Organizations looking to put a meeting booking solution in place aren’t typically looking to improve their sales at the same time. But what if they could?
Imagine the power that your organization can have at their fingertips if they combine the information about your customers which is already in your database with a booking solution that allows you to have near-real-time access to customer information when you meet them. This is what we call the customer experience strategy.
This is what could happen and how…
Imagine if a customer walks into your store. In the past, the interaction that a customer service representative had with them in that moment was about re-capturing essential information – information that is probably already stored elsewhere (probably on a CRM in the back end). Now imagine if you could free your staff from heavy back-end systems and give this information to them at the tap of a finger on a screen.
Once you have information about them from the last few years – things like how many appointments they’ve booked, surveys they’ve completed and the results of the surveys – your staff can immediately have intelligent, appropriate conversations with them. They can see the current products and services that they use and offer the right level of support (and even upsell them relevant or related products or services).
These four methods illustrate how you can use data points your organization already has about a customer, to help your staff proactively prepare for the appointment and therefore sell more in the moment!
Utilising data from interactions
A decent system – such as an appointment booking system – will have tracked and recorded previous customer interactions and appointments. It will likely include information such as:
- What the appointment type was last time
- What you talked about
- Did they just ‘walk in’ to a store in the past?
- Have they had phone calls or entered a query into a web chat?
This could be the key to the vault.
Let’s use the example of buying a mobile phone. If a customer walks into your store she may have talked about buying a new phone for all 10 of her employees when speaking to someone on a web chat recently. But if your store employee can’t access that information, your organization may have potentially missed out on a significant sale!
Similarly, since almost everyone’s dropped a phone and smashed their screen in the past, showing the customer the latest drop-proof case could massively help them, and give you an add-on to improve revenue – but only if you’re prepared for them and ready to sell the benefits of a smash-proof screen or case when they arrive.
Previous purchasing behaviours
Returning to the mobile phone example – previous purchasing behaviours are a good indicator of future buying patterns. Data from your CRM can show, for example:
- What service they are on
- How far along they are in their contract.
If, for example, your customer is 2 years and 11 months into a three year phone contract and they have booked an appointment with you in a store, but cancel at the last minute, you can bet your bottom dollar they’re not going to carry on with you!
It’s also important to notice what their customer segment is so you can position the right offerings to the right people. If they’re a company account, they will require different information to a single user. For example, some mobile phone companies can also provide business networking solutions. An individual customer might want to know about phone covers, but a business owner would benefit from having information about enterprise-level security solutions.
Knowing this information beforehand allows your sales team to prepare – particularly if appointments are booked in advance – and to ensure the right team member is available to help and has all the information required to them with their query.
Not all customers respond to surveys – and sometimes if they don’t reply that’s an answer in itself. But it is impossible to know what people are thinking unless you ask them. Appointment booking solutions with a survey option allow you the opportunity to test customer happiness during the various phases of their journey with you.
In the mobile phone example, you can easily survey people at different stages of their contract. If their response is negative, this gives you a chance to improve customer relationships before it’s too late. A current customer who says they don’t want to renew their contract is actually an opportunity to reach out and call them: find out why they aren’t planning to renew, and see if you can fix the problem. You could even offer an appointment, proactively, to help resolve the issues. For dissatisfied customers, booking an appointment is key: it’s a psychological commitment to renewing.
Identifying advocates who can promote you in other contexts – and possibly even help you win new business – is the logical extension of getting positive survey results. Knowing who happy customers are provides an opportunity to reward loyal / happy customers by giving them benefits for being ‘part of the club’ (and get them to recommend you to more people!)
A lack of visits or interactions can often suggest that an account needs attention as well – particularly when you’re dealing with customers who are part of a larger group or who have purchased several of your products or used many of your services in the past.
Identifying customers through surveys is the foundation of future in-depth interactions such as focus groups. This is a chance to offer customers incentives like discounts on future contracts – which serves your renewal goals – and your ability to improve future customer service.
Online browsing and social media interactions
There are tools out there that can scan social media accounts and, ultimately, report back on social sentiment. If someone is going in for an appointment, it could be possible for software to scan their social media accounts (anything in the public domain) and look for relevant keywords that can help you identify their sentiment towards your brand.
Using a different example this time, let’s say you’re a bank looking to add more services to your customers’ use base. You might want to look for keywords like ‘move’ or ‘buy a home’ or ‘new home’ or even ‘insurance’. This gives you a huge advantage to be able to meet their requirements when they come in for a face-to-face appointment (the challenge is to do it in a non-cringey way, of course).
As another example, if you’re providing meeting bookings and some of your customers use a wheelchair it’s not unreasonable for them to expect that staff member A to pass the information on to staff member B if they’re coming in again the next day.
At ACF we can make sure that their needs / language / special requirement can be matched up so they have an appropriate experience. For example, we make sure that the system won’t let you book meeting rooms upstairs for wheelchair customers. It works for stores too: it makes sense not to send them to a store where there’s a giant flight of steps.
By looking across the whole omni-channel service landscape, pulling together the data, and pushing it to a member of staff when they interact with the customer: employees can be ready to solve a customers’ problem and exceed their expectations the moment a customer interacts with them.
That’s why, at ACF, we provide intelligent software and hardware as well as the advice and guidance to put the solution in place, in the way that is most relevant to your customers. We can help you be prepared for their preferred way of interacting with you, or give them more than they expect – and save your employees time and frustration in the process.
If you’re ready to consider your own steps towards towards putting appointment booking systems or full customer experience solutions in place get in touch by sending us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’d love to help!