Agility in Responsiveness to Customers

The key to a successful business is happy customers, repeat customers. Focusing on your current customers will not only ensure that your customer base remains large but also increases as news of your services spreads. Responsiveness to customers, needs and demands must be quick and agile. It must meet the customer’s mental deadline, which more often than not they do spell out but want. Customer responsiveness simply put would be the level of discernment used to anticipate and act on changing customer needs and demands and is possibly the one unchanging method of having that cutting edge over your competitors. When you fail to live up to what the customer perceives as an agile response, you can be sure that their level of dissatisfaction would be high enough to check out the services of your biggest competitor. That will hurt!

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The astute customer will pick on signals as to whether you are responsive company and positive signs will lead to an increase in business, decreasing issues and service hassles. Customers judge your company on many parameters for just this one trait. They will pass judgments based on the empathy displayed in understand their need, the ability to change based on their changing requirements and the agility of your response. Are you that smart company that explores all possible means to further your services for your current and target customers based on these parameters?

[img src=”” width=”” height=”” align=”right”] Let us look at some ways to be nimble and think on your feet when it comes to responding to customers and start first with the roadblocks that need to be broken:

  • The paradox – All companies want to have a formidable and sizeable customer base. The paradox lies in the fact that the more the number of customers, the more view points, increased demands and higher dissension rate. Business strategies need to be re-worked every so often to keep us with these insistent and peremptory requests. The company’s ability to adapt and change will define its agility that in turn will make or break the customer loyalty.
  • Each customer relationship is different – As a company you have multitudinous customers each having entered in to business with you at different points in time. This profusion of relationships cannot and must not be managed by making some ‘umbrella’ changes hoping to affect all of them positively. The company’s inability to understand this synergy could be detrimental. Also an understanding without the ability or agility to act in accordance, would also meet the same inescapable doomed fate.
  • No mastery over customer insight – Despite dealing with almost the same customers daily and presumably long periods of time companies quite often grapple with their needs and a basic understanding of what the customer seeks. Scrambling around faced with this lack of knowledge, can cause a serious dent in customer loyalty leading to the dissolution of a large part of your customer base. 3. No mastery over customer insight – Despite dealing with almost the same customers daily and presumably long periods of time companies quite often grapple with their needs and a basic understanding of what the customer seeks. Scrambling around faced with this lack of knowledge, can cause a serious dent in customer loyalty leading to the dissolution of a large part of your customer base.
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  • Consternation of the only constant – ‘Change’ – When companies are unable to get their heads around the aforementioned points, what grips them is a paralyzing fear. Everything becomes unknown and the unknown takes on a scary face and when this fear goes unmanaged, what you have is an unsightly mess of strategies, operations and rigor mortis of all services that lead to satisfied customers.
  • Let’s change the tempo – look at what we can do, shall we?

  • Use technology to your advantage: Leveraging all the new ways, of collaborating and interfacing with your customers, like email, social media, faster routing systems, live chat and instant messaging to keep pace with the ever changing ever increasing wants and demands. Customers need to feel like they are being sought after, that their business means much to you. So that’s what you do, without being creepy or overwhelming.
  • Although agile customer responsiveness should be the life blood of a company, the focused development of the specially recruited customer service associates is a key driver. The staff needs not only to understand the value of astute customer support, but also be thoroughly trained to build a mindset of providing a resolution of the issue at the first contact.
  • Feedback. Feedback. Feedback – you need to hear it from the customer! Invest time in preparing non-laborious feedback methods through which your customers can tell you what they think of your services. Don’t be afraid to hear the criticism – see it as an opportunity to rectify and move forward. Use phone surveys, short questionnaires over the email or a one-on-one interaction with your best associate to find out what the customer thinks – what is his general reaction to your company’s services. This information will prove indispensable in ramping up your customer service levels and getting it to be nimble and hassle free. When your customers perceive their feedback being acted upon, you can be sure that you have created an indelible mark in his / her mind and ensured loyalty to your brand / company.
  • Ramp up your products – Once you have taken the feedback in to account, you know that you can better your service to the customer by modifying your existing products or creating new ones that will fit like a glove. The technical team will be able to identify glitches and obstacles in the proper functioning of the products and display agility in getting rid of these instantly. Customers love it when their feedback helps to make life easier for them!
  • Build strong customer relationships – Know each customer and display an appreciation of their relationship to the growth of your company. The agility in your response would come from having all the information for each individual customer – name, contact number, place of residence, company business, list of previous complaints, the resolution provided, when the resolution was provided, product / service purchased, guarantee or warranty of these products / services – all recorded in writing so that there is continuity in service even if the same associate is not present to receive the call. This leads the customer to feel wanted and leads him to think positively about the company ensuring repeat service and a good word to other business associates.
  • Leverage other departments – The customer service department is not and should not be alone in making customer responsiveness a big deal. Partner with other departments – human resource to recruit the right fits, provide the pertinent training, the purchasing team needs to be kept in the loop of impending orders that would need to be bought and shipped, the sales team to call on the prospective customer to give a live demonstration and in-depth explanation of the product or service – all these business units together will have the impact and dramatically improve customer responsiveness leading to satisfied and long term customers.
  • Don’t rest on laurels – It is easy to fall prey to this but is certainly not recommended. A company that keeps abreast with technology and changing customer trends will produce astounding business results. Keep the flow of small steps towards gain and change, rather than waiting to implement a mammoth project that will affect your customer service levels. These seemingly small changes are measurable and can be shown as progress by the day. Publish these reports from time to time, for the customers to be able to understand your company’s bent towards constantly improving customer service and having an agile system of responsiveness. Any deviations can be noted immediately and tweaked where required before they tilt the boat and upset the flow.
  • The need for agility in customer responsiveness cannot be overemphasized as it becoming one of the top drivers for that edge over competition. Each person in the organization must recognize this fact and build their daily activities around it. Every employee must be an empowered leader to drive this culture and welcome even what would seem like a fearsome and cumbersome problem. Each associate must be aware of what they represent despite their inherent strengths and weaknesses and treat the customer with the same respect as themselves. Build confidence, nurture capabilities, recognize limitations, accept challenges and deal with fear of the unknown if you want to become the forerunner and benchmark for responsiveness to customer needs with skill and speed that is incomparable and not easily replicated.

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