This blog is the journey of Lorenc Consulting and Entertainment as we continue to encourage creativity and innovation by using the concepts of improv comedy in everyday life. Any kind of group or organization can benefit from our improv-based corporate training, focusing on team-building, hyper listening and communication skills, and thinking on your feet.

Customer Service At Its Best

by Toby Lorenc

Customer service and client relations are key to any organization. But your team needs to be trained, prepared, and then trained again for what may come.

The truth is there will always be surprises and challenges in a customer service role. So equipping your frontliners is crucial in several areas:


LISTENING

Simply, you must take time to hyperlisten to customer needs and complaints. Let the customer talk, complain, and voice their opinions so you can collect crucial data on the elements that need to be resolved.


DEALING WITH OBSTACLES

As a former real estate agent, I became a pro at dealing with obstacles.  When a buyer walks into a home and comments, "I couldn't live with this carpet color, let's go" I was quick to say, "What if I paid to have the carpet replaced?" Now, you start hearing if there are other objections that can't be solved.


COMMON SENSE

I'm a firm believer that you need customer service reps that have common sense. It's a hard skill to train, but finding the right team with this gift and giving them the power to make decisions on the spot is key to a successful interaction.


EXECUTING A SOLUTION

Not only is it important to agree on and articulate a solution, the follow up is even more important.  Give your teams the tools and resources to create, manage, and execute a plan that will provide an optimal solution for the customer.


The company relies on this crucial department of customer service. Reward, train, encourage, and train again.  As the face and voice of your organization, your customer service team plays one of the most important roles in your success.


Keeping customers from buying one obstacle at a time

by Toby Lorenc

Alright, here it is: I've been frustrated lately with companies putting obstacles in front of me to keep me from buying their products.  Why are they making it so hard for me to give them my money?

Can you think of examples: companies that are company-focused instead of customer-focused?  Let's ignite our thinking a bit in the corporate world and instead of considering "what's easiest for the company?" considering "what's easiest for the customer!"

Let me give you a few examples that have frustrated me lately.

1) Buying a watch.  I see these amazing, colorful watches at some of the major department stores and even independent retailers.  Wow! What a great accessory - I'm ready to buy!....but I want to try it on, just to make sure it fits on my wrist and to look at it in the mirror.  Right? Nope, sorry.  The watch is beautifully displayed in a box and tethered to the container like a captured criminal.  Good luck removing the security bands holding it tightly to the display box, and if you do, you'll probably go down for shoplifting.  Weren't they trying to sell this watch or is it just for me to look at as a branding effort for the watch company?

2) Buying Dress shirts (guys, you know what I mean): Go to any of the major department stores and the dress shirts are neatly packed into plastic wrap, needles, tissue paper, and cardboard supports to give them the appearance of ... I'm not sure, but I can't try them on.  Some stores even go as far to put up signs, "Please do not remove shirts from packaging."  Has anyone done studies on this?  How much more likely would consumers be to purchase dress shirts if they could actually see and feel how fitted, soft, long, luxurious, etc. these products are as boasted on the packaging?

3) Employee work day: Welcome to the retail world.  It's a necessity - stores have to set up displays, do visual merchandising, and create sales and specials that attract customers so they can sell the product.  But, if I'm standing in the store looking for someone to help me and you're so busy "creating things that will attract customers" that you lose sight of what's right in front of you, there's a problem.  I'm an interested customer who chose to walk into your store, and will walk right back out after 10 minutes of you being to busy to help me.

My point is not to complain - my point is to make you think how your company is creating obstacles for your customers.  Whether you're a non-profit collecting donations online, or a brick-and-mortar retailer, consider your customers perspective. Forget what you've been told about "how to do things." Stop asking "What is the easiest way to do it" and start asking "What makes it easiest for our customer" and ultimately results in revenue and value to your clients.



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