Published: May 11, 2015 | Comments
Is your company pro-actively training front-line employees in customer service? The answer is probably yes, as the majority of companies are. Effective training and development remains an essential aspect of promoting a good customer service philosophy. However, times have changed, and so has customer service.
According to the Customer Experience Impact Report, 82 percent of customers have quit doing business with a company because of a bad customer service. Further, news of a bad customer experience reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for a good customer experience. Through word-of-mouth and the rise of social media, the reputation of your business is in your customers' hands.
Now, your company must focus on creating a customer-focused culture in every aspect the customer may make contact with the business. This means, digging deeper and wider, and moving attention away from simply getting right the product or service, and style of delivery. As a result, customer experience should be included in everything you do; from hiring and training to motivating your staff.
Creating A Customer Service Dream Team
Customer service is not just about resolving one issue after another. It's about satisfying the needs of customer, and putting a smile on their faces. Your company must continuously work on perfecting the customer experience by demonstrating a willingness to go that extra mile.
It is really important, as a business, to come up with a set of core values to live by, through the good and bad times. Once doing so, you can start building and maintaining a culture that employees want to work for. Hire, train, and motivate employees based on the core values set in stone, and then everything else will begin to fall into place.
Companies must engender a sense of responsibility and accountability in their employees. To help them work in the best interest of the customer, employees should be given the tools and authority to make decisions. As employees deal with customers on a daily basis, this authority will make them give the best, individual customer service possible.
At shoe repairer Timpson's, the people who serve the customers come first. As its managing director says: “The only way to give truly great individual service is to trust the people in our shops with the freedom to serve each customer the way they think best.”
Embed Training And Development
Successful companies ensure that customer service is integrated into all activities of the business, so that focusing on the customer becomes second nature to the companies way of life. This means that customer service is a key component all processes including: recruitment, induction, recognition and communication.
Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh was talking from experience when he said: “If you get your culture right, other stuff like great customer service or building a long-term brand will happen on its own.” When Zappos shifted focus from selling shoes to pleasing customers, employees became more committed and passionate, customers were more upbeat, and sales went through the roof.
Build Lasting Relationships
There is no finish line when it comes to building and working on existing relationships with employees, customers, and partners. Honesty, transparency, and accountability are what is acquired with every decision and action your company takes in order to deliver a quality customer service.
Desk.com founder Alex Bard, nailed it on the head when he said: “Customer service should be part of everybody's job, from the c-suite to engineering, from marketing to finance. There is no better way to orient your business for success than connecting to the customer more effectively.”
Team Work Makes Dream Work
Consistently aiming to exceed expectations is what creates customer advocacy and brand evangelism. Your company must pro-actively reach out to customers to find new ways to help them, help you. Attitude is the foundation of a good customer experience.
The journey to becoming a customer-centric company is both complex and long. Small changes in policies and process can help drive transformational changes in the customer experience. An empowered customer support team, in which employees are armed with responsibility and power, will soon translate into an enjoyably experience and loyal customers.