance (if you can), so that the outcome or end is reached. At the beginning of the journey the customer may be unsure of the outcome, but they at least have a direction in which to head. As they journey towards the destination, a positive experience will help to refine the characteristics of the final goal whatever it may be.


Take the time today to MAP YOUR CUSTOMER JOURNEY, and know that this is not a one time thing. You will always be visiting your map and asking yourself at every stage, is this step in the best interest of my customer? The information generated through the process of customer journey mapping can be used to help you design and deliver better customer services.


The Map

Your customer journey map should include these main headers
  1. Awareness
  2. Discovery
  3. Attraction
  4. Interaction
  5. Purchase
  6. Use
  7. Cultivation
  8. Advocacy
Most people and business stop their map at Purchase, and this is the biggest mistake we have seen. DON'T make this mistake. The last three steps will define you as a leader in your industry.


You can get more great tips, white papers, training at The Customer Service Club, and it free to Join
Do-it-Trini - A community approach to fixing customer service.
We are a community of passionate Customer Service people who fight for the right, to good customer service EVERYWHERE for EVERYONE.

Thursday

Customer Service Week 2013

During the week October 7-11th 2013, the world will be celebrating Customer Service Week. This period is a chance for companies (small, medium and large) to show their customers, that they have made the right choice doing business with them. Our advice: Think outside the box, call up one of your random customers and treat them like royalty for a day.

It's all about the customer!!!
Is it really ALL about the customer? Let's think about this for a bit, sure the customer is a the major player, but think about the hard working staff who go above and beyond, to ensure the customer leaves satisfied. Don't forget to commend and reward and thank your internal customers for their contribution.

How to celebrate
Keep your eyes and ears open for what will be happening at the Customer Service Club. There will be games, giveaways and a general FUN time. The folks at the CSWeek have some tips as well:
  • Think Decorations
  • Think Parties
  • Think Festive
  • Think Accomplishments
  • Think Acknowledgement
  • Think Theme Days
  • Think Skills
  • Think Customers
  • Think Rewards
  • Think Stress Relief
This event has been going strong since 1992, and continues to grow in popularity as many businesses realize that the only way to stay ahead of the competition is to offer superior service. So for example, as airline industry struggle, and airlines such as Caribbean Airlines (CAL), American Airlines (AA), Delta Airlines, and Southwest Airlines fight for the same market share, it would be wise to note that service is KING!!! 

Customer service will always be the defining factor.


Tuesday

Customer Service in Fiji

We have been in Fiji for the past week, and the customer service here is so different. "Good people make for good customer service". They build their society around good service, when you read the online reviews about how Fiji is the best place ever, it's not just the island beauty. It's also the beauty of the people, and the way they handle customer service. 

Examples:
1. The food places seem to always have enough staff. When the lines get long the staff at the back come out to help. Every staff member seems to know the full extent of their job, and some functions the guys next to them.

2. Every single customer is given the same treatment, no matter how they are dressed or look (our observation). A homeless man entered the famous Tappoo City mall in Suva, and instead of being abused by the security he was calmly removed, that was an eye opener :).

3. Walking the busy city streets, the ppl are polite and don't rush or cut off each other, and smiles everywhere.

4. Was at a workshop, and a lost man entered the workshop room. Instead of saying to the man you are in the wrong room, the presenter ask for a pardon, and then walked the lost man to where he should be. It took 1min but at that point the presenter represented his organization and ensured that person got the service he needed.

5. At the airport the customs officer, got off his chair to direct us where we needed to go, and yes there was a long line behind us.

6. After a 2 day flight, we arrived at the hotel "Quest in SUVA" and our rooms were not ready, check-in was not for another 6hrs, and they were booked solid. They gave us access to their business centre, where there is sofa to rest. But within 10 mins someone checked out and within an hour we were given a temporary room to rest and freshen up.

It's the little things, that make the difference. No-one could convince us that fixing customer service is not doable. Fiji is getting it right!!!

Share this with your friends, let them know it can be done.


---Do-it-Trini Team---
Check out our community page @ http://doittrini.com/community

Saturday

How can you be a Customer Service 'Superhero'?

When it comes down to an individual delivering a great service to their customers, what is it that they need to be doing and thinking about? What would customers say great customer service means to them?

New Chapter Learning have a theme called The Four A’s. They believe that all customer service skills can be distilled down to the principles of: 

·         Appearance
·         Attention,
·         Attitude and
·         Accuracy. 

Why these four in particular?

