Customers Always Come First

What is another name for Customer Service? What does it take for it to be termed as great? It is going beyond service and forging a relationship with your customer by conveying to them that they are the star in our universe. In our everyday lives too we build (and sadly break) relationships. These relationships are more valuable than any material assets we possess or ever hope to possess. In the domain of customer service creating strong, enduring and successful relationships with our customers is the sure shot way of staying ahead of competition. However a company chooses to build these relationships, the customer must be able to perceive that he or she is valued and that the company is committed to sustaining the relationship. You should be able to convince the customer that they always come first.

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[img src=”” width=”” height=”” align=”right”] When a new company is launched the main focus will be to position its products and services as innovative and best in the market. They should be able to grab eyeballs with the kind of technology their company is using, to stay ahead. Zeal, passion and insurmountable energy would be the hallmark of this company with everyone employed asked to focus on delivering the best quality service to their customers. It will be important to empower the employees, but a tight control would be required to ensure that employees truly understand and deliver the kind of customer service that will differentiate them from the rest. Sadly, this does not work if employees are left unattended and the leaders must lead by example that the company exists for the customers and that the customer will always come first.

Competing to maintain a stronghold in the current chaotic conditions means that a company must not only be smart, fast and resilient, they must also have a robust customer service system in place. A focus on building and maintaining strong relationships with its customers will increase chances of success or ever survival. Customers are spending time and money on you as a company and they need to know that you value this – keeping them at helm of all you do is what will tell them that. Every employee within the company must understand that the customer’s business is what pays their salary. Your first point of contact for customers, the customer service representatives must be trained to make each customer feel important. To illustrate – making a customer, who has actually taken the time to call, hold on to the phone endlessly without giving a valid reason, would leave a rather shabby image of your company. Also if the representative receiving the call is unable to resolve or even answer a question and passes the line on to another representative (without informing the customer), who in turn passes it further on, will leave the customer wondering why he or she wasted their time to start with and whether the company, they are doing business with, even understands the relevance of putting the customer first.

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So have you decided how you will shape your customer service to ensure that the customer knows he comes first and is your top priority? Let’s take a look at some of the things you could do:

Listen to understand:

Before a company can ascertain what a customer needs, it is prudent to listen and listen carefully. Your customer will have valuable feedback for you and will share first-hand information on what he or she views as true customer service. The tone of voice and the words the customer uses are all pointers towards how you as a company are matching up or not to what he or she wants. When you know exactly what the customer demands, you will be able to make the required changes in your processes and service levels or introduce new ways to meet the demands. Since your company is not dealing with one customer or customers belonging to one particular industry or group, understanding them becomes even more essential. Each customer even within the same industry is bound to have a different set of requirements which you would be able to fulfill only when you are listening to understand and tweaking your customer service accordingly. Worth mentioning here is that your customers are busy and rushed for time too and so may not always express or put in to words what they want from you. You would need to be pro-active and creative to pre-empt what they could possibly need. Creating this value without being pushed to it is what true customer service is and at a level that is sure to send the signal to your customer that you do place them first.

Service and products should meet the expectations

Only after listening would you be able to put processes and service levels in place that would not only meet but exceed your customer’s expectations. True, you need and must make a profit from the product or service you offer but at the core of this should be how well you will service your customer and how best your product is matching up to meet his or her requirement. Remember never to oversell or claim anything, about your product or service, that isn’t true for even if this may not harm anyone immediately, it is sure to come back and hurt your business worse than you might anticipate.

Engage your customers with more than just your product or service

It would make good business sense to show especially your loyal customers their true value to you. The leader of the company could probably be shown as being the ambassador of a particular product or service that has a loyal customer base. This would not only be a unique way of positioning your brand, but will also tell your customer that he or she is very important to your company and you would like to retain them for the longest possible time. Another way to hit bull’s eye through customer service is to personalize every interaction and each experience your customer has with you. Strive towards leaving them with a pleasant and memorable exchange allowing them to believe that you place them first in all you do.

Do not ignore competition

Keeping your focus on the customer, should not detract from keeping you aware of what your competition is doing. Learn from their mistakes and what they have done exceptionally well. Remain abreast with industry trends and best practices and incorporate them to deliver flawless service to your customers.

Use all possible channels of communication

As a company, use all possible media to reach your customer. For one customer it may be convenient to reach you through the use of email and for another through social media. Yet another customer is probably happier having an interactive chat session or sending feedback after viewing an interactive marketing video. Scaling up your customer service to use either of these means to react quicker to customer queries and needs, will set you apart from the others and send a strong message to your customers about your commitment to keeping them first.

Keep transactions simple

A customer really should not have to labor to engage in business with your company. All payments, resolution of problems or any other arrangements must be hassle free and quick. You will find customers making a beeline to do business with your company!

Top quality customer service representatives

The core of customer satisfaction would be that they receive top class service when interacting especially with your customer service representatives. Ensure that you match the person you hire with the soft skills required to express that the customer is always first. Give them the requisite hard core training, repeatedly, so they have a clear understanding of what is expected of them and the drastic consequences of ignoring or not putting these training methodologies in to practice. Give them the leeway, discretion and resources they would need to represent your company’s mantra of customer first.

Make this mantra all pervasive within the environs of your office. Every employee and every action of your company should speak the language that reflects the seriousness of keeping the customer’s expectations at the helm of everything that happens. Have regular programs and meetings where this is the highlight. Ensure that everyone knows that this is not one of the ‘nice to do’ activities but a ‘must do’ one that will secure the company’s future. The company’s success means success for each and every member therein. Being customer centric will put your company on the fast track to success.

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Interactive Guides for Superior Customer Service

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