Stephen Wunker shares a post that identifies how the pandemic has presented aggressive businesses with an opportunity, and why the key to success lies in customer service.
‘Consumers don’t trust real estate agents,’ says Jimmy Mackin, whose business is selling software to…real estate agents. He continues, “There are minimal requirements to become a licensed real estate agent. The industry tends to attract the get-rich-quick crowd.”
How could someone with such a dire assessment of an industry make his living selling to it? And what are the lessons others can draw from how COVID is accelerating a long-overdue industry transformation?
Lessons from a Vendor
Mackin runs a business called Curaytor, which provides marketing services to tech-enabled real estate agencies. The COVID pandemic has been a boom time. In Mackin’s view, it all makes sense. “We’ve seen a significant increase in the use of Matterport, a tool that enables an immersive 3D home tour with an interactive walkthrough and floorplan. It was once considered a luxury in our industry and it is now becoming a requirement.”
But the need for virtual solutions is just the tip of the iceberg. To Mackin, COVID has simply turbo-charged a pre-existing trend that separates full-time professionals from part-time hobbyists in his industry, and this explains his overall optimism. “Consumers are demanding a personalized experience, and the more you can be of service, the more you can learn about your customer’s needs.” The professionals invest in software, proactive service, and personalization.
With COVID, consumers are demanding virtual tools and responsiveness to their particular concerns, and the more service-oriented agents can deliver the goods. He summarizes, “In order to earn your commission, you’ll have to be more than a glorified Uber-driver that gives someone a tour of a house. The role of the modern real estate agent is to be an expert advisor, not merely a facilitator.”
The transformation of real estate is part of The Great Reboot affecting industry after industry. Rather than seeing the pandemic as a pause between normal periods, forward-thinking businesspeople seem to be jumping on the moment as a time to do major updates of longstanding practices.
Read the full article, How COVID is Transforming a Profession Few People Love, on NewMarketsAdvisors.com.
Amanda Setili draws attention to the problems that arise when there is not a process in place to understand evolving customer needs and develop new offerings to meet those needs.
Have you ever been on a team that has spent weeks trying to solve a problem, and then one day it dawns on you that you are each trying to solve a different problem?
To illustrate, imagine a company whose leadership is frustrated by their lack of growth, so they assemble a team to come up with a solution. The Operations VP says the problem is, “We don’t hear about any new innovation until it’s already pretty much coming at us.” Sales says, “Our products are too expensive.” Marketing complains, “We’re undifferentiated in the marketplace.” And the CEO muses out loud, “The real problem is that our revenues are flat when our competitors are all growing at 7 to 10% each year.”
Those are all symptoms. None are the actual problem, which might be something along the lines of: they lack a process for understanding evolving customer needs and developing new offerings to meet those needs.
In the example I cited above, the team could have discovered this problem by going through a series of “why” questions something like this:
Key points include:
- Flat sales
- Product line-up
Read the full article, Before Your Team Tries to Solve a Problem, Make Sure You Agree on What It Is, on LinkedIn.
From David Burnie’s company blog, a post that identifies how COVID-19 has impacted contact centre benchmarking and offers three key considerations to improve the benchmarking situation.
Now more than ever, contact centre benchmarking is crucial to understanding performance, and assessing and improving the quality of service provided to customers. The COVID-19 pandemic has radically shifted the way contact centres operate, and by extension, benchmarking measurements considered meaningful pre-pandemic are now less important – or carry no importance at all.
Traditional measurements such as average handle time (AHT), service level, and occupancy still have great relevance. However, since the pandemic has forced companies and their employees to work from home and refocus their efforts on digital channels, like web, chat, and IVR, different measurements have become important indicators of contact centre success. Consequently, it important to define measurements that broaden the evaluation of service.
For example, evaluating the percentage of employees working from home and the percentage of customer interactions made by channel provides crucial information to inform the evolving operating model for delivering service. Other measurements that require more focus include expanded customer experience evaluations that go beyond net promoter score (NPS), percentage of call transfers, and chat wait time.
Key points include:
- Leveraging the data to impact positive change
- Learning from peers
- Budget, resources, and time commitment
Read the full article, How COVID-19 Has Impacted Contact Centre Benchmarking, on burniegroup.com.
Bernie Heine shares four tips on how to make your customer service stronger.
No matter what your business is all about, customers are always at the core of it and should be your top priority. If the majority of them are happy, you’re much more likely to build credibility and bring in more business. Some research has shown that almost 80% of the customers are very likely to recommend a company to a friend if they had a pleasant experience. So, you can understand how important it is to keep them satisfied. That’s exactly why we created this list of the best strategies to improve your customer service standards.
According to some professionals that we’ve talked to, many customers will value the experience much more than the actual prices and products. Therefore, it makes sense for them to spend more for better customer service. It’s as simple as that. Here’s what you can do to achieve that.
The first of our four strategies to improve your customer service standards is building a strong team to deal with your customers.
Having professionals with the right set of skills is crucial for pretty much any of the strategies to improve your customer service standards.
To be clear right from the start, no artificial intelligence (AI) can be a substitute for a human when it comes to providing exceptional customer service. However, you need to choose the people with the right skills and personalities for the job.
Key points covered in this article include:
- Communication Skills
- Using CRM Platforms
- Multi-Channel Servicing
Read the full article, 4 Strategies to Improve Your Customer Service Standards, on ProfessionalBusinessCoaches.com.
Luiz Zorzella shares an article that identifies key insights for improving a service team’s performance and results.
If your firm is organized around service teams, you may find that understanding and managing their contribution is difficult.
It is not easy because it depends on several logic leaps that sound intuitive but are opaque.
For example, you may set goals and even reward them for keeping the clients in their portfolio happy. You may achieve this through a combination of client satisfaction surveys (e.g. “how happy are you with our services?”) and management assessments (“I think clients are happy with Sam”).
However, are you sure you measure the right things? And are you sure the weight of these factors is commensurate with their real importance to your business and your clients?
Intuitively, service teams should make their clients happy (and I am not saying otherwise).
However, how does happiness compare with cross-sales?
To answer these questions, you should take a closer look at the contribution of your service teams.
There are three crucial ways service teams produce financial results to your company:
They provide services to their clients efficiently.
Clients pay for services.
The income produced by these clients for services by the end of a year minus their variable costs is the contribution of that service team to the company.
They also reduce attrition and risk.
Points covered in this article include:
- Setting goals and defining priorities
- Defining the starting point of the pool for incentives
- Understanding and managing KPIs
Read the full article, How To Have Value Indicators For Your Service Team, on Amquant.com
Sean McCoy idenfities three common denominators behind unsuccessful commercialization efforts.
After your Go-to-Market (GtM) strategy is designed and the planning is complete, it is time to move into execution. Implementation is when a strategy finally impacts the bottom line, which is why it is so vital to get the implementation right. Because Go-to-Market strategies are among the more transformational and comprehensive changes at a company, their execution is more complex, nuanced, and impactful, further increasing the stakes in implementation.
There are three major questions to answer when implementing a commercialization strategy: What is the governance? What is the rhythm? When do you scale? When companies answer these questions well, their GtM implementations are more successful. When they pass over these questions or answer them inadequately, their GtM implementations are more likely to fail.
Points covered in this article include:
- Governance & accountability
- The scaling model
- The cadence of activities
Read the full article, 3 Success Factors to Operationalize Your Go-to-Market Strategy, on the McCoy Consulting Group website.