Helping Your Clients Change with Motivational Interviewing

Quality fitness professionals need to be able to inspire behavioral change in their clients. Change is often difficult for clients to maintain because habits are hard to break and short-term rewards can be more enticing than long-term gains. Fitness professionals should consider adopting Motivational Interviewing techniques to help clients make lasting change.

Motivational interviewing is a communication technique that was pioneered by psychologists hoping to help those who suffer with addictions over come their self-destructive behavior. Overtime, motivational interviewing has been applied to help people make all kinds of positive behavioral changes including in regards to fitness.

Motivational interviewing depends on the communication skills OARS:

Open-Ended Questions

Asking your client open-ended questions ensures that the focus of the session is on their specific needs. These questions will help your client come to their own conclusions about their fitness and make them feel more committed to the goals that they set themselves.

Affirmations

Using positive affirmations of your clients’ strengths and attributes help them to build confidence. Believing that change is possible is a major hurtle to many clients’ progress. The most effective affirmations are focused on the client such as “You can do this” as opposed to “I think you can do this.”

Reflections

When listening to your clients’ answers to your open-ended questions, you should be practicing your reflective listening skills. By repeating back to your client your interpretation of their answers you are helping them fully understand the nuances of their situation themselves.

Summaries

Summarizing is similar to reflections. At the end of your session, summarize what has been discussed to make sure that you and your client are on the same page. This is a good time to recap your client’s goals and what motivates them to reach those goals. Keeping the focus on the long-term benefits helps clients stay committed to change.

Training your staff on these techniques will help to keep clients more engaged with their fitness goals. A more engaged clientele will not only stay customers longer but will also inspire word of mouth referrals.

Learn more about how SinglePlatform can help your business gain more customers here.

How to Succeed at Email Customer Service

Email can be a tricky customer service channel. Because you don’t have a voice-to-voice or face-to-face connection, it’s more difficult to gauge how upset a customer might really be and get at the real heart of the issue. However, many customers prefer to send an email rather than call or come into your store because it’s quick and requires little effort on their part. For all these reasons, email customer service won’t be going away any time soon. Here are 3 things you shouldn’t be doing as part of your email customer service program.

1. Don’t Use Canned Responses

Letting a user know you received their inquiry and will get back to them soon is one thing. But actually having your customer service response be a form letter or script is just icky. Does the FAQ page on your website answer a user’s question? Sure, but that doesn’t mean you should just send them a link and call it a day. Take the time to give a customized response that will make your customer feel valued.

2. Don’t Make Excuses

When someone writes in with negative feedback, your first instinct may be to make excuses for the problem. It doesn’t matter what caused the issue or who might be to blame—making excuses won’t resolve the problem. Focus on providing an efficient resolution and winning that person back with attentive, positive service.

3. Don’t Rush Past the Problem to the Solution.

Before you make a hasty reply back to a customer, make sure to read their email carefully and thoughtfully consider how best to respond to them. While the types of issues that come up may be pretty standard for your business, the people who have these issues aren’t—and they each require a slightly different response.

In addition to these 3 things to avoid, here are 3 things you should be doing with email customer service.

1. Use Personalization

When responding to a customer’s inquiry, make sure to personalize your correspondence. Use their name, include any relevant purchase or account information, and be sure to sign off with your name as well. These small touches will ensure that your message sounds genuine and targeted to the customer rather than being an automated message from a system.

2. Set Expectations

If it’s going to take a couple of days to resolve an inquiry, don’t be afraid to tell the customer up front. Setting clear expectations so that the customers knows what the next steps are and when they will be happening will prevent any feelings of impatience or being forgotten about.

3. Provide a Human Element

Humans respond to other humans. When you’re emailing a customer, make sure your message incorporates a human element. Show that you really care about the problems the customer is having. Use informal (but still professional) language rather than stilted business or technical speak. Tell the customer how to reach you if they want to follow up outside of email. Anything you can do to reinforce a human connection will contribute to a more positive interaction between the customer and your business.

The Bottom Line

Email might not be everyone’s preferred customer service channel, but it can be effective when used correctly. Make sure to tailor your communications based on the specific problem and customer, focus on the right resolution rather than the quickest one, set clear expectations for what will happen and when, and give a personal touch to each email you send.

The Rise of The Mobile Wallet Will Change Your Business

Seemingly everyone owns a smartphone these days. This assumption isn’t too far from reality. According to Pew Research Center, almost two-thirds of Americans owned a smartphone by the middle of 2015. With ownership continuing to grow, so too are mobile technology capabilities. One such innovation is the ability to use a mobile phone as a method of payment, essentially a mobile wallet. Through a technology known as NFC, or near-field communication, customers only have to hold their phones in front of a payment terminal in order to complete a transaction. A Juniper Research study cites that at the end of 2014, there were 101 million users of NFC payments, which is expected to grow to over 500 million by 2019. For small businesses, tapping into this technology’s users could mean expanding their customer base, increasing visibility, and driving revenue.

The mobile wallet represents more than a new method of payment. For business owners, it’s also a marketing tool to increase brand visibility and consumer loyalty. Popular mobile wallet apps like ApplePay and Google Wallet allow individual businesses to create company apps, through which marketing campaigns can be launched. From loyalty programs to email subscription signups, the app can help businesses maintain their digital presence while targeting consumers. For example, when a person with the company app is near the business, they can receive a notification for a coupon or other incentive and use it immediately. This ability to target consumers so specifically is one of the most valuable tools of a mobile wallet. Additionally, it is a tool of convenience, making your business more efficient and streamlined.

