Month: June 2019

Customer Service, It Still Matters

Customer Service is Everything.
Customer Service is Everything.
Customer Service is Everything.

How many times have we been told this in some way, shape or form in our lifetime? Probably a lot. And yet, why is it still a problem? Why do we still have issues with being mindful of how we treat others? Why is it that we get so caught up on the negatives that are going on around us, that we forget about the customer? How do we fix it? What is the solution to be able to provide exceptional customer service everyday?

Customer service matters for the same reason business etiquette does: you don’t want to upset those whom you deal with. Just one bad experience can taint a customer’s entire relationship with an organization. For example, if an online retailer doesn’t answer your repeated emails concerning a misplaced order, you’ll likely seek out a different business to buy from in the future. This example can be compounded if an organization’s entire staff has poor customer service. Imagine a restaurant full of visibly unhappy waiters. Probably not somewhere you’d enjoy eating, right?

When thinking about customer service, it’s usually helpful to examine the perspective of the customer. The customer’s experience should be delightful in the best scenario and painless in the worst. While you can’t always guarantee a great experience—especially when the customer arrives to an interaction angry—you should always strive to leave the customer feeling satisfied in the end. This sentiment should be internalized by your organization and be visible in the culture. Customers want to deal with businesses that care about their happiness, and there are figures to prove it.

Noteworthy Stats

The level of service provided to customers influences their relationship with companies, according to a study by Salesforce. Not surprisingly, low-quality or mediocre customer service puts an organization at a severe disadvantage with customers. Below are some of the most significant findings from the research.

Customers Want More

Customers are constantly seeking new ways to be engaged by the companies that they do business with. Tailored experiences are now expected, to the point where 64 percent of customers say they want personalized offers from businesses. What’s more, 75 percent say they expect a “consistent” experience when dealing with a company.

Plenty of Options

If customers aren’t satisfied with your organization’s service quality, they’ll happily take their business elsewhere. Over half of customers say they’ll probably change brands if a business doesn’t personalize their experience. And, with a virtually infinite number of online retailers, 70 percent of customers say they can easily make their purchases online with a more favorable company. In fact, if you aren’t servicing customers online, you’re already behind—the majority of customers (77 percent) report avoiding physical stores altogether.

Employee Factor

Customers expect to speak with a knowledgeable representative whenever they have an issue. This means customers expect service at any time, day or night, according to 75 percent of customers. Moreover, 68 percent of customers expect to speak with an employee representative who understands and cares about their needs. Additionally, an immediate turnoff for customers is having more knowledge than the employee with whom they are interacting.

5 Customer Service Best Practices

HR plays a significant role in setting an organization up for having quality customer service, but there is more to it than hiring promising candidates. Below are some best practices to consider when examining your own customer service initiatives, based on an article published by Forbes.

1. Service is Top-down

A culture of customer service must come from management before anywhere else. Without management’s buy-in, an organization cannot hope to offer quality customer service. Whoever’s in charge must embody a helpful spirit and strive to achieve customer goals. Modeling this spirit will be critical for influencing the rest of the organization to act similarly.

2. Consistency Matters

Depending on your business, customers may expect to deal with the same representatives whenever they reach out about an issue. That relationship can prove invaluable to customers, especially when they feel understood by the representatives. Even if your workforce turns over too frequently for this scenario, customers still expect everyone they work with to be well-educated in customer service. Customers should have a consistent experience between the representatives they work with. While it is unrealistic to believe all employees have the same technical skills, they should all display the same level of service when dealing with customers.

3. Never Too Big or Small

Customers want to feel uniquely appreciated by the businesses they patronize. And when customers have issues, they expect those businesses to fix them quickly. With this in mind, it’s crucial to treat every customer as if they are the most important person of the day. A customer’s issue matters to them, so it should matter to the customer service representative too—no matter how complicated or trivial it may be.

4. Training is Key

It’s important that all customer service representatives are well-trained. There is no reason a customer should have to speak with another representative to resolve a single issue. This means employees should complete mandatory training and be tested on those skills. Consider having a range of courses that cover a breadth of customer service topics. Alongside the curriculum, consider placing employees in tiers based on the courses they complete, with those completing the most courses going in the highest tier.

5. If You See Something, Say Something

A common pitfall for new employees is learning a new skill improperly and never being taught out of the habit. For instance, absentmindedly forgetting to include specific case details when working with a customer. Managers should be trained to recognize common errors and swiftly correct employees when they make a mistake. Nipping the incorrect behavior in the bud early will save your organization from fixing the problems later.

Okay great, thanks for the advice!

Hold up! You are probably thinking that those stats and best practices are great, but they are not going to fix a person or their personality. Correct, it won’t. You can’t change who people are, but you can create some ways to make a change or help with coming up with a solution to be able to provide excellent customer service.

For any business folks reading this, our Employee Benefits Department has more helpful ways to work through customer service issues within your organization, click here to contact them today!

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Whose Fault Is It?

No-Fault Insurance

It wasn’t my fault. They did it. They must have been distracted. I have a perfect driving record. I would never be a reckless driver…

Crash. Bang. Boom…

You looked down for a split second. You thought you could make the light. You thought they were letting you into their lane. You didn’t see that they were stopped or that the light was red.

The next thing you know you are involved in an accident. And what’s worse? You’re in a no-fault insurance state. You’re panicking, you think that you are doomed, and wondering who is going to pay for the damages?