When they looked at the basic behaviours that are present in those who create great customer experiences, the things that matter are the ones that customers will notice and complain about if they are not done correctly.  A customer will notice if you are smartly dressed, smiling and provide a warm welcome.  This still applies to non-customer facing situations as a smile and warmth can be perceived in the conversation that happens on the phone, or even through the written word. A customer knows when you are paying attention to them and wants to know that you have listened.  Attitudes matter as they underpin the way a customer is treated and having the right attitude to the role is key.  Finally, accuracy is important to ensure not only that the customer gets what they expected, but it also reduces the number of complaints, which can hurt a company’s brand.

So what can you do to embrace these characteristics and deliver great customer service?

Consider some of the following tips for how to become a customer service superhero and think about ways that you can implement these strategies in your daily life.

Appearance

·         Create a great first impression
·         Be conscious of your body language, even when you’re speaking to a customer over the phone.
·         Have an energetic tone of voice
·         Use positive words and language.

Attention

·         Really listen to every word your customer says to you.
·         Give your customer your undivided attention
·         Manage any distractions, including colleague interruptions
·         Show that you have heard and understood what your customer has said to you
·         Maintain eye contact or when you’re speaking to your customer on the phone use verbal nods so they know you’re listening and paying attention to them.
·         Ask questions to make sure you understand exactly what your customer needs and that you’ve understood them correctly. Once you know what they want you will then be able to help them in the most appropriate way.

Attitude

·         Have a can do attitude and translate that attitude into what you say and do
·         Take personal responsibility and create confidence in your customers
·         Be mentally prepared
·         Take pride in your work
·         Make sure your customer leaves you with a good feeling and a smile on their face.

Accuracy

·         Get to know your products, services and processes and exactly how they work for your customer’s needs.
·         Double check and make sure that everything is as it should be
·         Take the time to get things right
·         Make sure you’re always up to date with the latest information about your role and your business
·         If you make a mistake, put it right and always learns from it

New Chapter Learning believe that everyone working in a customer service role can become a customer service superhero to their customer. By adopting these behaviours, these superheroes will remain ordinary on the outside but what they will do for their customers will be extraordinary.  


New Chapter Learning Ltd are a Customer Experience and Training Consultancy that wants to give customers a reason to love you. They specialise in Customer Service Strategy and Training, Leadership Development, Induction Programmes and Bespoke Training Course Design.

Friday

Customer Service Club


A new social network, focused on customer service has emerged. Do-it-Trini has launched the Customer Service Club.

This social network connects passionate customer service individuals in a unique way, never seen before in the caribbean region. With all the trimmings of popular social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, the Customer Service Club (CSC) brings customer care to the fore-front in a fun way.

This platform will change the way the caribbean community handle it's customer service issues and at the same time build a community that will be equipped, with the resources needed. Speaking with Do-it-Trini Founder earlier this week, he said his goal is, "Just to fix Customer Service in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider caribbean. Our region economies are struggling to stay competitive in the global markets and customer service is one way we can drive increased revenue and encourage international and local investment."

Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Do-it-Trini is ready to expand into the caribbean region and the Customer Service Club is positioned to be the medium. The club is free to join, but it also contains some exclusive interfaces with premium resources for those willing to be leaders and contributors to the movements.

The age and perception of poor customer service as being the norm, seems to be over in the caribbean, thanks to Do-it-Trini

video

~ Always Follow-up. If you promise a customer to get back to them with an update, clarification to a question, or just to acknowledge we got your call. DO IT. 
This is a simple customer service technique that is often over looked, but can go a long way on building your customer loyalty. Start making the little changes and FOLLOW-UP. ~ Do-it-Trini

Wednesday

The Future of Social Customer Service Technology - Helping Customers Help Each Other



Earlier this year, I was giving a presentation at HP's Social Support Summit when an audience member asked me a question I didn't quite know how to answer. I had just finished talking about the results of an experiment I conducted that essentially demonstrated how 14 of the nation’s top brands lag behind customer's expectations for support on social media, when this person said, “Do you know of a customer service software that [the brands] could have used to let community members respond to questions on social media?”

When he said “community members,” he meant customers that answer other customers' questions in business forums and communities. He basically wanted to know if I knew of any products that enable these same community members to respond to queries on Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels (instead of in the company forum or community).

This was a really interesting idea. I review and compare customer service products that help employees respond to questions on social media, and many of these vendors provide tools for running customer communities. But no one really puts these two together in the way the audience member suggested.

It was in this moment I realized that social app developers have a real opportunity in customer service.