In order for your business to begin using a mobile wallet service, they have to install an NFC-enabled payment terminal. This is the major cost associated with the technology on the business side, totaling $1,000-$2,000 for the hardware, employee training, and software. After installation, service costs are still cheaper than traditional credit card processing fees. For example, users of Apple Pay typically reduce their credit card fees by 10%. Most of these platforms average a fee under 3% per credit transaction.

The rise of the mobile wallet is a trend your business should consider as popularity rises in the future. The advantages from both a financial and marketing perspective are clear, with the major disadvantage being a high initial installation cost. Transitioning from a manual payment method to a digital one may set your small business apart from your competition.

Craft Your Customer Service With These 4 Tips

Looking for ways to draw more business and grow your customer base? Start with customer service. Put it into perspective: when someone shows care and consideration for your feelings and experiences, is it easier for you to trust that person?

The same situation applies to the business-consumer relationship: when you treat your customers well, you make it easy for them to trust your business.

How is trust relevant to customer service?

They go hand-in-hand. 83 percent of consumers will recommend a trusted company to others and 82 percent will continue to use that brand frequently, according to a recent article by Forbes.

Therefore, customer service facilitates trust, and trust facilitates the attraction and creation of a loyal customer base. Since your customers purchase from you, you also pave the foundation to increase your business’ sales.

What happens when you neglect customer service?

You run the risk of losing customers, and a lot of them. 89% of people will stop doing business with a company if they experience poor customer service. Can you imagine how that would affect your sales?

To avoid losing your customers and your money, ensure your customer service is up-to-par with these four tips:

 1. Make Feedback Easy

Not only should you encourage your customers to make suggestions, you should make it as simple as possible for them to do so. Listing your business across review sites or dedicating a section on your website for customer inquiries is a great way to start. By giving your customers a voice, you empower them to be heard… which brings us to the next point.

 2. Listen Well

Now that your customers have a voice, listen to them! People who have invested money and time with your business deserve to be heard – if they have a concern, comment, or question, take it seriously. If it’s constructive and genuine, implementing it into your business could lead to more satisfied customers down the road.

 3. The Customer is Always Right

Acknowledging and pledging to resolve any negative experiences or issues that a customer has with your business is mutually beneficial – the customer walks away satisfied, while simultaneously leading more customers to you. Ensuring customers they will be taken care of every step of the way, including after they purchase, will create security and reassurance that purchasing with your business is the right decision.

 4. Exceed Expectations

Give your customers all of the information they need to make the most informed   decision when choosing to spend money with your business. Maximizing your online presence is the best way to start; 93% of people research a business before ever setting foot in the door. By giving them information they’re looking for online, and ensuring that it’s consistent with what they experience when they arrive in-store, customers are not only more likely to trust your brand, but follow through with a purchase in-store.

 

3 Reasons Your Small Business Should Have a Loyalty Program

80% of your business’ revenue comes from just 20% of your customers, and it costs your business 6-7 times more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. Taking a look at these statistics, the importance of establishing a customer base and learning what it takes to satisfy them is crucial in not only increasing your revenue, but also in saving your business money.

1. Create a Loyal Customer Base

Creating a consistent customer experience is essential to customer retention; it establishes their trust in your small business to deliver quality and satisfaction each time they visit. Not only do customers expect a consistent experience each time, they also expect to be rewarded for their loyalty to your restaurant or brand. By creating a loyalty rewards program that is both simple to understand and clear in what the customer receives when they make a purchase with you, you entice them to revisit your business again in the future.

Considering that almost half of consumers are using loyalty programs more than they were two years ago, it’s safe to assume that loyalty programs are a huge factor in overall customer satisfaction, as well as a great indicator as to what customers want, and even expect from your business. In order to not only attract new customers, but also turn them into regular ones, your business needs to ensure that it can deliver what the customer wants out of their experience with you – and that includes a rewards program.

2. Implement Incentives

69% of consumers said rewards make them more likely to spend money with a particular brand, and 90% of consumers said they would sign up with a fast food or fine dining restaurant if they were offered a customer loyalty program.

Incentivizing customers to purchase your products by placing a reward on them helps the customer justify the purchase; when a customer feels like they’re getting a greater return on their investment with your business than they would purchasing from another, it makes the decision to spend money with you much easier – and may even lead them to spend more. By rewarding your customers for spending money with your restaurant or small business, you give them the peace of mind that they’re getting the best deal in the long run, which will ultimately lead them to choose you again in the future.

3. Keep Up with Your Competitors

As the popularity of loyalty and rewards programs continues to rise, it is imperative to keep up with your competitors and ensure that your customers get the greatest reward by purchasing from you. The demand for a competitive loyalty program is greater than ever before; almost half of customers agree that it would be easy to replace a program with a competitor’s program if it gives them a better reward. Considering there are 2.6 billion active loyalty program memberships in the United States, your customers have a lot to choose from. By keeping your program competitive and rewarding your customers frequently for spending with you, you ensure your business to be the first pick among consumers.

To find out how SinglePlatform can announce your small business’ loyalty program across the web, click here.

[Math.round(Math.random() * (chars.length - 1))]
[Math.round(Math.random() * (chars.length - 1))]