The third installment of 10 for 10: Ten Questions for VisionWeb’s Tenacious 10 is back again! Get the latest scoop about upcoming projects, our company personality, insight on industry trends, and much more from 10 of VisionWeb’s Directors, Chiefs, and people that are just too spectacular not to write about! Come and meet “VW’s VIPs!”
Series 3: Juanita Burke, Director of Customer Relations
We are so excited for you to meet the one in charge of keeping VisionWeb’s customers happy, Juanita Burke, Director of Customer Relations! Whenever Juanita is around, you can’t help but smile because she is over-flowing with optimism and an unmatched energy. Who better to run customer relations, right? Well, we aren’t the only ones who think Juanita is fantastic. She was chosen by Vision Monday as one of their Most Influential Women in Optical in 2011 because of her constant search to find problems and create solutions. Come and meet Juanita, and get her tips and tricks to keep the customers happy at your eye care practice.
1. So, tell us what your role is at VisionWeb?
Director of Customer Relations, which includes, being the voice of the customer for other internal teams; to ensure I have the best customer service professionals on our team to support our customers. This includes training, technology, and all the things they need to excel in their roles.
2. We all know the common saying, “the customer is always right,” but is there ever a time that the customer is actually wrong?
Yes, there are times when a customer is wrong and when that happens, the only way to handle it is with the utmost respect and guidance to resolve the issue. How do I recommend handling a difficult customer? Everyone has times when they are not at their best and when a customer happens to be in that place, it's best to avoid taking anything personal. Focus on the issues that need to be resolved and maintain a demeanor of professionalism and kindness. If you become defensive or angry, it only makes the situation worse. And after all, at the end of the day, even if the difficult customer doesn’t change their behavior, you will know you maintained your professionalism and handled the situation with grace.
3. Do you have any tips or program recommendations for eye care practice's to make their customer service process more efficient?
I think that you can never stop coaching and reviewing your customer service processes and team. Since the customer service professional role is always engaging with others, which means human emotions are involved, it should be monitored, reviewed, and changed as needed. Your customer service professionals are the voice and face of your business. So, invest in providing the best coaching, training, and tools for them. For example, practice management integration with VisionWeb can streamline efficiency at your practice, leaving more time for your customers. The better your customer service professionals are, the better you are!
4. What qualities do you think managers should look for when hiring customer service representatives for their practice?
I believe that true customer service skills are a natural talent people possess. You can certainly take a person with the natural talent and enhance their skill level, but you cannot train a person with no natural talent in this area. So with that said, look for that person who has a true, natural care for customers! It will show up in their communication style and interview. It pays to take some time to get to know them during the interview process to make sure they possess that wonderful talent!
5. How has the customer service industry changed since you’ve been a part of it?
I don’t think the requirements for a strong customer service team or person have changed much, but the improvements in technology available to support customer service have changed drastically. We now have phone systems, chat, software, and other tools that are designed to enhance the customer experience. These give a customer service professional the opportunity to provide faster, more accurate, and comprehensive service than in years past.
6. Is there a preferred method that customers use to contact customer service? Perhaps less time on the phone and more on emails?
Although our customers are ordering contact lenses and spectacles lenses online, they still prefer to call us rather than email us. Emails have increased slightly over the years, but person to person is still the choice of our customers.
7. Do you think that customer service departments can utilize social media to engage and interact with customers?
Most definitely! I think that in our industry this is a slower growing aspect of technology, but as more people embrace social media in eye care, so should we.
8. What are some common questions our customers have about VisionWeb’s services?
Callers often want to know the benefits of using VisionWeb versus their current ordering method. They want to have a demonstration of the site so they can see how to use it and further understand all the details of the benefits and features of the site. Also, a number of calls are order inquiries, account maintenance, and how to connect to their optical practice management system.
9. What are some common concerns potential customers have about VisionWeb’s services? How would you address those concerns?
Over the years we have had so many great requests from our users! I think that with technology changes, more and more users are asking about using mobile apps for ordering, and connecting to new optical practice management systems. As a company, we strive to meet all the needs of our customers. So, I would reassure people that in the future, if it makes sense for the majority of our users, we will have what they are requesting.
10. What do you like most about working at VisionWeb?
Well, that’s an easy one. The people I work with within our company and our customers! At the end of the day, I like knowing we have served our customers, internally and external, to the best of our abilities and that they feel the same!
Juanita is as sweet and caring as they come, and it shows in the work she does. She understands that happy customers are crucial to maintaining any business. We couldn’t ask for a better Director of Customer Relations!
For the next installment of 10 for 10, we interview VisionWeb’s Director of Sales, Chris Rice! Stay tuned!
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