12 Oct 2015 By:
How can you increase your customer satisfaction scores? Make customer service central! For many companies like Amazon and Mariott, providing exceptional service is a top priority. Their approach is based on the principle that organic growth comes from the inside. A team with a strong commitment to providing superior support will produce happy customers. And, happy customers will come back for repeat business and tell their friends about their positive experience.
It may sound like it will be a breeze to make customer service your company’s main focus. However, successfully putting that policy into action takes time and dedication. In many cases, it requires a transformative look at how you approach your goals. Here are three key actions you can take to make customer service central.
Put Your Money on It
You will have to go above and beyond to remedy mistakes and provide exceptional service—and that will mean restructuring your budget. It will take significant monetary investments to fully accommodate your customers’ needs. In reality, this could mean eliminating cost-cutting policies on items like shipping, returns, and exchanges. Try to see the money you invest in your customers as a marketing expense. By putting money back into the customer experience, you will gain a strong base of repeat customers. In turn, they will help to attract new customers through word-of-mouth advertising.
With startups in particular, there is a tendency for decision-makers to focus on making processes efficient and scalable. While cost-savings are important, this can come at the expense of quality. Ask yourself if you are willing to sacrifice rapid growth in order to forge a solid relationship with a loyal customer base. Startups that take more time to understand their customers will eventually surpass those that grew too big, too quickly.
Empower Employees to Put Customer Service First
No matter how much money you funnel into marketing, the fate of your company ultimately rests with its employees. They are the business’s direct connection to its customers. Therefore, it’s crucial for each employee to understand how their work contributes to achieving key objectives. If your goal is to prioritize the customer experience, you will need to build a strong, efficient customer service team. Newsworthy customer service only happens when employees feel confident enough to independently make decisions.
In order for your company to put its best foot forward, you will also need to achieve a high level of employee satisfaction. If employees don’t feel valued, they won’t be willing to go to bat for their team or their clients. To augment employee satisfaction, think beyond pizza parties and prizes. First, make sure that the lines of communication with management are open. Then, encourage employees to voice their problems and concerns.
Think Like a Customer
It helps to think like a customer. For example, when a company makes decisions about something like packaging, it is often a negotiation between expenses and branding. Instead of focusing on budgets and policies, make the physical realities of your customer a priority. What does your product look like sitting on someone’s doorstep? How does it feel like to open the packaging? What is the first thing a customer sees when they rip open the box? In order to put customers first, you have to take their experiences into account at every stage.
Apple products are a prime example of a successfully curated customer experience. Everything from the recognizable white packaging to their detailed tutorials on new products suggests that being an Apple customer goes beyond the purchase itself. Thus, Apple has turned being a customer into an interactive experience. Unsurprisingly, this approach has had tangible effects on the tech giant’s organic marketing. With each new product’s release, thousands of supporters tweet and post about their new gadget on social media.
In truth, if you want your company to thrive, customer service can no longer be viewed as secondary part of your strategy. Your client policy impacts every employee and every company decision. Revamping your customer service plan will require substantial effort, yet it is imperative to achieve success. Customers now expect more from companies. In return, they will reward those who accommodate them with repeat business.