Business, Career Articles And Advice For Business/Career/Executive Women
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When you empower your clients they stay with you - and recommend you
The days of the 'wheretofore', 'hereunder' and 'here withal' in our written expression are well behind us and now we're dealing with the wild short cuts of SMS text messages: lol, cu, ur, etc. Neither style suits business communication, which needs relevant information presented simply and clearly.
So how do the written materials you send out to clients measure up? Are they simple, straightforward, clear, and easy to understand?
Are you respecting and empowering your clients?
Some years ago I received a form letter from my insurance company, a large, extremely well-known organisation. As I sat in my kitchen reading the letter, I was struck by how convoluted the writing was. There wasn't a single simple, conversational sentence to be found. The whole thing was jargon and self-important verbosity.
In his 1985 book, Ogilvy on Advertising, David Ogilvy famously said, "The consumer is not a moron; she is your wife."
Of course, he'd have a hard time getting away with that kind of comment today, but his point is still a valid one.
The truth is: Too many women owned businesses think of their target market as one large, pulsing mass. But your target market is actually made up of individuals just like you, your wife, your husband, your mother, your father, or your children. Your customers are people with hopes, dreams, frustrations, families to feed, bills to pay, and vacations to plan. The most successful brands recognize this and look at their target market as a "Target of One." So, how well do you know your target market ... your Target of One?
I flew business class on one of the world's largest airlines and found myself in a chair padded for pleasure
Clearly this seat was made to improve customer service quality.
This up-to-date seating boasts an impressive list of features: reclining back with adjustable lumbar support, extended leg rest, electronic "rolling massage," adjustable headrest with padded wings, two reading lights, a power point for laptop computers, a telephone, Internet connection, special built-in pouch for personal effects, large video screen with 14 movie selections, 19 audio channels, and noise-canceling headphones.
I was so impressed with the customer service quality, I decided to write some positive feedback for the airline on the spot. I asked the friendly cabin crew member for a "comment card" and a pen. She handed me a pen from her pocket that read "Narita Tokyu Hotel" and said she would look for a comment card, but wasn't sure if there were any aboard.
Effective Customer Surveys
A manufacturer complains that his efforts to measure customer satisfaction are rarely successful. His customers just don't return the satisfaction surveys he sends out. A leading resort gets back just 30% of the comment cards left for guests inside their fancy rooms. One government agency had a response rate of only 6% when they sent out an 11-page survey to measure customer satisfaction.
What's going on here? Why is the response rate so low on these efforts to measure customer satisfaction? Why don't customers complete and return customer surveys?
The problem, as I see it, is twofold:
If we do give staff more power, how can we measure if it is properly utilized?
In my regular newsletter, I pointed out how companies should empower and support frontline staff to improve customer satisfaction by doing what the supervisor ultimately does, without having to check with the supervisor each and every time.
Many readers sent in follow-up questions and suggestions to improve customer satisfaction.
Question: "If we do give staff more power, how can we measure if it is properly utilized?"
Ron's reply: You should measure utilization of empowerment only by counting returning customer visits or resulting customer compliments. If your high-value customers come back, make new purchases or praise your service, then your staff empowerment policy is effective and is working to improve customer service.