I recently read with great interest an article published in the Harvard Business Review called “Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers”. The article addresses a recent research study of 75000 people conducted by the Customer Contact Council a division of the Corporate Executive Board which showed that a major contributor to client disloyalty across a range of industries was poor service. Whereas client loyalty was more based on brand and product.
So, a key factor in not losing clients is to improve the management of the service process. How can than this be done?
The article suggests that your service center reps need to address the emotional side of customer interactions.
The research shows Twenty-four percent of the repeat calls in our study stemmed from emotional disconnects between customers and reps?situations in which, for instance, the customer didnt trust the reps information or didnt like the answer given and had the impression that the rep was just hiding behind general company policy. With some basic instruction, reps can eliminate many interpersonal issues and thereby reduce repeat calls.
One UK-based mortgage company teaches its reps how to listen for clues to a customers personality type. They quickly assess whether they are talking to a controller, a thinker, a feeler, or an entertainer, and tailor their responses accordingly, offering the customer the balance of detail and speed appropriate for the personality type diagnosed. This strategy has reduced repeat calls by a remarkable 40%.
I believe this research gives executives a lot to think about. What is your strategy for understanding the emotions of your clients?