Most companies know the value of giving great customer service, but are they actually delivering on it. Ask their customers and the answer is probably not. Very few companies have actually sat down to think about the levels of service they offer their customers. Most of them simply copy what other companies are doing which oftentimes is not suitable for their industry or simply does not provide the high levels of support that today’s customers demand.
The fact is, it’s your customers that will decide whether you offer exceptional customer service or not. You can have as many systems or rules in place as you want, but if they fail to cascade down to your customers, you have wasted your time. So to help you build a customer-centric strategy we have put together an eight-step guide to help you take your customer service to the next level.
1. Customer retention is your main priority
When creating any strategy, it’s a good idea to have an end goal in mind, when it comes to customer service that goal is simple and it’s the same for almost every company. You need to keep the customers you have happy because it’s more cost effective than having to recruit new ones. Happy customers are also much more likely to recommend your brand than unhappy ones.
2. Make complicated things easy to understand
Technology can be a double-edged sword, if used correctly it can save your customers time and money, but if you’re not careful it can make life more complicated as well. For example, if you are a multi-channel retailer you should not differentiate between online sales and in-store purchases. If a person buys something online they should be able to return or exchange it in store. Don’t force them to send things back by post just because that is easier for you to handle.
3. Always aim for first call resolution
When a customer calls, you should aim for first call resolution every time. Customers don’t like having to repeatedly call a company to get their issues resolved. Even if your customer service representatives mean well, having to call multiple times to resolve an issue will likely result in a poor customer service experience. Proper training of customer service staff along with empowering them to use their intuition is key here. See the next point.
4. Intuition is key
This is related to the previous step. Empower your customer service staff to use their intuition to serve customers more effectively. Remember your customer service employees are on the front line and should instinctively know what good customer service looks like, so why not empower them to deliver it.
5. Customer experience is key
When developing new customer policies the customer experience should be front and centre. You should always make decisions that benefit the customer experience and not because they will make you more money. <a href=”https://hbr.org/2012/05/to-keep-your-customers-keep-it-simple”>Research</a> shows that customers are likely to pay more for a product if they know they will receive higher levels of service.
6. The customer is always right .. mostly
Making the customer feel valued and important is good business. But it’s one that many companies lose sight of as they grow bigger. So get back to your roots and always ensure that the customer is front and centre to everything you do as a company. Happy customers are more likely to become brand ambassadors supercharging your marketing efforts and increasing your profitability. But of course, there is always a time when a customer just can’t be helped no matter how accommodating you may be. In such cases, it’s a good idea to just let it go and move on to the next one.
7. Listen to your customers
You don’t know what your customers want unless you listen to what they have to say. Marketing today is not about talking at your customers it’s about engaging them in conversation. Find out what they really think about your products and services, you may be surprised by what they have to say.
8. Go the extra mile
Finally, it’s a bit of a cliche but you should always aim to go the extra mile when it comes to satisfying your customers. In some ways, this is related to point four, use your intuition. Going the extra mile can take many forms depending on what business you are in. So allowing agents to use their intuition to guide them into doing the right thing can help transform relatively poor customer service into exceptional customer service.
Are you going the extra mile for your customers? Why not contact one of Granby’s expert customer service specialist to find out. We’ll evaluate your customer journey to help you understand where your customer service levels actually are, then we’ll put together a plan to move them on to the next level. Get in touch with us today to discuss your next move.