Good Customer Service Archives | Outsell
Seth Godin, called “America’s Greatest Marketer” by American Way Magazine, wrote on his blog last year about loyalty, not specific to any one type of industry but brand loyalty in general. He stressed in his article that loyalty isn’t about customers choosing a brand because it was the cheapest at the time, but choosing one they might have to spend more on as long as they have reason to feel loyal, often from something as simple as good customer service. Customer loyalty programs are one way to accomplish this. Discussion on DrivingSales about what customers perceive as the most valuable reward have been centering around value proposition in sales or service through the earning of points. While the punch-card idea is slowly falling away in retail, many customer loyalty programs are still about earning points, and customers often enjoy the routine of, for example, knowing that an oil change here or tire rotation there will earn them points toward their next vehicle purchase. Some customer loyalty programs that work, as reported by The Street in their 5 Best, 5 Worst Customer-Loyalty Programs, include National’s Emerald Club. National, who provides vehicle rental, allows their customers to pick any vehicle on the lot, and being a part of their reward program is free, offering 1 credit per rental. After 7 rentals they get a day free. Simple and valuable for the common rental customer. Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge, a site for innovation in business practice, observed how customer rewards are changing, going from cards to digital with mobile apps and email offers. They worry, however, that few companies understand how to best use such programs to their benefit.
“The loss of face-to-face interactions between merchant and shopper has left a lot of customers wandering the desert. Well-run loyalty schemes are a way to bring them back into the fold.” READ MORE
In the case note Customer Loyalty Schemes in the Retail Sector, Jose B. Alvarez and Aldo Sesia found that successful retailers connect with their customer loyalty program participants at three levels: the intro with a reward for enrolling, direct contact to offer further rewards that are tailored to the customer, and finally engagement with two-way communication between customer and brand.
"When you combine this with a keen understanding of trends in the marketplace you can pleasantly surprise customers with goods and services that they may not have known existed. A great retailer is the agent for the customer. Loyalty programs and the insight and communication capabilities they provide can help retailers achieve greatness in a crowded and commoditized space." READ MORE
Dealers can benefit the same way.
Auto Remarketing recently posted an article on a study by CarGurus and what consumers are looking for in an appealing automotive dealership. The study found that “poor communication and deceptive business practices were the dominant themes in the negative reviews,” and this should come as no surprise. While the top themes for customer complaints mentioned lack of communication and wasting time, it really all comes down to bad customer service. Well into the Summer months now, dealerships across the country are excited by the buzz and sales warm weather brings, but the time of year and potential for the Summer rush is not enough to sell cars. Good customer service is what keeps a potential customer interested enough to buy, and loyal enough to come back. CarGurus also found that what consumers want in a dealership and enjoy most about the dealerships they love isn’t just fast forthright responses and friendly faces, but also a clean and organized dealership inside and out, and of course, fair prices. For many consumers, however, the buying process begins online before they even step foot in the dealership. Dealer websites are no longer static sources of advertising with listed inventory, as explained by a Dealer Marketing Magazine article, “Is Your Website Ready for the Summer Selling Season?” Now dealer websites are about interaction. They need to be a resource for consumer research during their buying process, and have live chat to accommodate buyers looking for immediate answers or looking to complete the sales process entirely online. Also, don’t forget about reputation management and dealer reviews, found extensively across the web. To combat the negative effects of possible poor reviews online, encourage loyal customers to give reviews after a positive buying experience, so that future customers can read for themselves why your dealership fulfills what they are looking for. Langley Steinert, founder and chief executive officer of CarGurus said:
“In this age of online information transparency, reputation matters more than ever. The dealers that have embraced this new online paradigm are winning customers.”
February 21, 2011

Bilingual Demand

As Seen in the Chat Room

 

The demand for good customer service is higher than ever, especially when many consumers feel they are not receiving the customer service they deserve. Having at least someone who can speak and read Spanish, and other languages in some cases, or having some sort of program to translate customer interactions is also becoming an expected feature for all companies.

In the Outsell Live Chat Center we now have more English and Spanish speaking agents than English speakers alone to meet the demand for 24/7 bilingual assistance for all of our participating dealerships.

We decided to include the bilingual option and hire Spanish speaking agents after seeing the demand coming into chat. Several times a day a customer would come in either immediately speaking Spanish or asking if the agent could conduct the chat in Spanish, which could cost the dealership a potentially viable lead.

“Demand is being driven by an increasingly global economy as well as a large share of non-English speakers in the United States.”

READ MORE

This is not a new development. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, starting from 2008 and continuing until 2018, employment of translators and interpreters in the US is expected to increase by 22%.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the disconnect between demand for foreign language speakers and plans to learn a foreign language. People entering higher education and the job market are not taking advantage of opportunities to learn Spanish or Chinese despite the increasing demand for those and other language speakers.

Employees with those language skills are going to become much more valuable in the coming years due to lack of availability, while the demand on companies to provide at least bilingual assistance to customers will only keep increasing as well.

How are you being smart about bilingual demand?

 

Photo By: David Vignoni