5 Principles for Delivering Exceptional Customer Service

Spark - Business Ideas to Fuel Your Bottom Line

We all understand the importance of customer service, but what does it really mean to put this into action? It all comes down to some simple yet fundamental principles that you need to live by. Whether you’ve been in business for five years or 50, let’s go back to basics and take a look at what it means to deliver customer service that will wow your customers and keep them coming back year after year.

Understand your customers’ needs. People seek out your business because they have a problem you can help solve. It’s as simple as that. When you understand the specific needs of each customer and tailor your services to accommodate those needs, you’ll end up with more satisfied clients. Assure them that you’ve got their best interests in mind by taking the time to listen, empathize, and understand what they’re looking for before diving into your sales pitch. If you want to improve your listening skills, here’s a great resource to help you get started.
 

Know your stuff. Your clients are counting on you to be the expert they need. That means knowing your product or service inside and out and educating them about the best options for their situation. This positions you as a valuable resource they can trust. Spend time each day educating yourself on your specific market, and keep up on the latest trends and industry best practices. In addition, stay connected with other cross-industry professionals so you can make quick recommendations to your clients and create a more holistic, positive customer experience.

 

Be accessible and responsive. Communication is key to any healthy relationship; why should it be different with your customers? Keep the lines of communication open, respond to questions promptly, and follow through with your promises. Set expectations, so they know when they will hear from you. An excellent way to do this is by crafting a welcome email or letter for each client that outlines your sales process and the value you bring to the relationship. This will help set the tone for their customer experience.Click here to download a sample letter.

 

Be professional – always. When dealing with people, there’s bound to come a time when you and a client don’t see eye to eye. Whether they’re right or wrong, always address these situations professionally. Keep emotions out of it, and don’t argue. Focus on the resolution, not being right. Most importantly, admit when you mess up. Clients will appreciate your authenticity.

 

Think long-term. The best customer service looks beyond the here and now and seeks to gain customers for life. Go the extra mile to exceed expectations. Think about what sets you apart from your competitors, and play up those unique strengths to deliver an unforgettable customer experience. Show your appreciation for their business by sending a thank you card or following up with a thank-you call. Also, be sure to thank anyone who provided you with a referral or vice versa, as it provides a perfect opportunity to reconnect and find a way to partner together in the future. Last but not least, keep in touch after the sale with value-added communications to continually nurture your client relationships.

 

By incorporating the above principles into your day-to-day activities, you can guarantee a memorable, high-value experience for each and every customer. Be sure to capture positive feedback from your clients with online reviews. Click here to learn how.

 
Looking for unique ways to wow your customers?
Let’s discuss how we can accomplish this by working together.

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Jason R. Richardson Photo Jason R. Richardson
NMLS# 256859
Mid America Mortgage, Inc.
27413 Tourney Road Suite #150
Valencia, CA 91355
(866) 575-9993
EMAIL ME
Visit my websiteFacebookTwitterLinkedIn Google+YouTube channel
Mid America Mortgage, Inc. Logo
Economic Observer
This letter is for information purposes only and is not an advertisement to extend customer credit as defined by Section 12 CFR 1026.2 Regulation Z. Program rates, terms and conditions are subject to change at any time.

Why Your Business Needs Consumer Reviews to Survive

Spark - Business Ideas to Fuel Your Bottom Line
Why Your Business Needs Consumer Reviews to Survive

The opinions of past customers can make or break your business. In today’s world, not only do you have to work hard to deliver an excellent customer experience, but you also have to capture your customers’ feedback once the deal closes if you want to attract new business. That’s where consumer reviews come in. If you’re interested in staying ahead of the competition, make sure you’ve got online reviews that are positive, current, and can be found in the right places.

Source: 2016 Local Consumer Review Survey, BrightLocal.


The Importance of Consumer Reviews


If we take a closer look at the above findings, it tells us several key things:
You need reviews to gain consumer trust. With 91% of consumers using reviews to determine whether a business is good or bad, you absolutely need to have online reviews, or you won’t even be a part of the conversation. Each time you close a deal, be sure to ask your customers to write a review about their experience.

Your reviews need to be positive. People are turned off by negative reviews. In fact, 60% of consumers distrust a business if the reviews are bad. What’s more, 87% of people won’t even use a business if their star rating is less than three. For your reviews to be effective, you must deliver exceptional customer service that leads to positive reviews and ratings. For the times that you may receive a negative review, be sure to respond promptly and address the customer’s concerns calmly and professionally. Doing so will let other users see that you care about your customers and could even persuade the reviewer to change his or her feedback.

Your reviews need to be current. A glowing review from two years ago is likely to be considered obsolete. Since 73% of consumers think that reviews older than three months are irrelevant, your reviews need to be up-to-date. Proactively work to obtain new, quality reviews on a regular basis, and never neglect an opportunity to ask for customer feedback.

Your reviews need to be in the right places. There’s a plethora of review sites on the web, so which ones should your reviews be on? Search engines, like Google and Bing, are a must, as 63% of consumers use search engines to find reviews. In addition, 37% of consumers head directly to dedicated review sites, like Yelp, to read reviews. You may also want to have a presence on industry-specific sites, such as Zillow. Lastly, don’t forget about Facebook ratings, LinkedIn recommendations, and the power of posting reviews on your own website.

