Eliminate ‘Can I Help you?’
Research says that ‘Can I Help You?’ is only effective 10% of the time. Missing out on 90%. (not sure who does this research, but it feels like 10%). A little focus, authenticity and creativity goes a long way to increasing this percentage. I suspect people using the ‘Can I Help You?’ process are either unmotivated, nested, or comfortable – which doesn’t fare well with an employer.
Ok, it is better than ignoring someone – or is it?
A recent experience with ‘Can I Help You?’
I logged into a popular site, after a few minutes my phone rings (they got the number from my site) and sure enough, I hear ‘Can I help you?’. First I was startled and then had a brief concern about my privacy. The person went through a prepared script which was intrusive and somewhat disrespectful.
Here’s what they didn’t do:
- Direct me to more information or
- Offer real value (to improving our relationship. Then, start a low-cost drip campaign)….and
- Keep a promise of follow-up to support….just…
- ….Can i help you?
What a lost opportunity. I deleted my account and found a different site for research.
‘Can I help you?’ Some Negatives
- Comes across as fake
- Everyone knows their script – “No, just (looking, browsing, checking stuff out, etc)”
- Arrogant – I’ve got something you want
Two different experiences:
A) Gentleman walks into a Men’s clothing store browsing the Sports jackets. Suddenly he hears someone going “Psst Psst”. He turns to see a perky salesperson holding some ties saying “Here, these just came in today, no one’s seen them yet, feel this”. He leaves with the tie…..a shirt to match and sports jacket. Tells his friends he bought some clothes – when actually, he was sold. (wonder if there was an incentive for the salesperson on results).
B) Last year I visited our small hometown pharmacy / knick knack shop. While browsing, a bubbly salesperson, Sharon, comes and says to me, “Check this out, they just came in”. I dropped my reflexive “No, just looking” routine and walked out with gifts for the whole family.
3 Points to ‘Change it Up’ and improve results
- Decision time – What will be the core of your approach? Pleasant, Helpful, Intrusive, Respectful, Surprising, Direct, Valuing, Gifts? Select and build on a core foundation.
- Create a Touch point Map – Document, step by step, the journey of your customer. If you google ‘touch point maps’ you can find many examples. This is not as tedious as it sounds, and it’s not just for large businesses. It’s a great exercise in developing ‘customer experience’ focus when they interact with your business.
- a) What is the source that brings the customer to you?
- b) How are the environmental factors impacting the customer, (web or bricks and mortar)?
- c) What is the Greeting process / response in place now and what creative, impacting activity will improve the results?
- Filter and Experiment – Sift through all suggestions (get ideas from people who are on the front line). Decide to implement a few to begin with, then more as you see improvement.
Throughout the research for this piece, one suggestion stands out:
Welcome customers as if they’re friends coming to your house. That means welcoming them with a big smile, eye contact, and lots of enthusiasm. “When your best friend comes into the store, you are going to be enthusiastic,” says sales trainer Leonard Zell (zellit.com). “You’d say hello to a friend if you see them in the driveway. You don’t wait till they come to the sales counter.”
When someone investigates your site, are there offerings, solid information and an appealing presence related to your field?
Southern Bank in Virginia created a successful television ad campaign centered around the above concept. You can see a few more of their ads here.
Is it possible that we invest heavily in acquiring the consumer only to have a breakdown either on the frontline or througout the process of their experience?
All ‘Touchpoints’ are important enough for impprovement. It’s not as difficult as you might think, tedious, but not difficult.
If 10 % results works for you, I have a question………Can I help you?
Success to you.
photo credit: The Job Market via photopin (license)