At the end of 2018, an article in Forbes made predictions about customer service in 2019. The article clearly inferred that customer service has to be a priority for every business. As we reach the end of Q2, what changes has your company made to enhance the customer experience?
To emphasise the importance of taking action, the article suggests that consumers no longer compare your service levels to those offered by your competitors. Instead, they are comparing interactions with your brand to the best service they have ever received.
Customer service is not limited to your industry and each experience generates an emotional response. It is therefore simple for a consumer to compare how they felt doing business with you, against every other brand that they have engaged with.
Be informed, helpful, patient and polite and your brand could be held up as the company to beat.
Happy Employees at the Heart of Customer Service Excellence
The Forbes article suggests that one of the ways to ensure a consistently high standard of customer service is to enhance the employee experience. If your team feel under-valued, under pressure or under the weather, they will find it hard to muster the energy and enthusiasm to serve others.
In contrast, when every member of your team buys into the company values and empowered to deliver them, the chances of happy customers is greatly increased.
You will note that I mention every member of your team. If there is one message that I wish to emphasise, it is that customer service is part of everyone’s job description. Far more than providing Frequently Asked Questions on your website and dealing with complaints, it encompasses every aspect of your operation.
When on the shop floor, your senior managers or technical staff should be as willing and able to respond to customer requests as any other employee. This doesn’t mean that everyone in the team has to know everything. Effective team training and communication will ensure that all are familiar with the resources, individuals and processes that can provide the answer.
Adding the Personal Touch to Customer Service
High standards, across the board, provide consistency in customer service delivery. With firm foundations in the core values, it is possible to deliver a stable brand identity, no matter whether an interaction takes place in person, over the phone, on a social media channel or via email.
Consistency should not be confused with treating every customer the same. Building rapport and making use of available data are two factors that can be used to further escalate customer experience.
Your team should take every opportunity to up their game and personalise their delivery. Learning the name of regular customers and using it in conversation is a simple example. Tailoring marketing to provide the most relevant information to specific groups of customers is another. How do you make customers feel special?
Putting Customer Service on the Agenda
If the feedback your company receives from customers is not as positive as you would like and you want to avoid losing out to the competition, Helen Pettifer Training can assist. I help teams to fully understand the importance of customer service through workshops, facilitated discussions, and resources which are designed to empower them to deliver it.
There are still 6-months to make the customer experience a priority in 2019!