First of all, you are not doomed. A no-fault insurance accident is better than a no-insurance-at-all accident. Now, if you live in a no-fault insurance state, it is your responsibility to make sure you have more than basic no-fault insurance because if you have an auto accident, no-fault insurance pays for your medical expenses, wage loss, benefits, replacement services, and the damage you do to other people’s property. It does not matter who caused the accident. Your basic no-fault insurance does NOT pay for repairs to your car.

Second of all, things happen. Life happens. But worrying about who is going to pay for what in the event of an accident shouldn’t be one of them.

Hmmm okay, that was great information and all but what was the need for this? Education, mainly. There has been a recent change in the Michigan No-Fault Insurance Laws, to learn more check out this Michigan Auto Law article.

Our Personal Lines Department is here to answer any questions or concerns you may have with your current insurance policy. Click here to contact them, today!

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In The Workplace: Inhale Positivity, Exhale Negativity.

Health & Wellness in the Workplace

Who let Negative Nancy into the office? How much is she getting paid to be here? What exactly is her job anyway? Well, if she thinks she’s going to get any help from me, she’s wrong!

Interesting way to start off a blog post, huh? But how often does this happen within your workplace? How often does negativity spread like wild fire throughout the departments? And why? Why do we let this happen? Let’s be real, there are going to be bad, stressful days, (no doubt) but that doesn’t mean that they have to fuel Negative Nancy’s fire!

At some point in our lives we have all been told “you need to be more positive” and how annoying are those people that tell you that in the moment of your fit throwing? You are annoyed, frustrated and in your mind, forget positivity!

Two quotes that come to mind “Don’t forget that you’re human. It’s okay to have a meltdown. Just don’t unpack and live there. Cry it out and then refocus on where you are headed” and “Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.” (whoever quoted these, thanks!)

In all seriousness, think about it. What does negativity achieve? Especially in the workplace. From the President/CEO of a company all the way down to the person that keeps the office clean, everyone is working towards one common goal: The success of the company as a whole, let’s say that again, THE SUCCESS OF THE COMPANY AS A WHOLE!

Okay, okay is there a point to this blog? Why, yes there is! Health & Wellness in The Workplace is the point and staying positive is part of your mental health! So, without further ado, here are some tips that can help send Negative Nancy packing :o)

Communication: There could be a great explanation of the importance of communication, but it’s probably not worth it, and we don’t have the time to listen. (Oh look, there’s Negative Nancy, she creeps up quick!) Internal communication is a huge issue among so many companies and the only real way to fix the issue is to TALK TO EACH OTHER! Since when did we become so afraid to talk to each other? Maybe we feel that some people are easier to approach than others. Makes sense, but that doesn’t mean its okay to ignore issues or cut lines of communication off with that person, especially if they are part of your department or TEAM! If you were ever on a sports team growing up, what is the one thing the coaches screamed the most? COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR TEAMMATES. The old saying still states “there is no “I” in team.”

Weekly Team Huddles: No matter how big or small your department is, team building activities, and huddles are always beneficial! We may think that we have worked in the same department, with the same people, (for soooo long) that this is not important. People, this is important! Bring down those cubical walls! No question, some people are more private than others, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t build a strong team. And what happens when someone new enters that department? Do you know how scared they are for (at least) the first 30 days of their job? You might as well walk into a haunted house when you are a new person at a company. You have no idea if you will be accepted by the zombies or eaten alive!

Take a Timeout: That’s right, we are toddlers once again! If you feel like Negative Nancy is trying to take over your work space then walk away for a few minutes!! That’s it. It is that easy. Go for a walk around the office, go find someone that can help you through whatever negativity you are dealing with, chances are you are not alone and someone else has had a visit from her as well. It is okay to admit that you are frustrated, it is okay to go talk to someone about it, it is never okay to spread your frustration throughout the department.

Negative Nancy is someone that will breakdown the morale of your company like nobody’s business! Build your culture around being and staying positive! The next step is to take the time to make positivity important to you!

P.S. Sorry to anyone named Nancy reading this, it’s nothing personal, we promise!

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Cyber Security: Change Coming For Microsoft Windows 7 Users

Na, Na, Na, Na…Hey, Hey, Hey, Goodbye…

Maybe you already know about the change that is coming or maybe you don’t, but either way it is nearing the end of the first half of 2019 and Windows 7 End of Life date is set for January, 14th 2020.

According to Windows Support

All good things must come to an end, even Windows 7. After January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support for PCs running Windows 7.
But you can keep the good times rolling by moving to Windows 10.

Say what?! Hold the phone! Andddd here come the common questions:

What does this mean for my business that runs on Windows 7 currently? Is my company at risk? What is the risk?

Deep breath! Keep calm, we got your answers.

Change is hard, we get it! But your business, in the end, will have to upgrade to Windows 10 in order to stay up-to-date with security. Which could also mean upgrading your hardware all together because your current desktops, laptops or tablets may not support the Windows 10 software. Nonetheless without Windows Support preforming security updates to the Window 7 users means your company’s closest asset is at risk: Data. It also means a potential increase in cyber attacks.

When cyber attacks like data breaches and hacks occur, they can result in devastating damage. Businesses have to deal with business disruptions, lost revenue and litigation’s. It is important to remember that no organization is immune to the impact of cyber crime. As a result cyber liability insurance has become an essential component to any risk management program.

Cyber exposures aren’t going away and, in fact continue to escalate. You and your business need to be prepared in the event that a cyber attack strikes. Whatever you do, don’t SCRABBLE to find the all answers, let us help answer your cyber liability insurance questions today! Click here to contact us!

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