January 27, 2013

Make Their Blood Boil

Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival 21 nights. He won the bet!

In the last blog we talked about how much poor customer service is costing the UK’s economy. This time I’m going to be a bit more specific about how to respond to complaints and improve customer service.

There are seven incredibly annoying phrases that you could use when a customer has a problem:

1) Our policy is…
2) The rules are…
3) We can’t do that because…
4) That department does not take incoming calls. (Seriously a telephone company used this on me!)
5) That department does not have direct email address.
6) We are very busy at the moment.

Or the all-time classic:

7) Our system is down.

If a customer is complaining they want their problem to be heard, taken seriously and ultimately resolved. When I have a problem there are a few phrases I would much rather hear:

1) Sorry…
2) Clearly based on what you have said we could do a lot better.
3) Let me make this right.
4) Is there anything I can do right now that would make it up to you?
5) Thank you for your feedback I will make sure that the relevant people know and we will fix the problem.

Imagine that your partner has returned home to find that you had left the tap running all day and flooded the house. Which of the above phrases (obviously tweaked for that situation) would you choose to use?

Of course, no matter what answer you use you’ll still be in deep water (ho ho!) but I’m pretty sure the second set of sentences might be a little more useful…

One final thought. I know it’s hard sometimes but please try not to get angry with your customers – it doesn’t help anybody.

Last week in the middle of an argument with my wife I found myself shouting rather too loudly “WOMAN! You have unleashed my wrath” I probably don’t need to tell you that I lost said argument…


Click here
to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

 

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January 16, 2013

How Much?

Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival 21 nights. He won the bet!

Some recent research from the Professor of Common Sense at the University of Bleedin’ Obvious has found that bad customer service costs your company money.

What you might not know is that industry analysts Datamonitor calculate that bad customer service actually costs the UK economy £15.3 Billion a year.

What’s more frightening is that a survey carried out by Avaya found that while 80% of companies think they have good service, only 8% of their customers agree.

Furthermore a 2012 YouGov Poll of 2,084 UK adults showed that 59% of consumers will pay a premium for products or services where they believe they are likely to receive good service.

And if all those figures don’t blow your mind the YouGov survey also found that 82% of consumers would share a bad customer service experience compared to 55% who would share a good experience.

So how do you create good customer service? Well over the next few blogs I’ll be discussing just that!*

*Hint:

You don’t need a fancy automated telephone answering system that tells me I’m the 59th person in the queue!

You don’t need a call centre on the other side of the world, where all the telephone operators are forced to change their name to more Western ones;

And you don’t even need to record my call for quality purposes, to see how many swear words can fit into a 10 minute conversation.


Click here
to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

 

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  • Filed under: Blog Posts — marchogan @ 11:21 pm
January 13, 2013

Wanted – Problem Solver.

Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival 21 nights. He won the bet!

The technology journalist Tim Phillips says: “In the West we maybe see, at a conservative estimate, 500 advertising messages every day. We see as many advertising messages in a year as our parents saw in their entire lives.”

So if we’re seeing that many adverts how can we make the right decision to buy the right product?

Well, you can ask friends, google it, talk to colleagues etc. For certain items, especially those that are relatively low-cost or a perceived low-cost like a mobile phone, that can be absolutely fine.  But when there’s more at stake (and trust me companies always have more at stake) we need more information.  It’s at that point that we might welcome some advice to help us choose correctly.

Customers don’t always even realise that they have a problem.  They may not realise that they can pay less tax or that offering a different car policy could attract more staff or that they could save time and money in the long run by buying a set of tables for the canteen that are guaranteed for 10 years and easier to clean than normal tables or that investing in a re-launch of their website will bring in more business.

Let’s face it who here knew 5 years ago that a phone wasn’t about making calls anymore, that a tablet would be better than a PC, and that everything you own should be on the cloud?

