Show your Customers you Care

“If you don’t care, your customer never will.” – Marlene Blaszczyk

How many times have you witnessed great service, a lot of attention and loads of care from a newly set-up company or store? You are made to believe that this is how it will remain as long as you are a customer and then the company begins to grow by virtue of all the ‘well-wishers’ and all the promises seem to vanish. How hard is it to show your customers you care? In fact, as your company grows you have more resources – money, people and technology – to help. The new age customers may not be easily satisfied but it is your responsibility to show your customers you care. This is not just an expectation of the customers but also paves the way for better growth and earning potential. It is therefore important for your company to put in place a robust customer service strategy not only to show your customers you care but also to grow a loyal customer base. To show your customers you care, there are some vital customer service processes that must be in place. What processes does your company have?

  • Invest in high quality staff, technology and customer service support systems. With such a solid system in place you would be able to provide superior levels of service and also consistently outdo any effort put in by your competitors. With this kind of high quality service, you will show your customers you care. When customers trust you, it is very tough to be defeated!
  • Ensure that everyone in your company is aware of your customer service policies and standards. For clarity and uniformity, ensure that you have in place a structured service policy that is in writing and easily accessible to all. Your company’s intranet, website and social media sites must have this policy clearly displayed. Empower your customer service staff to implement any procedures at any time.
  • Record, monitor and track the service standards by your service staff. Provide feedback and coaching if improvement is required and never forget to publicly reward and recognize those employees who consistently provide superior levels of service. When such behaviour is rewarded, it motivates everyone to do better and as a result the overall service and product standards improve and you will show your customers you care.
  • Make customer-focus and service your company’s mantra. Inculcate it in your company’s values and culture and link it to growth and benefits within the company. When your employees see the advantages of providing great service, they would be more committed to partnering with you in this endeavour.
  • Be open. Share both complaints and great feedback from customers with all in the organization. Solicit feedback from your employees on how to improve service standards and reduce customer complaints. This will show your company’s continued commitment to excel in the realm of customer service and overall as a company.
  • Solicit feedback from your customers as well. Actively seek to extract and analyse data / information about them such that you can provide customized service and also pay close attention to your customer’s needs and preferences and make them feel comfortable doing business with you. This sense of comfort and trust must be displayed at all touch-points if you wish to show your customers you care.
  • Train and coach your customer service staff to use words and phrases that will make customers happy and give them a feeling of being valued and important to your company. Give your customers every opportunity to clearly explain what they need and expect and also give them ample room to vent when they are upset with your company for whatever reason. The customer service agents must smile when the answer the phone and use phrases like “we are here to help” or “we will be glad to help” and such. These are positive expressions that help customers perceive the company’s commitment to service excellence.
  • Be ready to help and sort out the customer’s problem as speedily and efficiently as possible. Keep them informed about what you are doing to solve their problems. Customers really appreciate being kept informed and also prefer being spoken to direct and jargon free language.
  • As we said earlier, empowerment of your front-line staff is crucial. They should be able to confidently tell the customer what they know, provide solutions / discounts / other sops as solutions to a customer’s problem. Also they must have good knowledge of the company and its products such that they don’t appear diffident or silly when answering some basic questions from the customers. Knowledgeable and well-trained staff is the most basic form of customer service and is the primary way to show your customers you care. When they connect with your company, they must feel confident that they will be ‘met’ with people who know the company and their job.
  • Put non-negotiable and stringent checks in place to ensure that whatever is promised to your customers is delivered. If your customer service staff takes responsibility of something it must be done, if they tell the customer that delivery would be made at a particular time it should be, if the customer is told that they would be kept informed and updated that is exactly what should happen and other the fulfilment of other such ‘set in stone’ customer service standards.

Customers are a much smarter, more savvy and more informed than ever thanks to digitization and information available at the click of a button. They have no need to wait around to be served and have myriad options from which to choose.  Customers are the life-blood of any company – anyone running a business knows that without customers there will be no company and hence everyone is practically ‘falling over each other’ trying to show their customers that no one else can provide them with better service.

Given the options and the ready access to information, it would be detrimental for your company to ignore any measure to show your customers you care. If service is great at the time that you are trying to solicit their business and once they do give your company business, any lapse would leave the customer feeling cheated and they would begin to distrust you. Disgruntled customers are the worst kind of negative advertisement for any company as they have the ability to take away other business and also speak ill of your company on the highly visible social media sites. Such negative publicity can prove to be a major dampener on the reputation of your company, which most of time is hard to recover from.

To show your customers you care, keep in touch with them. Of course, you must first ascertain their comfort level and the number of times they would like to hear from you. Whatever your strategy, ensure that you remain ‘current and present’ in the mind of your customers. Keep them engaged and excited about they will hear from you next – this is a great way to generate interest and also to get repeat and additional business. Also never forget to periodically thank your customers for their business and also reach out to them on special occasions or any company landmarks and achievements.

It is no secret that the market is more aggressive and cut-throat than ever before. Leads and conversions are not as easy to come by and customers are a lot more educated and intelligent than before. They know what they want and how they can get it and refuse to settle for less. The one thing that is a constant though is that customers love working with companies that they can trust and are highly likeable. Trust and likeability will come when you can show your customers you care.

 

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