Treat your clients right and talk about it


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In this white paper, you will learn:

Why the customer shouldn't be the king, but a partner

How customer service and communication are merging

How to achieve successful customer service communication

Which communication strategy is necessary for today's needs

Published in: Sales, Business, Education
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Treat your clients right and talk about it

  1. 1. Treat Your Clients Right and Talk About It Sponsored by
  2. 2. 2Treat Your Clients Right and Talk About It | CONTENTS Greater Success Through the Right Customer Service Communication..............................................3 What Doesn‘t Shine on the Inside Can‘t Sparkle on the Outside.......5 On an Equal Footing With Tomorrow‘s Customers.............................. 8 Conclusion................................................................................... 10 About Sabine Hübner.................................................................... 11
  3. 3. 3Treat Your Clients Right and Talk About It | Treat Your Clients Right and Talk About It! Greater Success Through the Right Customer Service Communication. Customer service and communication - there‘s no stronger combination to permanently win over clients. And what’s more, customer service and communication can no longer be separated because every facet of customer service is supported by communication. And the more individualised and personalised the customer service is, the more personal the communication needs to be. We are convinced that the marketing of the future will be personalised customer service. Marketing with a scattergun approach no longer works. Clients want to talk to a company on an equal footing, and they insist that the company listens to them. Regrettably, very few companies are prepared to do that, and very few leverage the enormous potential of a genuine dialogue with the client. Instead, a lot of effort is invested in introducing great customer service ideas but then squandering that effort by not telling their customers what services they offer, for example. Or because they‘re not really interested in the real needs of their clients or through which channels they could reach out to them. Or because they communicate in a boring, complicated, arrogant, pushy or cold manner. In short: Everything that can go wrong goes wrong. This way companies miss out on valuable opportunities and practically throw away their huge investments.
  4. 4. 4Treat Your Clients Right and Talk About It | In customer service, bad communication strategies are more devastating than anywhere else. They cause massive damage to the trust placed in a company and can lead to precarious losses in turnover. “Trust comes as slowly as a pedestrian and disappears as quickly as a rider,” said the Dutch statesman Johann Thorbecke in the 19th Century. Today, trust disappears in mere seconds, as customers “share” their enthusiasm or their displeasure freely and at all times over the Internet. It‘s therefore high time that companies stop regarding their customer service and marketing strategies as separate tasks, but as a single challenge. This is not just about meshing customer service and marketing. A complete integration needs to happen. The customer of the future isn‘t interested in what marketing departments imagine he wants, neither does he wish to be soothed by outsourced service departments. He wants companies to listen to what he has to say and wishes to establish a dialogue on an equal footing with the company via all available channels. And he wants companies to provide him with exactly what he really wants - or better yet - would have wanted if he had come up with it himself.
  5. 5. 5Treat Your Clients Right and Talk About It | What Doesn’t Shine on the Inside Can’t Sparkle on the Outside The distinction between inside and outside no longer applies to customer service communication. Companies that want to convince clients must first win over their own team. Because in the Web 2.0 era, every company has as many spokespersons as employees. “Great employer”, “great place to work”, “I feel really at home here”, “What more could you want?”, “We all really love our job!” When you read these comments on the German employer platform, you are probably a bit sceptical: Can an employer actually generate so much enthusiasm without a PR department behind it? A consulting company based in Bremen evidently is capable of it: A large number of people gave the company very positive ratings - the average rating was just under the maximum of five points. This kind of “employer branding” is highly effective and costs the company nothing. Counter- example: “Lots of extra work without compensation or even a thank you”, “Late payment of wages”, “Address any questions to me, because I‘m afraid to write anything negative about the company here”, - such were the comments that a company in southern German received. Most commenters gave the company a rating of 1.1 out of 5. No PR department could ever correct such a bad reputation.
  6. 6. 6Treat Your Clients Right and Talk About It | Companies can no longer make a separation between well-groomed sales representatives who make a great impression and unfashionable nerdy types they would prefer to safely hide away from the public‘s gaze in some back room. Today, everyone networks with everyone else, and that has removed the distinction between back office and field employees. Stepping out of the Dark Social media platforms such as XING (together with its recently acquired platform or Facebook - as well as the Internet presences of the companies themselves - don‘t just show the official faces any more, but all faces. And no longer just the official statements, but all opinions. “For some are in the dark. And others in the light. And you see the ones in brightness. Those in darkness drop from sight.” Today this quote from Bertold Brecht‘s “Three Penny Opera” is no longer that valid. Today, anyone can publicly express himself via Web 2.0, anyone can present “his” company and “his” products anytime, anywhere via smart phone, in a business meeting, a fitness studio or while enjoying a drink at the bar. Everyone has the freedom to describe his own personal view of a company at any time, which may have precious little in common with its public image. Therefore today every company has as many spokespersons as employees, or as many sales representatives, for that matter. Pressure from Above Hurts Focus on Customer Service What is the use of employee enthusiasm, if it doesn‘t develop by itself, but is forced on the employees through “pressure from above?” Do tortured, smiling employees attract customers? Hardly. Most often, it‘s the sparkling brands that cause many customers to overlook the lack of luster in the eyes of the young customer service staff.
