Business texting; who’da thunk it!

Business texting; who’da thunk it!

There are endless choices for businesses today as we consider different ways to reach our customers or more importantly have them reach us. Direct mail morphed into email which morphed into social media which has morphed into mobile applications. No matter which option you choose for your business, we just cannot ignore the fact that people have their mobile device within hands reach 24-7. Because of all these choices, we sometimes overlook the simplest function a mobile device has: the ability to text. With this comes some incredibly powerful throughput to your customer. To provide you with some context, market leader Mail Chimp estimates an email is only opened 20% of the time with an average click through rate of 2.65%. This means for every 100 emails sent, 3 people might read them. The social media channel has become so busy that promotion and boosting are a mandate for any campaign you run. The cost per lead is still very high and return on investment remains elusive. By comparison, Mobile Marketing says text has an off the charts 98% open rate which often is done in under 90 seconds*. Beyond the fact that you can reach your customers with such precision, text lends itself to a conversation versus a call to action that may never reaches its intended audience. With this in mind, how many businesses are pursuing b2c marketing strategies that include text? Some very simple applications for text are VOC channels, prospect follow-up, appointment confirmations, status updates, call center outreach, inbound phone calls, this list goes on and on. The win in all of these is that...
What does Poor Customer Service REALLY do?

What does Poor Customer Service REALLY do?

We are all aware that poor customer service affects your business negatively. But what makes customer service “poor” and what are some of the negative effects of bad customer service? Poor customer service often consists of automated self-service, long wait times, inadequate attention to detail, and inexperienced customer service agents (Salesforce). Customer service might also be bad because of a rude customer service agent. Perhaps you have to speak with four people before you get the answer you need. These are some of the major bad practices with customer service, but there are certainly others. Here are a few statistics for you that might encourage your business to kick up the customer service a few notches. The Stats: 66% of customers switch businesses due to poor service (Accenture). 40% of customers start purchasing from a competitor because they great for customer service reputation (Zendesk). 25% of customers switch businesses because they are tired of being put on hold (New Voice). 32% of customers change businesses because they are fed up with speaking to multiple agents (New Voice). 53% are irritated if they don’t speak to a real person immediately (New Voice). 56% of customers have to re-explain an issue when speaking to customer service. 72% blame their bad customer service experience on having to explain their problem to multiple people (Zendesk). 58% are willing to spend more on companies that provide excellent customer service (American Express). It is 6-7 times more costly to obtain a new customer than it is to keep an existing one (White House Office of Consumer Affairs). After reading some of these stats, it’s easy to see...
3 Ways to Harness Customer Responsiveness through Technology

3 Ways to Harness Customer Responsiveness through Technology

This past weekend, I was in Vegas for the NADA Convention. I ate some pretty delicious food – a carb-overload to say the least. There was one restaurant I particularly enjoyed, not because the food was so great (side note: it was), but because the customer service was fantastic. Several times, before our table even realized we wanted more chips or water refills, a waiter was right there refilling our glasses or chips. This is one of the keys to great customer service: Meeting a need, sometimes before the customer even realizes it. Great customer service translates into higher customer responsiveness for your business. These days, the right technology is crucial when it comes to customer responsiveness. The use of technology can either make or break your dealership. Effective technology makes all the difference when communicating with your customers. So how can you harness the technology within your dealership to improve your customer service?   1) Make all channels of communication readily available to the customer. As a customer, can I reach your dealership in a way that’s convenient for me? Do I have to hunt for an email address on your website? When I call, does it take several minutes to speak with the right employee? Is there a way that I can communicate with your dealership if I have a quick question? Does your dealership have a successful texting platform? “A 2012 study found that text was the highest rated contact method for customer satisfaction out of all other customer communication channels. Text earned 90 out of 100 points, while phone earned 77 out of 100 and...
5 Ingredients when creating Hug-worthy Software

5 Ingredients when creating Hug-worthy Software

I followed my wife to a local Audi store last week so she could drop her car off for service. I walked in to see the new facility and to say hi to the salesperson I bought the vehicle from a few years ago. While standing at the receptionist’s desk, I couldn’t help but ask her what software the sales team was using for their CRM. I mentioned some of the more popular ones and she looked at me with a blank stare saying… “I really don’t know the name of it.” Just then, a sales associate who was standing 10’ feet away spoke up and told me the name of the software and said “it should really be called “Dealer-Stink.” He then asked, “How do you know so much about CRM software?” I simply said, “I founded a company 28 years ago called Autobase that was a pioneer in CRM for Automotive.” Without saying a word, the salesperson walked over to me and gave me a HUGE BEAR HUG saying – “man I miss that… we used it at my last dealership and it was the best thing ever… it was so easy to use!” Just as the HUG commenced, my wife walked into the showroom. Awkwardly, I quickly introduced my wife to the administrator and my new acquaintance. As we were walking out, my wife said, “It looked like you just saw an old friend” and I said, “no, he just really liked our software.” So what is hug-worthy software and how do you create it?   Below is a quick list of 5 key ingredients: 1....
Captivated – Your Silent Phone Line

Captivated – Your Silent Phone Line

Countless times, the person working the telephone in the front of the office has been faced with the same dilemma. He or she is helping the customer standing in front of them and the phone is ringing off the hook. Is there a clear solution to this problem? According to officeskills.org, a company that offers resources and training in critical office skills needed to work in the 21st century office, the proper telephone etiquette is the following: “Always focus on the call. Try not to get distracted by people around you. If someone tries to interrupt you while you are on a call, politely remind them that you are on a customer call and that you will be with them as soon as you are finished.” Is it really that simple? Should you really drop everything with the customer in front of you to answer the phone? This is really a lose-lose situation all around. If you answer the phone, you are essentially putting the in-store customer on hold, which is rude. If you let the phone ring, you are sending another customer to voicemail. Either way, someone is left unattended. According to 2014 Temkin Customer Service Ratings, Amazon, Chick-fil-A and Starbucks each made the top 10 list of overall best customer service. In my experience with these companies, I believe they offer great customer service because they make their customers feel valued. I have never had an interaction with any of them where I do not feel like a priority. If you want your company to shine when it comes to customer service, you should strive to treat...
A Surefire Way Insurance Agents can Improve Engagement & Organization

A Surefire Way Insurance Agents can Improve Engagement & Organization

Trying to get in touch with a client? Perhaps it’s not a good time for them to answer the phone. Maybe they don’t recognize your number…so you leave them a voicemail. Maybe they’ll get around to listening to it in the next few days…but they might not be checking their voicemail at all. You get where I’m going with this. Sometimes getting in touch with customers is a pain. According to eVoice, only 18 percent of people listen to voicemails from numbers they don’t recognize. In contrast, SMS text messages have a 98 percent open rate. With texting, you can let clients know who you are and what you need without playing phone or voicemail tag. In short, texting provides better engagement. Not only does Captivated offer better engagement with clients, but also, it provides great organizational tools to help you better manage conversations with clients. Task Scheduling enables you to set and organize reminders with alerts. As soon as the time comes for the task to be complete, the task shows up as overdue. In-Line Notes allow you to keep track of those details you want to remember about a client or a conversation. The note is recorded right in the conversation and cannot be seen by your client. You can share your Virtual Business Card with clients in a text so that all of your contact information is easy to save directly into their phones. Tags enable you to organize your clients by category. Need to alert certain clients of a policy change? You can easily search and find clients with specific tags so that you know...