How to Make your Customer Service your Biggest Marketing Advantage

How to Make your Customer Service your Biggest Marketing Advantage

Now that so much interaction and business is being done online, it may seem that customer service has become a relic of a bygone era.

Many businesses once defined their success as a company by the excellent customer service that they offered. Companies like Nordstrom and Chick-fil-A come to mind.

Customer service has changed and it seems that many businesses have not adapted to offering a new more modern forum of excellent customer service, especially in the medical and health care fields.

All of this creates an opportunity for medical practices that do provide excellent customer service to not only be proud of what they're doing but also to use it as an excellent marketing tool to grow their practices.

Here are five steps to make customer service your biggest marketing advantage.

Step no. 1

Define customer service.

The first thing that you need to do is define what excellent customer service is in your practice. If your team doesn't know what's expected of them to create excellent customer service, then they can't be expected to do it and do it consistently.

Create a document that captures the spirit of what excellent customer service is at your practice, as well as specific steps to create an excellent customer service experience. Be specific and give examples of excellent customer service to help employees start to see opportunities.

You can even ask employees to think of a time when they received excellent care or service. Have them describe what happened, and ask how they think service like that could be implemented in your practice.

The first thing that you need to do is define what excellent customer service is in your practice. If your team doesn't know what's expected of them to create excellent customer service, then they can't be expected to do it and do it consistently.

Create a document that captures the spirit of what excellent customer service is at your practice, as well as specific steps to create an excellent customer service experience. Be specific and give examples of excellent customer service to help employees start to see opportunities.

You can even ask employees to think of a time when they received excellent care or service. Have them describe what happened, and ask how they think service like that could be implemented in your practice.

Step no. 2

Measure it.

If you're going to say that you provide the best service in your city, you had better be able to back that up. The way to back that up is to be able to measure the effectiveness of your customer service.

Of course, the way to do this is to find out what your customers actually think about your service. One of our favorite ways to do this is using what's called a Net Promoter Score. 

measure

The Net Promoter Score is a simple, consistent, very brief survey tool that gives you back statistically significant data to help you determine how you're doing with your customer service.

online reputation

You can also utilize our Reputation Marketing System. We've designed an easy-to-use system that makes it simple to generate a flood of 5-star reviews for your practice. We also syndicate those review across the internet so that everywhere a potential patient looks, they'll see real-life glowing reviews about your staff and services.

Whether it's Net Promoter Score or our Online Reputation Marketing System, make sure you have a way to consistently measure the feedback from your customers

Step no. 3

Number three is to report it.

Once you have that data, you need to use that data to help your team understand how they're doing and make adjustments so that they can improve any shortcomings that they have in their customer service.

It's our experience that by reporting this data to your team, your team gets very motivated to improve that data and define ways to improve that data, which creates a culture of improvement and accountability in your practice, which is what great customer service is all about.

report

Step no. 4

Compensate for it.

Compensation

Behavior follows compensation in business. If you want to make sure that something happens, pay for it. By tying compensation to excellent customer service, you can ensure that you'll have the attention and focus of your team.

This doesn't have to be a major change in compensation plans, it can be as simple as finding ways to offer fun bonuses like a gift card, based on customer service experiences and feedback from patients.

That alone can be enough to create a cultural shift to focus on customer service within your practice.

Step no. 5

The final step, and this is where the marketing comes into play, is to brag about it.

Once you have excellent data around your customer service that's worth bragging about, don't let it go to waste.

Excellent customer testimonials and feedback and specifically showing data that you're performing at top of industry levels is an incredibly effective marketing tool. Take that data and use it to create marketing campaigns.

You can also use it to create campaigns where you're bragging about your employees and the job that they're doing for your patients.

By humanizing the story around your customer service, you not only motivate your employees, who will appreciate the attention but also add more character to your company to show that you're human.

Most of all, it shows that you really care about the personal experience that your practice can offer to new and current patients.

That's five ways to make customer service your biggest marketing advantage. Look for opportunities to implement all five of these steps in your practice and turn customer service into your most effective growth marketing tool.

Pros and Cons of Offering Customer Support via Social Media

Pros and Cons of Offering Customer Support via Social Media

Today, customers expect service from multiple locations in multiple ways. Providing customer service via social media really is no longer a choice. If you have social media accounts for your business, you have no choice but to also answer questions, deal with issues, and do “customer service” communication on the platforms where you exist. Otherwise your customers will get frustrated with you for not answering their questions.

There are both advantages and disadvantages with offering customer support via social media, of course, and these are detailed below.

1. Pros

There are a number of positives about performing customer service on your social media accounts that you should know about. These pros really do overcome the negatives.