So we’re in January now, the start of a new year.  No doubt you’ve got your sales strategy meeting with your manager scheduled this month.  You know, the one where they set you your new targets, tell you that you have to enter all your calls into the CRM system, taking hours of your time.  If you’re lucky they may even give you some new sales brochures and pens to pass onto your customers and probably a budget to take your best clients out for dinner (and a complementary loyalty card for Nandos).  I’m guessing that on a cold, wet, Monday morning when you get out of bed, the last thing in the world that you are probably thinking is, “how am I going to solve my customers’ problems today?”

Now imagine you are an IT manager.  It’s that same cold and rainy Monday morning.  You’re sitting in a traffic jam listening to John Humphries tell us all how we’re about to enter a triple dip recession (I wish they had that roller coaster in Alton Towers).  Perhaps not the best start to your day!

You get into your office.  There’s a queue of people at your door complaining that the system isn’t working.  Your Company Director can’t access his emails.  You have a pile of paperwork on your desk that you haven’t managed to look at yet, and you have got to sit in 3 pointless meetings where nothing ever gets decided.

If you were in his place would you not want to receive a call from someone who could potentially help solve his problems?  If only.


Click here
to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

 

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January 11, 2013

New Feedback

Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival 21 nights. He won the bet!

Some new feedback:

We all enjoyed Marc’s talk tremendously!

Alexandra von Maltzan Group Finance Manager, Proctor & Gamble, Geneva, Switzerland

“Marc was a real hit, the delegates particularly liked his combination of humour and insight, with his easygoing and participative style, in short we loved him!”

Jeff Nicholas – Marketing Manager, Palletways UK Limited


Click here
to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

 

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  • Filed under: Blog Posts — marchogan @ 12:17 pm
January 7, 2013

Building Trust

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

What’s the most important part of all human relationships?

Love?
Honesty?
6 Pack abs?

No, it’s trust.  If a customer won’t buy from you, if your colleagues won’t follow your idea it’s simply because they don’t trust you. Oh, of course your product might be more expensive, or your idea might be too radical, but let’s face it, the reason investors invest, and employees follow is because they trust the person in front of them.

One of the questions I am often asked is “how do I create trust within a buying situation?”

For someone to feel ready to buy from you, they need to believe that they can trust you and your product or your service.

There are a number of different ways that you can build trust.

1. Start from your customer’s perspective

The only way you will understand your customer is to ask lots of open questions about their needs and problems.  You may need to ask for specific examples of why they need a product that does a, b and c.   This is crucial at the start of any relationship.  You need to understand their perspective to ensure that you can satisfy their requirements and generate that all important feeling of mutual trust.

BTW this will only really work if you listen to their answers, which leads me nicely to…

2. Listen (a.k.a. no email is that important)

Rapt attention is the highest form of flattery.  This is where your active listening skills are very important.  Your customer needs to feel that you are listening to them so that you can help solve their problems.  Make sure that your body language and eye contact reflect this.  You wouldn’t open your post in front of a colleague or a customer, what is different about reading your emails or texts?!

3. Use evidence

One of the simplest ways to build trust is by using evidence.  But beware, you need to ensure that the evidence is accurate, relevant, current and where possible, independent.  Citing evidence from highly credible sources will increase your credibility,  however, citing irrelevant evidence from different industries or from poorly qualified sources would very quickly destroy any credibility, and hence trust.  This means that your testimonials shouldn’t be anonymous and in fact you might want to ask past clients whether they would be happy to provide references on request to potential new customers.

4. Deliver on your promises

One of the easiest ways to lose any trust you have built up is to fail to deliver on your promises.  I can’t underscore just how important it is to deliver what you’ve promised.  This might include providing your customer with timely information after your face-to-face call; arranging to send out follow-on documentation; or keeping your subsequent appointments.  Whatever you’ve said you’ll do, make sure you do it.

Quite simply, trust offsets one of the most fundamental problems in any salesperson-customer relationship.  Whenever a customer buys from a new company, there is a risk involved, whether it is financial or even emotional.  By creating trust, you help offset this risk and create a strong, mutually beneficial relationship with your customer.   Trust creates the relationship and is the one thing that your competitors can never copy.

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

 

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