Making customers feel important from the onset is key.
First impressions matter. I have learned that you must greet in less than 30 seconds, answer within 2 rings, or respond in less than an hour.
As customers continue to demand more, our research tells us that speed of response is critical in all forms of greeting a customer to your business, no matter if it is in person, by phone, or on the internet.
Greeting Customers in Person
Today when a customer arrives at your business, you must make them feel important as soon as they walk through the door. Even when entering a 7-Eleven, the person behind the counter is in the habit of saying hello immediately.
In focus groups that we have conducted in over a dozen states and across many countries, one of the top complaints I have heard from customers is the feeling of being ignored when walking in the door of a business or retail location. Therefore, it is imperative that you greet a customer as soon as they arrive.
Answering the Phone
Responding within two rings is critical when taking a customer call. Today most people will tell you that if the phone rings a fourth time, they are assuming no one is there, and in most cases they expect some form of voicemail to now take their message.
Don’t be confused that an automated answering service will improve this customer experience. All too often companies will try and solve this issue by investing in an automated machine that answers their very important customer calls, and then forces the customer to push through a series of buttons in an attempt to get where they want, only to be forced to leave a message. Everyone dislikes it when a machine tells them how important they are while they are on hold.
How do you win the customer? If you are in a customer service or retail business, have real, trained professional people answer your calls who do so with the care and attention a customer would want, and respond to their call quickly.
Next- Responding to Internet Contacts
About the author
Jaime “Jim” Hernandez, is president of Strategic Business Communications, Inc. which ranked #4122 in INC magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies in America. He contributes a column about marketing for Latin Business Today. A motivational speaker, marketing consultant and trainer, Jim has worked with more than 30 businesses in the U.S. and abroad. He is a member of the National Advisory Board of MYM, and has been a guest lecturer on sales and marketing at the University of San Diego.Website