You have the best products and services. And you’ve got the best prices in town. But without sufficient customer service skills, you have nothing.
What good is the best stuff at the best prices if you have no one who can sell them? We just told you: no good.
But if this sounds like your business, don’t despair because things are about to change. Below, we’ve listed all the best ideas for improving customer service. Check out these top ten strategies for leveling up your team’s customer service skills.
1. People are People
Your employees are people. Your customers are people. But when a team starts getting overzealous about the sale, humanity sometimes takes a back seat.
Your team must remember to act, and treat others, like human beings. The idea is to help people with your products while they help you with compensation.
On the other hand, if you treat selling like winning, you’re in danger of caring more about the sale than the customer. Then, you’re no longer trying to help them. You’re only trying to trick them out of their money.
Also, we’re not savages anymore, so let’s kill “tribal” thinking. Eradicate all traces of “us vs them” mentality your team has in regard to customers.
“Us vs them” is a really stupid way to sell. It actually implies you’re competing against your customers instead of trying to help them.
Remember to make “helping people” the focus of your selling.
2. Be Nicer Than You Need To Be
Now, take that same idea one step further. Don’t just be nice enough to close the sale. Go the extra mile for your customer.
Treating every customer with genuine care is way more important than closing the sale, anyway. Even if you don’t make this single, one-time sale, you build a memorable relationship with the customer. They’ll remember your kindness and come back multiple times when they have need of your services in the future.
3. Clarify Their Mission
You likely hired your sales team because they’re good at sales in general. But general selling is generic selling. And that just won’t do.
If you really want to see results, your team must be good at selling your products. Make sure your sellers have a good understanding of your business, products, and services, and how these help the customer.
They should know and identify with your company’s mission statement. They should know, and care, why the sale helps the customer, and the company, and the employee. Get all your sellers on the same page.
4. Make Them Want It
We’re not talking about the customer, here. We’re talking about your sales staff again.
A clear understanding of their mission may not be enough to make your sellers care. Nor will one motivational strategy work for everyone.
You must find out what motivates each of your staff and make it personal. Start with the staff members who are most important to the sale and do some one-on-one coaching.
Some do well by knowing that their selling is helping people. Others do better with incentives like commission or staff contests. Find out what works for your team members and stay consistent with it.
5. Always Cross-Sell
More transactions make more money, but they also cost more time. Why not focus instead on selling more per transaction?
Then you make more money with no time wasted. That’s like free money!
Make sure your sales staff is prepared to ALWAYS up-sell or cross-sell.
One of the best ways to increase conversions with cross selling, is to take advantage of online video.
6. Play Team-Building Games
Team-building/training games help in so many ways. Obviously, they hone the selling skills of your team. But that’s not all.
They also give you an up-close look at their skills in action. And that gives you an exclusive opportunity to coach them at the moment without interrupting an actual sale.
Also, it builds your relationship with your team members. (That’s why it’s called “team-building!”)
Such exercises boost communication, adaptability, and other skills as well as morale. And, they’re fun!
7. Get Customer Feedback
Not sure where your sales tactics are failing? Ask!
Customer feedback is so invaluable and extremely easy to obtain. It’s shocking how often companies fail to take advantage of it.
71% of your customers will leave you feedback IF ONLY you remember to ask. Or, you can forget to ask and let all that easy feedback slip through your fingers. It’s your choice.
But we suggest you include customer feedback survey invitations on your receipts. And train all point-of-sale employees to ask every customer to fill it out. You can also incentivize your survey with special coupon deals or a monetary prize.
8. Turn Their Frowns Upside Down
Most companies aren’t too thrilled when they receive customer complaints. But they should be.
Nothing has the power to tarnish your image like bad reviews. And that’s why few marketing tactics have the power to boost your image like reversing a bad customer experience.
Be always on the lookout for bad customer reviews. If you address the review immediately, you might turn their bad experience into a good one. Then, anyone who sees it will be impressed instead of repelled.
This is especially true for complaints on your social media. Customers who complain on social media are expecting to be answered in a timely manner.
9. Incentivize Customer Referrals
You want more customers. Your customers want a good deal. When you offer an amazing coupon or another freebie for customer referrals, everyone wins!
50% off their order is a small price to pay when it doubles your customer base.
10. Enhance Your Team With Technology
We put this one last for good reason. Most of the points above can be enhanced or completely automated with apps or other technology.
Most notable, and helpful, are business apps powered by artificial intelligence. One of the most popular is customer service chatbots.