How to Ask Customers for Reviews

Asking for reviews can feel a bit awkward, but if your customers are happy, they should be more than willing to share the love. Plus, 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review if asked to, so don’t be shy. Here are some tips on how to ask for reviews:

In person. According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, a face-to-face request is 34 times more successful than an email, requiring only six in-person requests to equal the power of a 200-recipient email blast. Use this to your advantage by asking your clients for reviews in person. Also, keep your ear to the ground for any unsolicited verbal feedback. When they say something nice about you, follow up with, “Would you be willing to share that feedback on Google or Facebook?”
In an email. While in-person requests are more powerful than email, that doesn’t mean emails are ineffective, and they can be a big time-saver when you’ve got a busy schedule. If you send thank-you emails to your customers after a transaction, that is a great place to ask for a review. Be sure to sound genuine and personal, include a direct link to the review site, and offer some questions to consider as they write the review. Here’s a helpful Review Request Email Template that you can use to ask customers for reviews via email.
On your website and social media. This is less about making a personal request and more about making it easy for people to leave a review. On your website, put clear call to action buttons and links to your top review sites. On social media, share a post every now and then simply asking your followers to leave a review on your page.
OR ASK ME ABOUT REPUTATION LOOP!

A Few Other Pointers:
  • Don’t wait too long to ask. Request a review while the deal is still fresh in people’s minds – within one to two days of the transaction.
  • Request permission before posting people’s reviews on your website.
  • Be careful about offering incentives in exchange for reviews. Yelp, for example, has some strict guidelines on this. Familiarize yourself with the rules for each review site so you don’t end up damaging your reputation.
  • Don’t just respond to negative reviews. Responding to positive reviews gives you another opportunity to say thank you and allows your personality and professionalism to shine.
How have user reviews helped your business? I’d love to hear about it!

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Jason R. Richardson Photo Jason R. Richardson
NMLS# 256859
Mid America Mortgage, Inc.
27413 Tourney Road Suite #150
Valencia, CA 91355
(866) 575-9993
EMAIL ME
Visit my websiteFacebookTwitterLinkedIn Google+YouTube channel
Mid America Mortgage, Inc. Logo
Economic Observer
This letter is for information purposes only and is not an advertisement to extend customer credit as defined by Section 12 CFR 1026.2 Regulation Z. Program rates, terms and conditions are subject to change at any time.

Keeping Up With the Millennials

4 Must-Know Strategies  View online.
Spark - Business Ideas to Fuel Your Bottom Line
4 Strategies You Need to Reach the Millennial Market

Millennials. There’s been a lot of talk lately about the importance of understanding this generation — and with good reason. With over $200 billion of buying power and an overwhelming amount of social clout, millennials are changing the rules of traditional consumer behavior. So, if you want to win over the business of America’s twenty and thirty-somethings, you’ll have to adapt to their ways of communicating.

A Quick Look at…

How to Reach Millennials
No matter what you’re selling, below are some pointers that can help you successfully position your products or services to reach the millennial market.

Go Digital.
Technology has been woven into the millennial lifestyle since childhood, making them more connected than ever. It’s what they believe makes them unique, and 74% of millennials feel that new technology makes their lives easier. That means, if you want to earn their business, you’ve got to use technology to connect with them. Look for software that helps eliminate paperwork and automates your sales process, especially if paperwork is cumbersome. Technology not only simplifies tasks on your end but also provides convenience to the consumer, which is a major selling point for millennials.
Get Social.
Over three-fourths of millennials are on social media and use it as a platform to connect with brands, making it a great place for you to engage and educate. And because it’s a two-way street, it provides a channel to strengthen customer relationships and develop brand loyalty. What’s more, when companies go above and beyond to wow their customers, you can bet millennials are sharing those stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp, and other social platforms
Communicate In Real-Time.
Thanks to smartphones and the internet, millennials are constantly receiving information in real-time, and that’s what they expect from brands who want their business. How can you keep up with the pace? Use texting to send quick updates, which millennials prefer over phone calls. You can even purchase an SMS text messaging service if you want to send texts to larger groups at the same time — just be sure to comply with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) requirements. And don’t forget about email, which remains one of the most effective ways to reach millennials. Automated email triggers can keep your customers informed in real-time without you having to having to lift a finger. The key takeaway? Offer speed and convenience through channels that they connect with.
Be Authentic.
It’s true that millennials have 24/7 access to information, but what can you offer them that Google, Zillow, or Mint can’t? Even with the millions of how-to articles, consumer reviews, and interactive calculators to help guide buying decisions, nothing beats talking to a person with genuine knowledge and experience. Millennials crave authenticity, and when you position yourself as the trusted expert they need, they’ll come to you when they have questions that can’t be answered elsewhere. Be authentic, be available, and know your stuff.

Millennials are shaping the future of how we buy and sell, and it’s important now more than ever to keep up with the changes. When you understand your primary market and adapt your business to what works for them, you’ll have much greater chances for success.

Sources
1 https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/reports/millennial-generation-research-review
2 http://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2015/cb15-113.html
3 http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2014/millennials-technology-social-connection.html
4 http://www.openmarket.com/news/millennials-prefer-texting-versus-talking/
5 https://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2015/08/email.html

Contact me to learn more about strategies that can help you grow your business.

Jason R. Richardson Photo Jason R. Richardson
NMLS# 856259
Mid America Mortgage, Inc.
27413 Tourney Road Suite #150
Valencia, CA 91355
(866) 575-9993
EMAIL ME

FacebookTwitterLinkedIn Google+YouTube channel

Economic Observer
This letter is for information purposes only and is not an advertisement to extend customer credit as defined by Section 12 CFR 1026.2 Regulation Z. Program rates, terms and conditions are subject to change at any time.

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