Your Business Will Grow

Today consumers want to talk to you on social media because that’s where they are. They use social media more than the telephone to deal with everything. When you are good at answering and responding on social media, it will make your business grow. As consumers see – in a very public way – how you deal with issues, they’ll be that much more likely to want to purchase from you.

Your Brand Will Expand

One of the reasons you even start a social media channel is to get brand recognition. The better you are at updating and sharing with your audience, the more you can expand your brand. Dealing with customer service on social media causes content to be produced that offers even more information for the consumer before they choose to be part of your client roster.

Social Media Is Inexpensive

This is the very best thing about using social media. In most cases it’s basically free to start, other than perhaps some social media monitoring tools that you might want to use like Buffer or Hootsuite. In any case, the cost is very low compared to traditional customer service means such as a call center.

2. Cons

Of course, nothing is perfect. There are pros and cons for everything you do for your business. Thankfully all of these cons can be controlled by having a process and a system for ensuring that you are able to answer questions in a way that doesn’t look bad for your brand.

Your Actions Live Forever

Online, as you know, your actions really do last forever. Even if you delete something, there are ways to find it. People also take screen shots and use them against people. So, create a system, have standardized responses, and rules of the road for any person dealing with the public.

You May Miss Some Issues

Social media is not very linear. It can be very hard to be sure every last question was answered and every situation was dealt with. Again, if you create systems and standards, you will be a lot better off and be less likely to miss as many issues.

Too Many Channels May Cause Confusion

When you have many social media accounts, someone may ask the same question in multiple places – which can make you feel as if you’re always answering the same questions. You’ll have to work out a process to deal with this and keep track. But, it is something you can control as long as the process is in place.

As you see, with these pros and cons, you can clearly count on the fact that you will need to do some customer service on social media if you have social media accounts. Therefore, you need to set up some sort of process and system to make it work for your business.

Why You Must Use Responsive Design

Why You Must Use Responsive Design

Responsive Website Design

ipad-tablet-technology-touch-largeSmall business owners want to have a website that gets results for them, attracts prospects, brings in leads and converts visitors. But, like most things with technology, there are always changes taking place. It’s important to keep abreast of these issues even if you’re not a web designer. One such issue is the need for a responsive website design. Here’s why that’s so important.

  • Usability – A responsively designed website will be easier to use for the visitors than one that isn’t. A responsive design is clean, has useable menu options, and uses all the technology available for one-click calls, one-click emails, and more. A website optimized for mobile will work better than others.
  • Mobile Web Growth – Mobile internet has grown by over 400 percent in the last two years and is going to continue to grow. However, it’s not going to replace other types of devices. In fact, people are becoming multi-device users. They use their phone, their tablets, and their PC interchangeably.
  • SEO – Having a responsive website is one of the best things you can do for your search engine optimization. The reason is that most search engines give a higher return of responsive sites as results in searches. Plus, responsive websites are easier to use and simply work better.
  • Avoid Flash – It’s important to be careful about using Flash on your desktop version of your website, but you should never use it if you want your website to be responsible. When you embed videos in your website, this can be an issue. Be sure to use a plugin that enables you to deliver the video to both mobile users and desktop users.
  • Stop Using Pop-Ups – It’s true that they do work great to convert on your desktop. But, you need to ensure that you set them up not to try to deliver to a mobile device, because they simply don’t work on mobile devices.
  • Consider the Fingers – Remember that people using mobile devices are typically using their finger to click their choices. Design buttons and drop downs with that in mind, giving plenty of finger room and differentiation between choices.
  • Create Optimized Page Titles – Even on mobile, each page needs a good page title. You want to avoid titles that are drawn out and confusing. Use keywords in the titles, and keep them short when possible.
  • Optimize Meta Descriptions – Meta descriptions for mobile need to be short; in fact keep it to 120 characters or less. This will ensure that Google and other search engines are getting the most information in the best way.

If you want more visitors and repeat visitors, it’s important to keep these things in your radar. Even if you’re not a web designer, you’ll need to stay informed. You can hire a good web designer or simply use the right self-hosted WordPress themes.

12 Simple Tips For Protecting Your Brand Online

12 Simple Tips For Protecting Your Brand Online

If you’re a new company and you want to thrive in your industry, the first thing you need to get ahold of is your brand identity. Branding is one of the basic aspects of online marketing, but it’s also one of the most important, if not the most. What do you want your customers to think of when they hear or read your brand online? Most companies and entrepreneurs tend to lose focus on this matter, especially if they are eager to “get by” and make a name for themselves straightaway. (more…)