The ability to sustain amazing customer service is the long-term key to building a prosperous company. Too often companies forget just how important it is to sustain service that WOWs paying customers and allows them to remain leaders in their industry. More often than not the reason for poor customer service occurs because companies lose sight of the fact that not everyone has the ability to serve the paying customer the way the paying customer would desire to be served.
The key to providing amazing customer experiences: hire right, train right, and evaluate right if you want to stay at the top of the Customer Experience heap.
Six Steps To Improving Your Customer Experience
1. Empathy, Patience and Consistency. There are two customers that need to be served in any company if amazing customer experience is to happen consistently. The first customer that must be served by management and ownership is the internal customer. In other words – your company's staff. If your company truly values amazing customer service it will hire people who have the innate ability to serve. The company will show those people that it values and serves them equally as well as it values, serves and rewards the paying customer. If your company short changes your internal client – it is choosing to short change the paying client and that eventually will begin to show up in the revenues generated. The second customer of course is your paying customer. The paying customer is looking for a positive experience when they deal with your company, its products and its staff. Remember that every customer who walks through the doors of your business has an ever changing life story. Each customer is different – some are coming to you in good moods, others are not. Some customers will be irate. Others will be full of questions, and others will just be chatty. Your Customer Experience staff must be prepared and confident to know how to handle all of them and provide the same level of service every time.
2. Adaptability. Every customer is different, and some may even seem to change week-to-week. Your service staff must be able to handle surprises, sense the customer’s mood and adapt accordingly. This also includes a willingness to learn – providing good customer service is a continuous learning process.
3. Clear Communication. Ensure your service staff convey to customers exactly what they mean. Use authentically positive language, stay cheerful no matter what, and never end a conversation without confirming the customer is satisfied.
4. Work Ethic. Customers appreciate customer experience staff who will see their problem through to its resolution. At the same time, your team must have good time management skills and not spend too much time handling one customer while others are waiting. Training them to stay focused on the service goals to achieve the right balance is key.
5. Knowledge. Ultimately your paying customers rely on your customer service experience staff for their knowledge of your products. Make sure your staff stays informed enough to respond to the paying customers inquiries and ensure they know where to turn if the questions become too detailed or technical for them to answer. Encourage your service staff to not be afraid. It’s ok to say “I don’t know but I will find out”. Customers will appreciate the honesty and your efforts to find the right answer.
6. Thick skin. The customer’s always right… right? The ability to swallow one’s pride and accept blame or negative feedback is crucial. Whether your team works directly with customers or not they’ve got to keep the customer’s happiness in mind.
In business there are 3 keys to enjoying ongoing business success.
- A great product.
- The ability to keep your expenses in check.
- Your ability to WOW your customers time and time again!
Your company's ability to develop customer experience representatives who understand the needs and mindset of your customers will be the key to building your companies successful legacy. Focus on developing a customer experience team and grow your companies profile and profits by doing so.