There’s a lot of steps that go into offering the best service experience possible for all your customers. It isn’t enough just to have the best quality or best priced product. It isn’t about having the best service staff possible either. Companies need to dig further and constantly be digging for answers even when everything seems to be perfect.
Here are 5 relatively painless steps you can take to foster a better customer experience in your company:
1. Its everybody or nobody
The big problem with several companies operating out there in the world these days is that they may have a handful of employees in their ranks who don’t realize just how important they are to this service initiative because connecting with customers isn’t part of their job description.
It’s important to let them know that they’re just as important. The janitor keeps your business spotless; the accountant keeps the money safe to keep prices low; the administrators keep all the customer’s data under lock-and-key.
Everyone contributes something to the customer in the end.
2. Listen to customer input
This could easily be the first step toward a more cohesive customer-driven staff. Asking your customers what they want which you haven’t given them yet, what they like and don’t like about your products, what your employees could be doing better: presale, during the sale, and after the deal is done.
Once you’ve received this information, take it back to the employees, talk to those who need a talking to, brainstorm as a group how you can deliver a better product – a better experience – then take action so the customer knows you’re not just blowing smoke when you ask how them how you can improve.
3. Find the customer service hiccups
There are likely many more of these than you’d first think, especially if yours is an aged company with a rather impeccable track record for service. Still, you must remember that you need to continually improve in order to compete.
For instance, how are your employees trained to process returns? If you’re a brick-and-mortar, is it a “no questions asked” type of experience or do they grill the customer with 20 questions? If you’re ecomm, can the customer return an item free-of-charge, or do you make them pay to return the items they’re unhappy with, then also provide return shipping for a replacement, if applicable?
Neither is helping your customer feel appreciated, and there are hundreds of other process problems that could be mucking up your service standards.
4. Fight the urge to be realistic 100% of the time
When we start talking sales, there are no limits to the goals we’ll place on our sale’s staff. So what if it’s impossible to sell a thousand services in the small area you work in? If you sell a hundred when you normally sell 10, then that unattainable goal just helped boost sales ten times over. This works great in a customer service scenario as well. Even the most preposterous of goals will net you better-than-normal results, if everyone in the business steps up to the plate.
For instance, aim to resolve any and all problems a customer may have within 24 hours of them contacting you. Even if this goal’s seemingly impossible, you’ll find that: A) Issues will get solved faster than they did before, and, B) In working toward this goal you’ll inevitably find ways to actually achieve that impossible goal at some point.
When the first passenger car was released to the public, I’ll bet few of them ever thought man would land on the moon a little over a half-century later, but they did!
5. Recognize your achievements
The biggest blunder a company can make with regards to poorly fostering a great customer experience is to let the victories fly on by without properly acknowledging them. If your team, or someone in particular on your team implements change that positively alters the entire customer service landscape of the company, it needs to be recognized. Management must note the achievement and give credit where it’s due.
Technology will continue to propel all in business to new heights, particularly those who have a great team mindset, who aren’t afraid to change what’s broken, and those who aren’t afraid to challenge themselves beyond the current accepted norm.