How does your organisational culture relate to a positive customer experience?
This short post on how to project the culture of your organisation in a positive way follows on from this article on 'How to achieve effective customer retention'.
Organisational culture is key in ensuring a positive customer experience. If a customer find the personality pleasing and helpful, they are more likely to return. If the company culture seems aloof, uncaring, or even hostile, the customer will be unlikely to return.
This company personality is often subliminally projected in a number of different ways. It is communicated by attitude, by verbal and non-verbal communication with employees, our customer response times, our employee behaviour etc.
The following identifies a number of things you might consider doing to project the right company personality;
1. Be aware of the impact of body positioning and touch. Don’t invade personal space by standing or sitting too close to customers as this may make them feel uncomfortable.
2. Greet customers by name if possible. Even if your employees are working with another customer, make eye contact and speak to your customer as if they are the most important person to you at that moment.
3. Don't allow a telephone interruption to distract you from your customer dialogue. Ask the caller to hold or offer to call him back rather than ignore the customer you are waiting on.
4. Be polite and respectful at all times – even when provoked. Say "please" and "thank you." Make "thank you" the last words the customer hears from you, even if they don't buy. Thank them for visiting or considering your company.
5. Use lively voice tones on the phone. Employ people who can project a positive personality over the telephone. Use variation in pitch, rate and loudness to convey feeling.
6. Avoid slang, colloquialisms, jargon or specialized terms your customer may not understand. When people hear an unfamiliar term, they have two choices; to either ask for clarification or to fake understanding. Most people opt for the second one.
7. Check your customer's understanding periodically and look for nonverbal cues that you may not be communicating very clearly. If your customer looks confused, ask for confirmation that they understand what is being said or rephrase your information in another way.
8. Respect a customer’s time and try to be prompt and efficient in dealing with your customers. Being respectful of time can often convey a very positive personality quality.
9. Use the personal touch and call a customer by his name. Few things sound better to a customer than to have someone respectfully call him or her by name. When in doubt about whether to use a person's first name or remain more formal, using the surname, opt for formality as they can always invite you to use their first name later in the relationship.
10. There is no such thing as an unpopular listener. Almost everyone becomes more interesting when they stop talking. Listen more so than talking. Maintain eye contact and discipline yourself to listen to what is being said and block out those thoughts that cause you to become distracted.
11. Don't jump into making judgments before your customer has finished talking.
12. Judge the content of what people are saying and not the way they are saying it.
13. Repeatedly seek clarification from your customers so that you fully understand their needs. Try to so this in a non-threatening way using sincere, open-ended questions.
Is your organisational culture linked to customer satisfaction? How do you ensure your organisation is projected in a positive way to your customers?
Leave your comments and feedback below or send us an email to [email protected] with any suggestions or questions.
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