Low Cost methods to Improve Customer Service

“There are many who subscribe to the convention that service is a business cost, but our data demonstrates that superior service is an investment that can help drive business growth. Investing in quality talent, and ensuring they have the skills, training and tools that enable them to empathize and actively listen to customers are central to providing consistently excellent service experiences.” – Jim Bush

Managing customer expectations with business needs is a tightrope walk for any company – daily, relentlessly. With limited resources and an unceasing number of competitors, it is even more imperative for companies to provide the best to their customers – especially service. It makes sense that they should find low costs methods to improve customer service such that their own needs and business targets are met too. It is the duty of every company to improve customer service since customers invest time and money in a company, and therefore expect and deserve nothing but the best. It is hard work and requires huge amounts of resources to find, attract, and gain a new customer and is possibly one of the top priorities for any company. However, forgetting to improve customer service for existing customers could prove to be the downfall for a company.

Providing top class customer service, consistently, has immense benefits for a company and essentially should be among the top business priorities. It should also be mandatory for all employees to understand customer service and extend the best of it to every customer, whenever they have the chance to interact with them. The leadership must ensure that the entire company aims to improve customer service by including it in the overall strategies and framework of the company. Behaviour aligned to helping and serving customers must be recognized and rewarded – this will reinforce acceptable behaviour and motivate employees to provide good service to each other and the company’s customers.

It is clear, that customer expectations and needs change continuously and are different for each customer. Hence, what may have constituted good service yesterday for a particular customer may not be so today and without making constant efforts to improve customer service, a company could be hurting its business in many ways. Poor customer service drives customers away, who then would make their frustration and ire known to others, thereby possibly influencing other existing customers and driving away potential ones. As business slumps, the internal framework of the company weakens and employees too begin to lose faith and this could result in high employee turnover. How does a company with a diminishing customer base and employee numbers hope to remain successful?

With a focus on customers, a company would do all it could to improve customer service, which in turn would result in better business, higher revenue and profits, customer loyalty and ultimately glowing testimonials and referrals from customers. A successful company is able to attract the best of talent, top class partners by way of investors, vendors, and other stakeholders, which adds to its success and market reputation. For a business to grow consistently, it is essential that it has an increasing and steady cash flow. This is a combination of increased sales and lowered costs. Therefore, there is a growing need to use low cost methods to improve customer service. Winning a customer over is only the beginning of the relationship. The customer’s expectations would continue to change and increase as the association moves ahead and a company must be equipped to not only keep pace with the expectations but also manage to improve customer service while using the most cost effective methods, such that its own bottom line and cash flow is not adversely affected.

Companies tend to put all their effort into gaining new customers and forget about the existing ones – who actually are the ones that contribute to their revenue and profit. The real value of a business lies in keeping existing customers happy and satisfied. By focusing on low costs methods to improve customer service, such that customers get what they want, a company would be able to do so without heavy expenses for itself. One of the most effective yet low costs methods for a company to provide top class service is by using its employee base. By keeping its employees happy and cared for, a company would have a passionate and effective workforce ready to serve customers in exactly the same way as the company treats them. Engaged employees are able to deliver the kind of service that enhances customer experiences and turns customers into raving fans.

Studies have proved that employee engagement is one of the top reasons for success of a company. Engaged employees are convincing and extremely confident when speaking with customers regarding the brand, the company, and its offerings. Passionate employees would build trust in customers, leading to loyal and passionate customers. Every customer experience would be pleasant, authentic, and memorable – leading customers to believe the claims made by the company. Customers come back and bring their ‘friends’ with them, to do business.

Another cost effective method is to treat customers with respect. Every company must make an effort to know and understand its customers on a personal level – humanized interactions make a world of a difference to customers in an otherwise cold business world. It would be impossible to provide any kind of solutions without truly understanding the problems that customers face and what solutions they expect to do away with those problems. By conducting periodic surveys, speaking with customers directly, and encouraging them to give feedback via online channels a company would be able to not only understand them, but also be able to use the understanding to improve customer service in a cost efficient manner and in the way that customers would find useful.

By welcoming feedback, a company displays that it is not afraid of listening to everything customers may say, including constructive criticism. This always bodes well for a company – it creates trust and confidence in the mind of customers, which is one of the main reasons that customers stay with a company. Over time, such customers not only provide repeat business, but also encourage others to engage in business, leading to more revenue and profits for a company. While encouraging feedback is a great and low cost method to improve customer service, a company can strengthen its relationships with customers by thanking them for taking time to provide the feedback. Consistently acknowledging and thanking customers via the company’s website and social media, makes them feel valued, special, and important. Such gratitude towards customers encourages them to work with the company not only for their own success but for the success of the company too. Simple recognition and thankfulness to customers is a great way to keep them engaged and display your company’s commitment to provide top class service.

Between employees, leadership, and company strategies, improving and sustaining top class customer service is not hard. When everyone in the company is pulling their weight towards the same goals, achieving them is not as hard. Constant monitoring of what is working and where improvements are required, is another robust method to ensure that nothing within customer service falls through the cracks and is not as time consuming or expensive for a company. In fact, constant monitoring, over time, lowers the cost of operating procedures and of providing good customer service. Everything would work in a timely manner and with clockwork precision, ensuring that the leaders and employees can devote their time towards innovation and the creation of better products and services for the customers. The process of implementing low costs methods to improve customer service may take time and effort – but the pay-off is huge and profitable.

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