These give your online customers the 24/7 support they need for a fraction of the cost you’d pay for live support. And with today’s advanced AI, the quality of virtual support is nearly as good as live.
There are even apps that use AI to track successful sales strategies and use them to train your team. The best one on the market right now is called Gong.
Improving Customer Service Happens Now!
What are you waiting for? You’ve heard how important all these customer service tactics are. Get out there and use these tips to start improving customer service now.
Next, read more about becoming customer-service-oriented. Check out Focus on Service, Not Self-Service.
4 Ways to Become More Detached from Blogging Outcomes
See that throwback featured image of me in Phuket, Thailand?
I became a globe trotting pro blogger in part through the power of detachment.
Blogging outcomes weigh you down and slow your blogging growth, if you are not careful.
Many bloggers mean well but are so obsessed with every view, Like, comment, share and dollar that they either struggle horribly or hold back stunning blogging success. How could I write over 100 eBooks if I obsessed with sales from my first eBook? How could I write 600 posts on Blogging Tips alone if I obsessed over metrics?
Eye-popping success finds largely detached, generous bloggers.
Follow these tips to become more detached from blogging outcomes.
1: Help More Ask Less
If you want blog comments, comment on other blogs.
Want blog traffic? Promote other bloggers.
Help bloggers to detach from your needs and to see greater success. Ask less and less for shares, comments and views, to detach from outcomes. Success finds generous bloggers.
2: Mention 2-5 Successful Bloggers Via All Posts
I recall focusing heavily on blogging profits early during my career. I linked to an ad or affiliate product once per post and linked to nothing else, obsessing over sales, attaching to outcomes. I gradually promoted other bloggers over years. Now I promote 2 to 5 bloggers virtually every post. I think more of helping them and less of helping me.
3: Manage Your Energy
Attachment is fear. Managing your energy helps you:
- face fear
- feel fear
- release fear
- dissolve attachments
I do 80 minutes of deep yin yoga daily. Plus I jog or walk for 45-60 minutes daily. Meditating helps too.
Managing your energy rocks because so many bloggers cling deeply to fear-attachments, to stats and money and to clients and blogging buddies, and need a daily ritual to unearth and release these attachments. I strongly suggest deep yin yoga because it helps you become comfortable. Big time quality developed by all generous, pretty darn detached, bloggers.
4: BE with Your Fear
I vividly recall sitting and BEING with my fear each time I checked my blogging inbox. I felt a general not enough energy pervade my being. Panic then ran through my body. Anger. Pain. Grief, at time lost. All fears reflected heavy attachments to:
- list subscribers
I totally believed I should have been further along at these points during my blogging career. Turns out, I was at the perfect place and time to feel deep fears, to dissolve attachments and to proceed from a generous, genuine, pretty detached, patient and persistent space.
Fighting fear only makes attachments grow. Not checking email for weeks because you feel terrified to check email makes the fear and attachment grow. But checking email hourly because you feel terrified that you:
- will miss out on clients
- are not making enough money, and need to check and see if you are making any aka enough money, yet
reflects your attachment to you. Ya know; “How am I doing-itis.” Check stats, check email, all the time, because you fear to see how you are doing.
Feel fear behind any strategy driven by fear. Let the fear go. Dissolve the attachment.
I check email here and there, never being attached to it. Email is not the source of my blogging success.
Treat blogging outcomes like mile markers on a highway, when you whiz by at 80 MPH. Note the stat for a few seconds and either move in a different direction or charge forward, based on how you feel about the stat, and what the feeling suggests to you.
Quick Tips to Easily Find People and Other Bloggers Online
Unlike Las Vegas — where ‘what happens there, stays there’ — once something is on the internet, it’s pretty much there forever. This is something bloggers, content creators and businesses know all too well. Whether it’s a WordPress article, social media updates, of photos making their way into the Google index, it’s likely going to be online forever.
It’s not just about posting and uploading content on the internet that you need to worry. It’s also all of the massive and easily accessible information that can be found online as well. With more data leaks taking place than ever before, and pretty much having privacy being a thing in the past, it’s easy to find information on anything and anyone with just a few clicks of a button.
For example, have you ever met someone at a blogging conference or event, but forgot to grab their business card? A lot of times we want to meet such people again but have no clue how to find them or their contact details. Through social media and using online tools like a people search, finding exactly what you need is now easier than ever before. Thankfully, we have this amazing platform called the internet – where we are able to find people around us ourselves.
