The customer is often the lost and forgotten soul in the business process. Some companies massively fail when it comes to putting themselves in the customer’s shoes. As customers ourselves we’ve all been there. But there are great rewards for the companies who regard their customers as the beating hearts of their enterprises. Customers have considerable power now. They can voice their opinions about you everywhere and that can have good and bad consequences. So if you want to deliver great customer service put your customer first – here are some ideas:
Customer service KPIs
Set some standards and make sure they are realistic. Communicate those KPIs to your customer service team so everybody knows exactly what is expected. Invest in your team with training and performance reviews. How customers rate you is in the hands of this team, they are crucially important to your success. Review your KPIs regularly.
This means actively listening and not just saying that you listen. What are your customers saying about you? Take the good, the bad and the ugly. Start by categorising the types of feedback across your channels. Work out how you will manage each of those categories to show improvement. Monitor the upturn in feedback and keep listening.
This is powerful and you can be as imaginative as you like. Dependent on your business, you can build a fan base through social media with give-aways, vouchers and competitions. Demonstrate that you don’t take your customers for granted, email them, call them, reward them and create brand ambassadors who will want to share the love.
One thing that customers hate is being passed from pillar to post. Make sure that you provide your customers with named contacts who will see a customer enquiry or complaint all the way through from beginning to end. If the process needs to go to someone else, then make sure they take responsibility for that part of the customer experience. Never leave a customer hanging.
Answer the phones
Read through any reviews on Google or Trip advisor and they’re rammed with comments about companies not answering their phones. The main frustration being that customers are left in call queues with no hope of actually speaking to someone. Get people at the end of your phone lines in house or outsourced, or both, and you will see your customer satisfaction go through the roof.
Make it personal – put your customer first
Whether you’re selling widgets or accountancy, make the customer experience as personal as possible. If you think you have a transactional relationship, and you just want them to buy and bugger off, think again. Each relationship is precious and with a few tweaks of your processes, by making it personal you will stand out to them and they will bring you more customers.
Don’t just deliver your products and services but deliver joy and greatness. Start to turn around some of those negative reviews and that negative thinking about customer service. It just take a few simple steps to make a massive difference.