Is your business heading down the wrong path? Are you seeing more and more negative reviews? Is your customer service at a stagnant point? If you said yes or even contemplated yes, then you need to have Brandie come speak to your organization. Brandie has a fun yet serious way of revamping your customer service at your company. Customer service can be life or death for your company. Now is the time to make the change. Let’s give your customers the service that they deserve.
My time to serve
After the tragic events that happened on September 11 2001, I knew that I wanted to serve in the military. Six years later, I joined the US Navy. As part of my time in the Navy, I was part of a special Construction Battalion, better known as the Seabees. We were usually the first unit on the ground and played a crucial role in paving the way and building the infrastructure for the marines. In my role at the time, if we weren’t polite, courteous and understanding of civilians then it truly could unfold into a life or death situation. It was these experiences that made me realise that in the business world there wasn’t enough people taking customer service seriously. Too many businesses didn’t care.
After serving in the Navy for a number of years, I decided to embrace my passion for service and clear communication by taking on a new challenge in the form of helping businesses put the service back into customer service. In my journey since that day, I’ve worked with countless organisations, from big businesses to family run entities, all the way through to entrepreneurs and startups, helping them champion great customer service in order to set them apart from their competitors.
I speak on the importance of customer service and conflict resolution at events and functions across the country and spend a great deal of time on the ground, getting under the skin of businesses and helping to facilitate conversations around what makes great customer service and consequently working in synergy with business owners and leaders to install great roadmaps for customer service at their businesses.
I advocate great customer service and speaking to people with care and consideration, and I truly believe that if more businesses did this, they’d see greater success. In a landscape where technology and connectivity are lowering the barriers of entry into business, customer service stands strong as being one of the most important factors in growth and trajectory of success of any business. Whether companies have been around a hundred years or a hundred days, having the ability to satisfy customers is timeless. You could have the best product in the world but without compassionate people and great service, you could never see your pride and joy grow.
The trifecta of great customer service
Have Compassion – it goes a very long way
I believe that compassion is at the heart of every great customer service model and it’s a skill which is highly sought after in today’s competitive market. If business owners can operate in a kind and caring way, then they will reap the rewards of success. Whether it’s a business leader, a customer, or the employee, if as professionals we can show compassion, the odds are stacked in our favour of being successful in our career, this is essentially what customer service is – caring.
Everyday in our lives we have thousands of interactions with people, from customers and clients through to leaders, managers, financiers and more. I help people to understand that those interactions, are actually opportunities in disguise. To be successful in this day and age, we need to see that every single interaction is an opportunity to leave a lasting image. It’s the same with building brands and successful businesses too which is why I help businesses plan roadmaps that instill this into team members across their organisation. If businesses can humanize interactions, they will not only improve their brand reputation and image but also achieve success through altruistic means.
Whether it’s a disgruntled customer, client or even the happiest customer, every interaction counts and to put yourself in their shoes to truly understand their point of view is a skill which can be taught. Compassion is an investment and can go a very long way.
Strong Foundations – is your business built on moondust or concrete?
As a member of the US Navy Construction Battalion, my team and I would often be tasked with building infrastructure in all sorts of climates and environments. In the treacherous deserts of Afghanistan, my team and I were tasked with building a camp on a desert grain of sand which was quickly named moondust. The problem with using moondust as a foundation is that it was impossible to build on and everything would sink, or the sand would literally blow away. We needed the camp to be robust, sturdy and safe for our troops to have a home away from home. Moondust wasn’t the answer.
We realised that the only way to build a solid construction was to use a layer of concrete to toughen the foundations and this helped us successfully create a safezone and camp for our Sailors, Soldiers, Marines, and Airmen. In the business world, it’s very similar, without solid foundations you can’t grow. Businesses should be asking themselves the question of, is our business built on moondust or concrete?
I help businesses to understand that if employees can peel the onion and grasp the real ‘why’ that is at the core of the business, then they can help perform to a higher potential and also feel more fulfilled in their roles – this is a proven method of success and one that I advocate greatly.
If businesses values aren’t aligned, if owners and executive officers aren’t on the same page as the rest of the company, how can they, and why should they expect great results. Customer service is the frontline of your business and having solid, clear foundations coupled with values that everyone is aligned with and bought into will unlock potential in businesses that will generate results.
Customer Service – it’s life or death
In the talks and training plans that I work on with businesses and individuals, I help drive the mantra that customer service really can be life or death. It may sound extreme but in a world where we’re always connected, more and more people are turning to reviews to help guide their decisions when purchasing and with the wealth of companies available, one review could be the difference between acquiring a new customer and not. When this is scaled, it really can quickly become a huge problem.
With the infinite choice of businesses and brands to spend hard their hard earned money with, people’s expectations have grown exponentially. Five star reviews are no longer out of the ordinary, they’re expected and with the ways people leave reviews becoming simpler and quicker with the likes of Google and Facebook, customer service and conflict resolution is becoming even more important in the success or failure of a businesses.
If people have a number of options, they’re no longer looking at the five star reviews, they’re looking at the four star and three star reviews to find a reason to do business with someone else and the way to combat this is by providing a first class level of customer service for every single one of your customers or clients. Providing an exquisite level of service will not only help you delight your customers but also increase the chances of them to become a brand advocate. Surprising and delighting your customers in any situation, good or bad can go a long way. The aim is to invest time into building strong relations with every customer so if or when they leave a review there’s no doubt in their mind, that you’re a five star company.
So why is customer service so important?
As much as an artform as it is a science, customer service is difficult. From dealing with happy customers all the way through to disgruntled customers all in one day, I understand that it can be both stressful and demanding, but I also know that with great customer service comes great results that can make your business stand out.
Below I’ve outlined three ways you could be benefitting from providing an improved level of customer service:
It’s a known fact that customer retention is cheaper than customer acquisition. That being said, in my experience as a professional consultant and speaker on the matter of customer service, there are countless businesses that put much more of a focus on acquisition of new customers than satisfying their existing ones. It’s unfortunately a harsh reality and one that shouldn’t be the case. By helping to set customers expectations and helping them throughout their journey with your business, together we can help produce loyal customers that will come back time and time again.
For a team to be performing at a high level with a great sense of worth they need to buy into the goals and objectives of the business and a great way to do that is with a roadmap that gets to the heart of what your business is, what it stands for and just as important, what it doesn’t. If a team is aligned with the greater purpose of the company, they will without doubt feel more comfortable in their positions, know the part they play and as a consequence, help to create a great experience for customers that leave them satisfied and happy. Top to bottom, from the cleaner to the CEO, everyone plays their part in customer service so everyone should be aligned on the overarching goal of the business.
Customers that are left satisfied will not only become loyal but with an exceptional experience, they can soon become one of your greatests marketing assets. Taking the time to go over and above what’s expected in terms of delivering customer service can go a long way and that investment can be rewarded with advocates that promote your brand for you and even refer friends and family in your direction.