Improve Customer Experience through Customer Service

All the companies that have a large and loyal customer base enjoy this privilege due to great customer experiences resulting from superior levels of customer service. It is clear that these companies have walked in the shoes of their customers to understand the precise needs and wants of their customers. They have looked at their customer service from the customer’s point of view and are able to close any gaps between expectation and service. Irrespective of how loyal a customer is, it is worth noting that customer behavior studies show that customers will move away at even the slightest drop in service. Customers resent having to repeat themselves, or having to wait or even knowing that their history with the company is being ignored. Companies that subject their customers to this kind of customer service can be sure that will be out of business sooner or later. Companies need to adapt their customer service to meet the expectations and ensure that every customer experience is better than the previous.

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So do companies really understand what customer experience really is? Customer experience can lucidly be described as the response a customer has to any kind of interaction or communication he or she has with your company. Customer experience is the sum of every service he or she receives with regard to the offering of the company – customer service, payment ease, utility, ease of usage. Depending on the experience the customer will either, provide feedback, harsh criticism, highly recommend your company, write about the experience on a social media site. However, the customer responds it will be a direct result of the experience he or she had with the overall customer service of your company. Making each customer experience pleasurable and memorable really is the prime concern of the customer service team. However, it is should not be an area of responsibility only for this team. All the people responsible in making decisions that shape the company’s future must understand how their decisions will affect customer experiences. When re-looking or re-doing business processes, companies that pay close attention to the aspect of customer service being the differentiator, will be the ones to create magical customer experiences. How a customer reacts or describes the experience interacting with your company would either reflect well or not on your company as a whole. So making sure that each member of your company delivers excellent customer service will result in customer experience with a wow factor and translate in to loyalty.

Each customer is different and hence every instance of customer service must ‘fit’ his or her need and requirement. Customer experience is how a customer perceives your service to be and is specific to that particular customer. Customer experience is a direct result of the treatment he receives from your customer service and will have a bearing on the future of the customer’s relationship with your company. With the proliferation of technology in to every aspect of our lives and newer platforms to gain information, customers have a larger number of choices. This has also given rise to greater demands and higher expectations. They are not inclined to wait or be treated shabbily when they can go ‘next door’ to a company that has similar offerings and perhaps better customer service. The way to make them stay, invest again in your brand and recommend your company is by providing interactions and experiences that will wow them. Great customer service will help improve customer experience and get you customer loyalty.

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Companies may become complacent in the thought the product or service they are offering is far superior and well-priced as compared to what is available elsewhere. For customers however, great customer experiences far outweigh these factors. Customer service creating excellent customer experiences will always be the deciding factor. When all the offerings are similar, it is a given that the company that provides the extra edge in the form of personalized customer service will be emerge victorious. What you as a company feel is superior customer service may actually be sub-standard from the customer’s point of view. Getting feedback, collecting and monitoring data will help in determining the kind of personalized service to be provided that will translate to great customer experience. As pointed out before, getting to this highly elevated level of customer service requires each business unit to work cohesively rather than in their own department specific silos. Expecting a customer to stay with you through mechanical or automated customer service is not even open to discussion any more. The answer is a firm NO. Instead of applying force only on how to be the most competitively priced, which with time becomes a losing battle, companies should focus on enhancing customer experience. Customers want and need and it is NOW. They want great products or services, beat down pricing, and homogenized solutions topped with ecstatic customer experiences in each interaction. Customer loyalty cannot be bought – companies must earn it slowly, steadily and patiently. Excellent customer service is the solution to improving customer experience and earning this loyalty.

There are a number of ways to create delightful customer experiences. Each company must look at the areas of customer service they are falling behind in and work on those. If data tells you that first contact resolutions are unsatisfactory by being delayed or not adequate, work quicker turnaround times. Aggressive and pertinent training will be required for your customer service staff for improvement in this area. Methods of communicating with your customers could be deficient and increasing the number of communication channels lets customers be better informed. Business policies and procedures should allow flexibility and discretion to the staff responsible for creating customer experiences. Limiting the scope of their operation will limit the amount of satisfaction the customer derives from the interactions. Increasing customer satisfaction through every interaction will improve customer experience.

Customers that invest in your company want to know that your company is thankful for their business. Show your appreciation by providing personalized customer experiences in each interaction. Maintaining customer records – personal details, preferences, past history with the company and any data related to the customer – will enable customer experiences that are tailored to fit the particular customer. When a company has access to this kind of data, customers also want to be certain that this information is guarded with utmost care. Make your company’s privacy policies transparent. Publish them on your website, social media links and as part of your promotion campaigns. When customers know that their information is protected they are more likely to display this confidence when they talk about their experience with your company. Trust and confidence in customer service enhances customer experiences to a desirable level.

Achieving customer satisfaction and creating a loyal customer base is simply the result of great customer experiences. Using the data gathered, companies can narrow down and close the gap between what they consider to be great customer experiences and what the customer perceives as being great. We all have acknowledged that the customer is right and people are in business because of customers. Hence arguing with the customer’s perception of a great experience would be futile. Constant examining, upgrading, training and strategizing are required to ensure that these gaps cease to exist and customers can truly perceive value in the relationship. Such focused attention to customer needs is what excellent customer service is all about. Understanding the intent and purpose of the customer’s business and the value for your company, will create synergized and empathetic customer experiences. Even the most established companies with serving veterans can get complacent with their success. True they would have worked hard to build a customer base that seems loyal, but unless they too are continually upgrading success is not a given. Successful companies, it would seem, need to work harder to maintain their reputation and deliver even higher standards of customer experiences. Their customers would be accustomed to being served well and even the slightest hint of a let-up could make their customers scurry out the door, to the more than eager competitor. Use your customer service effectively and you will be amazed at the dramatic rise in happy customer experiences.

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Interactive Guides for Superior Customer Service

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