Brands Are Missing Out, Social Tech Developers Can Help
Every time someone mentions your brand on Twitter, Facebook, or another social media channel, they create an opportunity to have a conversation. Many social customer service products use keyword identifiers to filter out these messages and route them to employees to respond, but companies don't have the manpower to lead every conversation (nor should they). Consider, for example, that Starbucks received 115,257 mentions during a four-week experiment I conducted.

That's a lot of potential conversations. I hosted an online event last year called “Is Customer Service the New Marketing?” that underlined the potential for capitalizing on these mentions, and why many of these interactions should be led by customers, rather than the company itself:

Customers are interested in marketing, but they don't believe what your company says about itself unless it matches what they and their friends say about you,” best-selling author and customer service thought leader Micah Solomon said.

So how can companies take advantage on all of these opportunities for conversations without hiring an army of social responders or enablers? They can crowdsource their response to their most engaged and enthusiastic brand advocates – customer community users. But companies need new technology to make this happen.

Why Customer Community Users?
Community members are customers that are so enthusiastic about the brand that they voluntarily spend (unpaid) hours every day answering other customers’ questions in discussion forums. (This HP community member, for example, spends 30-40 hours a week responding to queries in the community.) This makes them perfect candidates for responding to others on social media.


If companies had tools for leveraging the community to respond on social, they’d essentially have a self-sustaining engine of authentic conversations about their brand. Sure, they lose a little message control. But in situations where a customer is really negative and dissatisfied, an employee could still dive in and intervene.

The bones of this kind of crowdsourcing technology already exist. Companies such as Lithium make technology for running customer communities, and they make products for social listening. They just need to put them together. This hypothetical software could still leverage all of tools that make communities so effective -- things like gamification and automated alerts. These discussions would just move from the community forum to social media.

So what do you say social app developers? Can you help us?


Ashley Verrill is the Managing Editor for the Customer Service Investigator blog, as well as an analyst for Software Advice. She has spent the last six years reporting and writing business news and strategy features. Her work has been featured or cited in Inc., Forbes, Business Insider, GigaOM, CIO.com, Yahoo News, the Upstart Business Journal, the Austin Business Journal and the North Bay Business Journal, among others. She also produces original research-based reports and video content with industry experts and thought leaders.

Monday

Customer Service in the Media

Well it happened, on April 11th 2013 the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian Business Section, published the article "Doittrini.com tackles poor customer service fight" A great day indeed, to be recognized for doing something we just know is right.

We want to say thank you to Raphael John-Lall who did the interview and wrote the article, and further thanks to the editor for approving and sending to print. On this day our page views spiked. We recorded views from as far as Eastbourne, way out on the UK coast. This tells us that the guardian is being read, and viewed from all parts of the globe, keep it up Guardian!!!

People are interested in our customer service T&T. Wake up, and let's fix this. We can no-longer stand on the sideline and watch the game unfold, we need to get in and bat or start bowling. Brian wasn't afraid when he stood alone and made those runs, Wendy didn't look to the girls by her side for strength, she found it within. Ato didn't give up when the line he was standing in just before the start of that race was full with "super stars", he just ran. And Kevin didn't just sit by and watch his country fall apart, and accept poor customer service as the norm.

Every single one of us have the sprit within, to stand up and "FIX CUSTOMER SERVICE" It starts with knowing we can. Let's Do It!!!


The Article

Doittrini.com tackles poor customer service fight
Published: Thursday, April 11, 2013
RAPHAEL JOHN_LALL


Kevin Ramsoobhag, online learning support supervisor, University of the West Indies (UWI), has taken to social media to carry out a fight against what he sees as the perennial problem of poor customer service in T&T.

He launched the Web site, doittrini.com in February 2012 to give customers and businesses the chance to express grievances about the level of customer service in the country.

He spoke to the Business Guardian last Thursday at the Guardian’s office on St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain.

“You can use facebook and twitter to interact with the site. So you are getting bad customer service and you can actually tweet it and users of the site see it. Customer service is a sore point. You go everywhere and you see bad customer service.”

Ramsoobhag got the idea to start it because he was tired of seeing customers getting treated badly, but had no way to vent it.

On the Web site, when a business sets up a profile, there is a five-star rating where people can rate how their experience if they have that particular service. 

It is done for free as businesses do not have to pay, to be profiled on the Web site.

“Of course, these are anonymous ratings without anyone feeling victimised. This is real feedback. As a service provider, when you are rated, it is logged, you see how people rate.”

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