  7. 7. 7Treat Your Clients Right and Talk About It | Distributors of iconic mass-produced products can (still?) afford to intimidate their young and easily replaceable temporary employees on the sales floor. However - it‘s a different story, when it comes to higher quality, more individual products or services - for example customer service in an automobile dealership, an IT company, an advertising agency, at a manufacturer of industrial machinery, or in an upscale hotel. In these situations, frightened employees scare customers away. Because such customers consider it unreasonable, when well-qualified employees can‘t make decisions by themselves or speak openly as a result of their superiors‘ authoritarian behaviour. That much should be clear: Customer-oriented service focus can never develop under pressure, because frightened employees will always put their own survival in the company first, and only then - perhaps - think about the customer‘s needs. There are other things that can‘t develop under pressure - being friendly, welcoming, courteous and generous with time – all that contributes to excellent customer service. What’s more, when an employee feels under pressure, that clammy feeling spills over to the customer. Who wants to be assisted by an employee with cold sweat running down his forehead? That just arouses pity, but no enthusiasm. Pressure from above does not lead to customer-oriented service. We know from experience that there are more effective approaches, such as optimised processes, job rotation, effective management, modern communication tools such as video conferencing, social media activities and to emphasize customer orientation during the hiring process and through performance targets. But all of these quite sensible measures only help if companies cultivate a service culture that doesn‘t begin with the customer’s arrival, but with each and every employee. Because every employee is an important ambassador of the company.
  8. 8. 8Treat Your Clients Right and Talk About It | On an Equal Footing With Tomorrow‘s Customers The communication of the future is service. The service of the future is communication. We cannot get around communicating more, better, more intensely and more intelligently with customers if we want to be successful, or better yet, even more successful in the future. When we talk about “we”, we are referring to the company management as well as every employee in every department. Because in the age of networking the customer listens to everyone.This is not about the finer points of classical rhetoric, but about very simple and basic things: u Speak plainly u Touch all the senses u Allow emotions to be freely expressed u Communicate honestly and authentically What seems very simple once again turns out to be a major challenge. Because we are facing a decisive paradigm shift: in the future, service communication won’t be performed for the customer, but will be developed in collaboration with the customer.
  9. 9. 9Treat Your Clients Right and Talk About It | This only works under one condition: We must be prepared to communicate with our customers on an equal footing, meaning we should no longer treat the customer as a king, but instead value him as a partner. This is the only way we can perceive and utilise his expertise. And it is the only way we can benefit from what is regarded as the secret of the best-performing organisations: a productive combination of added value and appreciation. Successful service communication is a matter of values, a matter of one‘s inner convictions. A big issue that can neither be quickly addressed in a half- day seminar on communication nor in a brief customer service training. This is about long-term organisational development. New ways of thinking and patterns of behaviour can‘t be developed at the push of a button; they require perseverance, patience, practise and above all convincing leaders: managers who don‘t push their employees to better service or more communication, but pull others along with them through strong inner conviction. The Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor E. Frankl once expressed this very elegantly: “While I’m driven by instinct, I’m drawn by values.” Viktor E. Frankl
  10. 10. 10Treat Your Clients Right and Talk About It | Conclusion In the future, the most successful companies will be those that successfully perceive their customers not as anonymous consumers, but as individual creators of value. And they will be particularly successful with customers who can and want to contribute to their own value culture. The winners will therefore be those companies that: u Value their customers as partners and create values together with them u Maintain warm and honest contact with their customers without pestering them u Make their services transparent u Consistently keep their service promises u Use their IT systems not only for their own benefit, but also for the benefit of their customers u And last but not least: Treat their employees right as well, and talk about it Again, this sounds very easy. But are you aware of a single company that consistently succeeds in doing just that? We aren‘t. But we know of a few that are on the right track.
  11. 11. 11Treat Your Clients Right and Talk About It | About Sabine Hübner When in the boardrooms of large corporations and SMBs the term “service improvement” is mentioned, her name is at the top of any list of specialists and consultants. Sabine Hübner is a successful entrepreneur, mentor and practitioner through and through. She is among one of the “100 Excellent Speakers” and received the Conga Award 2009 in the category “Speakers and Trainers”. The German television broadcaster Pro 7 referred to her as “service expert no. 1” in Germany, and the German magazine “Focus” considers her one of today’s “success makers”. Sabine Hübner excels with her entertaining and charming presentation style that is rich with examples. With fresh ideas, spirited passion, wit and intelligence she brings service issues to life and makes a lasting impression on her audience, encouraging them to take a different view of things. Her lectures provide the impetus for a new, exceptional service culture.
  12. 12. 12 383EN_WP/2014.03.26 North America 7414 Hollister Avenue Goleta, CA 93117 U.S.A. T +1 805 690 6400 Europe, Middle East & Africa Citrix Online UK Ltd Chalfont Park House Chalfont Park, Gerrards Cross Bucks SL9 0DZ United Kingdom T +44 (0) 800 011 2120 Asia Pacific Level 3, 1 Julius Ave Riverside Corporate Park North Ryde NSW 2113 Australia T +61 2 8870 0870 About Citrix Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) is a leader in virtualization, networking and cloud infrastructure to enable new ways for people to work better. Citrix solutions help IT and service providers to build, manage and secure virtual and mobile workspaces that seamlessly deliver apps, desktops, data and services to anyone, on any device, over any network or cloud. This year Citrix is celebrating 25 years of innovation, making IT simpler and people more productive with mobile workstyles. With annual revenue in 2013 of $2.9 billion, Citrix solutions are in use at more than 330,000 organizations and by over 100 million people globally. Learn more at ©2014 Citrix Online, UK Ltd. All rights reserved. Citrix, GoToAssist, GoToMeeting, GoToMyPC, GoToTraining, GoToWebinar, OpenVoice, Podio and ShareFile are trademarks of Citrix Systems, Inc., or a subsidiary thereof, and are or may be registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Mac and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Android is a trademark of Google, Inc. Resources for Achieving Business Agility For more white papers, case studies and on-demand webinars, visit For best practises, company announcements and research about modern work styles, visit the GoTo Blog at Citrix GoToMeeting Our Citrix online service for better collaboration Get your free trial version: United Kingdom: 0800 011 2120