Being a Customer Friendly Company

“Think about ways you can make your business more customer friendly. Look for opportunities to show how easy you are to do business with.” – Shep Hyken

The common trait between companies and businesses that seem successful today would be that they are genuinely customer friendly, and promote a culture of focusing on the needs of customers. A customer friendly company would be one that views its customers as the centre of whatever it does, and as being the single most important factor for its success. Such a company would display sincerity, clarity, and honesty in all its dealings with customers, and would afford them with the highest level of customer service at all times. All the employees of a customer friendly company would realize their responsibility in ensuring that the customers remain for the longest time, provide top class testimonials, and encourage others to engage with the company too.

In today’s business world, being a customer friendly company is of prime importance, and should be the essence of any company. Customers are quick to assess the ‘friendliness and customer-focus of a company’ and will reciprocate accordingly. Companies that treat customers poorly, can be certain to gain instant and lifelong ‘enemies’, who will not just stop doing business, but would ensure that a very large number of people hear of the ill-doings of the company, which in turn can potentially block out any prospective business too. The kind of experiences that a company gives its customers would decide the fate of the company, and get it the label of a customer friendly company or not. The good and bad news is that small and simple experiences can either turn customers into raving fans or vociferous ‘enemies’. For example – it is extremely satisfying for a customer when their call is answered in a ring or two, while not having one’s call answered before 10-12 rings can be extremely irritating. Customer service staff are trained to ‘smile’ when answering the phone and while conversing with customers. The reason is simple – the smile can ‘be seen’ through the phone, just as a sullen and monotonous expression would be extremely noticeable.

As a customer friendly company it would be important to make every effort to listen with a view to understanding customers. It is about knowing that when customers complain, they have no personal agenda against anyone, but are only trying to get their problem resolved. In fact, a customer friendly company would view a complaint as a ‘gift’ and an opportunity to serve customers even better, and improve their overall standing in the market. A company that seeks to understand, offers several solutions for a single problem, and ensures that customers receive prompt attention and effective resolutions would be a customer friendly company, and the kind that customers would love to connect with and remain with for a long time.

Being a customer friendly company means that the company would focus on building internal strength by reducing expenses, keeping costs down, making profits, and simultaneously ensuring that all customers receive top class service and experiences each time. The fact is that being in business is about profits and market share – and both these are results of listening attentively to customers, alleviating their pain, and addressing their needs instantly. The employees of a customer friendly company remain focused on being efficient in their jobs, while ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction, and are confident that the company would recognize their top and consistent efforts. Such a company would be internally strong and cohesive, with line managers and top leaders supporting line staff by caring for their needs, ensuring that the employees are able to do their jobs well and remain caring and conscious about the needs of customers.

In order to strengthen its customer service, and remain as a customer friendly company, the frontline employees would receive remuneration, professional development, and praise based on how well they serve customers – not basing these factors on seniority alone. A customer friendly company would ensure that their service staff receives regular and relevant training and coaching to help develop their interpersonal, communication, and technical skills. Such a company would consistently solicit feedback not just from customers, but from the employees as well, ensuring that all the decisions that would affect the employees, would have their complete buy-in and support. A customer friendly company would realize its responsibility of constantly tracking and monitoring customer feedback and insights, to keep a check on how it would be faring with regard to service and customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is not left to chance or based on guesswork, but rather would be a meticulously planned strategy, part of the overall business strategy – an important trait of a customer friendly company.

As mentioned, customers love companies that treat them well, and give them their due importance – in fact, customers are willing to pay more for the products and or services of such companies. Research shows that customers would be willing to spend at least 10% more for the same product with a company that has top class customer service. If your company is a customer friendly company, you can be certain that attracting and retaining customers would be a lot easier, since customers who receive good service would be certain to let at least 9 to 12 other people know, and there is an 82% chance that when a customer’s complaint has been handled efficiently, he or she would provide repeat business. It takes time and effort to become and remain a customer friendly company, but the benefits far outweigh every investment a company may make.

A customer friendly company would be certain to put in additional effort to establish and sustain a rapport and emotional connection with its customers, which in turn would make at least 98% of all customer interactions a lot more efficient and faster. Additionally, a company focused on the best interests of its customers would be more likely to invest in top class CRM technology and tools. Every person in the organization would receive training and support to manage the changes in roles, responsibilities, and company systems. A customer friendly company would ensure that employees were treated as partners and assets, and would receive ample time to adjust and get accustomed to new systems and ways of doing things in the company.

A customer friendly company would display its focus on customers through its vision and mission statements – highlight what the company hopes to achieve in the future for itself and its customers. These statements would be made visible across the company’s physical office spaces, company brochures and literature, company website, social media sites, and other online presence. The statements would be customer-centric, aimed at strengthening the connection with existing customers, and forming one with the target audience. Whatever the company does would reflect its commitment to remaining a customer-centric and customer friendly company.

In today’s cutthroat business environment, staying ahead of competition is possible only for companies that regularly evaluate their strategies, and make a conscious effort of becoming and remaining a customer friendly company. It is not hard – but does require consistent strategies and meticulous plans from a company in order to help with customer success and becoming successful as a result.

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