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Why Great Online Reviews Start with Great Training

42207697 - computer, frustration, problems.There are really only two ways to improve the quality of reviews that your company gets online. The first is to wait until negative reviews appear and to then try to do something to get them to go away. The second way, obviously more effective, is to get everyone in your company to provide the kind of exceptional service that motivates customers to write great reviews about you online.

If the second strategy seems smarter to you – and of course it should – here are some steps to follow.

Step One: Analyze Any Negative Reviews that Customer Have Posted Online

Try not to be defensive as you do this, or to pinpoint areas where customers’ comments are inaccurate or wrong. Instead, assess what you could be doing to prevent similar comments in the future.

If customers complain, for example, that the people who deliver appliances from your store are unable to explain product features, it is time to teach not just salespeople, but delivery personnel too, to understand everything about the products you sell. Or if customers have commented online that your retail salespeople exert too much pressure to make sales, it could be time to review your policies about upselling, selling extended warrantees and other aspects of making the sale.

Step Two: Have Your Employees Help Uncover Areas of Concern

Get together with employees who interact with customers, such as your salespeople, service people, delivery personnel, and call center representatives. Ask them open-ended questions like these:

  • What have you done in the past that delighted customers? How could you tell?
  • Do we have any policies or procedures that please customers? Do we have any that do the opposite? What can we learn from those realities?
  • What is the question you hear most often from customers?
  • What is the question that you hear most often that you are unable to answer without calling in your manager?

Step Three: Address the Issues You Discovered in Steps One and Two

There could be many solutions to the specific issues you are confronting. However, the following “blanket” approaches are often effective in resolving a wide array of customer service issues:

  • Allow your employees greater autonomy to solve customers’ problems without asking a manager to intervene.
  • Reward employees for using common sense when addressing customers’ needs and desires. And make it a policy not to override any of their decisions after the fact, even if you feel they should decide differently when confronting similar situations in the future.
  • Create policies and procedures that focus on your customers’ needs, not on your company’s. You might net an extra $10,000 a year by charging a “restocking fee” on open-box items that customers return to your store. But if you do, will you lose $50,000 in repeat business and referrals? You might need to conduct some focus groups and other research to find out. But being a little forgiving about small losses can sometimes result in dramatically bigger profits.

Step Four: Train Employees to Understand and Use the Policies You Have Created

Don’t just send out an email about new procedures or policies . . . train them to your new hires, current employees, and everyone else who interacts with your customers. Here are some effective strategies to create training that “sticks” and improves customer satisfaction:

  • Use games and play-acting to teach trainees by letting them take part in simulated customer interactions.
  • Incorporate videos into your training that show dramatizations of common customer interactions that employee need to resolve on the job.
  • Invite your current employees to help train your new hires.They often offer memorable insights that are based on their real-world knowledge of interacting with customers.
  • After training is completed, follow up at regular intervals to be sure that your employees are actually using your new procedures, and that they are working effectively.

Why Not Talk with a Tortal Training Expert Consultant Today?

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