Companies now need Customer Service Super Heroes

“The phrase Hero-Class Customer Service embodies the concept that every delivery of superior customer service involves a hero of some sort.” – customersThatstick.com

There is enough research and data to show that a very large number of customers agree that if they receive shoddy service and poor experiences from a company, they would take their business elsewhere. Unless companies keep customers at the centre of everything they do, it would be very hard to provide top class service and pleasant experiences each time. Customer service is no longer a job for ‘weak hearted’ or ‘wimps of service’. Companies now need customer service super heroes in order to stay strong and successful in the increasingly demanding and competitive business scenario. While most companies understand how to make it simple for customers to buy from them, not all realize that this must be complemented by outstanding service and efficient support, becoming the main reason for customer ire and churn.

We live in an age of instant gratification and solutions. The mobile devices and apps ensure that anyone can conduct several online activities at the same time. Obviously, a company’s customers are part of this too – which has raised their expectations with regard to support from the companies at an all-time high. Given these ‘hair-raising’ expectations and demands, companies cannot match up unless they have customer service super heroes – the regular and ill-equipped service agents will just not stand a chance against the super high customer demands. As technology improves, there are bound to be newer online channels of communication, which customers would expect they could use to connect with companies. With so little time, and a seemingly endless things to do, digital interactions have increased, while real world interactions continue unabated as well. For companies this translates to heightened customer expectations including consistent, round the clock, and top class service, if they would be willing to stay with the company.

Companies are as it is struggling to – retain their existing customers, maximize the resources available to them, gain new customers, attract the best talent and retain them. With so much stiff competition, the inability to provide top class service could well sound the death knell for companies. To survive, and succeed, every company needs customer service super heroes, now – these would be the most potent ‘weapons’ for any company to not just get ahead, but stay ahead, trouncing competition each time. The fact is that almost every customer service agent has the ability to become customer service super heroes – a company simply needs to recognize the potential and provide them with the right training, development, and advancement opportunities. Of course, adequate compensation, benefits, and a structured reward and recognition program are also required to encourage ordinary agents to become customer service super heroes.

The challenge hitherto for companies with regard to customer service has been that this particular department did not get its due attention and recognition. It was earlier, and in some companies continues, to be viewed, as a cost centre rather than a profit centre. The leaders of a company rarely have any role to play in customer service, with some of them never having visited the company’s contact centre. With such step treatment meted out to this department, is it any wonder then that service agents refuse to do more than the bare minimum, which is obviously not enough for the super intelligent and demanding customers of today. If companies expect to serve customers with the best of class service, they must first look inwards. They must resolve to show care, concern, empathy, and genuine interest in their employees, and ensure that they are doing whatever required to produce customer service super heroes among the ‘ordinary ranks’ of employees. By caring for their employees, they would create a bond and an emotional connection between the employees and the brand. These feelings would then be ‘transferred’ from the employees to the customers, each time and in every interaction, leading to delighted customers, who would, over time, become powerful brand ambassadors.

Since customers stay with only those companies that can provide the best service and consistently, customer delight is what companies must deliver. Extra-ordinary service cannot be achieved through ordinary agents, hence the need for customer service super heroes. These super heroes can transform every experience into a magical one, deliver the brand’s promise consistently, fulfil all their duties towards the company, customers, and their co-workers, and ensure that no customer leaves an interaction unhappy. Anyone in business knows how tough it is to even satisfy customers today – imagine living up to the expectation of delighting them through each touch-point and in every interaction. This is obviously the job of customer service super heroes, who can get customers to a point of emotional satisfaction, differentiate the products and service of the company, increase loyalty, and lead customers to brand advocacy.

Customer loyalty, is as we know, hard to attain and even harder to retain. Customer service super heroes would have the ability to take customers to a heightened state of positive feelings and emotional connection with company, compelling them to spread the positive word of mouth to whomever they can and through whatever means available to them. This has a double advantage for a company – the existing customer service super heroes, create potential superheroes from amongst customers. Loyalty breeds brand advocacy, making customers the potential selling army of a company. Has your company experienced this by providing top class service to its customers? If not, it is time to start now, or be left very far behind. The impact of positive word of mouth from existing customers is possibly still to be appreciated – and it would help companies to strive towards it since it is becoming an increasingly critical component in the success of any company.

A company should aim to encourage, and create customer service super heroes such that they in turn create customer brand ambassadors, whose word of mouth can influence at least 50% of the purchase decisions of prospective customers. Research reveals that only 1000 such customers can generate up to 500,000 ‘discussions’ about a company’s brand – this is a scale that companies can only imagine, but with the right support, every company can make customer service super heroes out of their existing customers as well.

Traditionally, it was the job of only the customer service agents to manage all customer transactions, and keep customers happy enough to continue doing business with the company. However, these dynamics have changed – customers are not easily appeased and simply keeping them happy does not suffice in the current cutthroat market. It takes a lot more to attract and retain them, and get them to a stage where they are emotionally connected with the company, to a point where they feel responsible for the success of the company, and would be glad to recommend consistently the company to others. This is certainly not the job for ordinary agents – but calls for the ‘powers’ of customer service super heroes. If your company has not thought about service and customers from this perspective, it is time to think and put into place strategies and policies that would not only create customer service super heroes on the inside, but from within your customer base as well. Do this and your company is ready to win the ‘war’.

 

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