There are plenty of other ways to find information or direct contacts for people online. In addition to using a People Search, social media is also a great method for finding whatever you are looking for. This is especially true if you can find someone on LinkedIn.
To start off, simply grab a notepad and write down the name of the person you want to search. Once you do that, branch out names of people you think are associated to them or at least the name of the person who introduced them to you if you were meeting them for the first time. Next, try and connect businesses, offices, college, university or any piece of information you think is or can be relevant to them. By now, you must have a web looking piece of information already giving you a clue.
How Do People Search Engines Work?
Making the best use of the amazing platform that we discussed – the internet, we need to find online people search engines which will process all the information we know and share possible match results for people we are looking for. To help you understand what a people search engine is and how do people search engines work, just imagine a library or a music record store. People search engines have a huge pool of database with information that is allowed to be displayed publicly. Such information contains phone numbers, education, employment history and sometimes criminal history as well. However, the information uploaded with any people search engine must be approved or must be in accordance with Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Once you have the maximum information with you uploaded in a people search engine, it will run a match and show most relevant list of result for people associated with that information. You may further screen the results by looking at each option individually to figure if that’s the same person you are searching for.
Meanwhile, there are other sources to track someone apart from people search engines. Finding people through social media platforms has also been observed to take a troll. Many youngsters put up millions of searches every day through social media platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, etc. to find people they just met or to know more about them.
In all, finding someone in today’s world is no longer a rocket science. With multiple online people search engines and various social media platforms, tracking someone down has become as easy as finding a book in a library or a record in a music store.
How to View the Relationship Between Your Blog and Social Media
Alonzo Pichardo says it best.
“Buy your own domain and hosting and make that your own main hub. Social media is a branch of the marketing tree. That’s all.”
He shared my video on Instagram. Video registered 3,926 views. Here it is:
I filmed the video because I spent 20 minutes clicking profile links of folks who Liked my updates. I found a few self-hosted WordPress blogs, read and commented on these blogs. Relationships established. But most Instagram users:
- had no blog to speak of
- linked to YouTube
- linked to Facebook
For the heck of it, I spent a good 3 minutes looking for one user’s blog. I found an obituary (he was young and alive but shared a common name) and a collection of spammy “look up his information sites.” He claimed to be a blogger via his Instagram bio but he is no more a blogger than I am a werewolf.
Think about Alonzo’s advice; the blog is your main hub, or root, or base of your tree, and social media acts like branches. Offshoots, nothing more.
Instagram owns Instagram. Instagram:
- can kick that kid off of Instagram for 1 of a billion reasons, in a heartbeat
- WILL change their algorithm, soon enough, forcing the kid to change his strategy, uprooting his online world
- forces the kid to make his brand, Instagram’s brand
Not investing is a domain and hosting is about the biggest mistake you can make online because not owning your site hands your power, your decision making, your branding potential and your monetizing potential to someone else.
Social media is a branch. Spend most of your time daily working on your blog and networking with other bloggers who own their self-hosted, WordPress blogs. Unless they change their values or quit blogging, this is the most sound, intelligent approach to blogging.
Use social media for a little bit daily to:
- tag bloggers you mention on your blog
- help bloggers in groups related to your niche
- share your blog posts
- share other blogger’s blog posts
You are a blogger. Not an Instagrammer. You are a blogger. Not a Facebook-er. Spend most of your day on blogs. Not social media.
Marios Tofarides runs an authority blog on eBooks. Not in a billion years could he make his social media profiles look anything like his branded, self-hosted blog. Paula at Contented Traveler runs a first class travel blog. She could never re-create her blog’s branding, style and voice on social media. Sarah Arrow built a well known brand and thriving business by making her blog stand out, through creating, through connecting and through smart blog branding. Impossible to do this, through social media alone.
Pay Up to Play Up
I can mention your blog on Blogging From Paradise, a DA 47 blog read by many influencers.
I can mention your blog on Blogging Tips, a DA 48 blog read by many blogging influencers.
But I never link to free platform blogs because no influencer or experienced reader trusts information on free platforms. If you cannot invest $3 a month, you carry too much of a fear-lack-poverty conscious energy, that seasoned readers and top bloggers know to avoid.
I never link to a social media profile because….social media is not a blog!
Pay up to play up.
Invest in a domain and hosting. Move up in blogging circles. See social media as branches, using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as secondary or even tertiary means for helping people. Spend most of your time on your self-hosted, WordPress blog and networking on other self-hosted, WordPress blogs.
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