Tuesday, April 20

Customer Service That Makes the Business Lift

In the tough competition for the increasingly read and aware customers, a professional approach becomes an important competitive advantage. Here’s how to develop a good and comprehensive customer response that gives long-term effects.

We talk more and more about customer experience and customer satisfaction. The reason is, of course, that customers’ demands and expectations are increasing. It is not enough to have a nice attitude and a good product or service – customers want more than that. Your company must be able to deliver added value in some way. And there is no pardon – if you do not live up to the expectation (and preferably some more) you will lose the customer.

As customers, we are now also more likely to share our experiences with our networks. Especially if it is a poor customer experience.

Satisfied customers tell four others if they have a positive opinion. Dissatisfied tells at least 12 others how bad it was, according to a survey.  In addition, it costs five times more to recruit a new customer than to keep an old one. And 25 times more to get back a dissatisfied customer.

Good customer service is a heavy weapon of competition

Creating good customer relationships is a success factor for all customer-funded organizations. Those who strive to meet the person behind the customer have a much greater chance of reaching. This applies in all channels where we meet and talk to our customers – in the business meeting, on the shop floor, in social media, online chat, by phone or email.

Surveys also show that companies have a lot to gain from striving for more than average service. Rating three in satisfaction is not good enough if you want to keep your customers.

  • Of customers who rate 3 out of 5 and consider themselves satisfied, 20% intend to buy again.
  • Of those who give grade 4 in satisfaction, 50% intend to buy again.
  • Of those who 5 out of 5, about 95% intend to buy again.

So, do you want to be Ryanair or Volvo? Either you can compete with the lowest price or you can boost the customer experience and get top satisfied customers who buy more and who are willing to pay for it. With a well thought out strategy for all channels, you as an organization can create a customer service that impresses.

6 tips for creating a professional customer service

1. Anchor the consensus around the customer experience

To always meet the customer in the best way, you need to ensure that the entire organization has a common view of the customer experience. How do you want the customer experience to be? Set a goal image – what should customers think and feel when they are in contact with you? What gives a wow?

2. Spread the knowledge about the customer internally

Map the customer’s journey through your business, from first contact onwards. Gather valuable information, such as: What expectations does the customer have of your response? Are there different customers with different expectations? Think about which departments or functions, in addition to customer service, have contact with the customer. Be sure to spread the information to all employees.

Also consider what you need to train and coach your team.

3. Measure and set concrete goals

To get everyone on the train, you need to target the ambitions with the customer experience. Set clear, stated goals. Measure and follow up. These can be tough goals for response times and customer satisfaction, but also softer goals that are linked to personal motivation and commitment. Maybe you can have an internal award for showing good examples and learning from each other.

4. Train your customer service

Even if you have a ready-made customer service manual, you need to constantly train to develop. The manual answers might work a quiet week when everything rolls on, but in the Christmas rush with extra staff and stressed customers?

You as manager can set aside time for the team where you reflect on what works well and less well. When will a customer be satisfied? How can you continue to be calm and professional in uncomfortable situations or with customers who are unpleasant or aggressive?

5. Customize customer service to the channel

Most companies meet their customers in several different channels. For a comprehensive customer response, you need to keep track of how you manage all channels.

In a physical meeting, we use voice, tone, facial expressions and body language to communicate. Over the phone we still have voice and tone but in writing the words are our only tool. The interpretation space in writing is considerably larger, which requires other skills to convey messages and understand the customer’s needs.

In addition, we communicate in different ways in e-mail, chat and social media and use different tempos and styles to reach the customers best.

6. Educate you in behavior and communication

The better you understand the customer, the better service you can provide. Although our information society has generally made us better at communicating, it is a common mistake that we assume that others understand exactly what we mean when we speak or write. And then we find out that the person misunderstood a lot of the message.

By increasing employees’ knowledge of communication and behavior styles, you can easily improve customer service. A deeper self-awareness and understanding of body language and attitudes are important keys to understanding different people’s needs and to being able to adapt their attitudes.

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