In this modern age when almost everything comes handy, customers have become less appreciative and are difficult to please. With the advancement in technology and the accessibility of information, product quality among competing brands and companies are almost equal. Hence, the determining factor in choosing the brand or company lies in the customer service.
Customer service in today’s world is an essential part of a company. With the increasing competition among all industries, the challenge is to deliver high-quality products accompanied by great customer service. This task, however, is not a piece of cake. Read on to know more about the challenges of delivering customer satisfaction and how to resolve them.
Understanding customer expectations
The first, and probably the biggest, challenge is understanding diverse and constantly changing customer expectations. Most companies target specific customers -- by gender, race, age, generation, etc. While these customer classifications may share similar basic requirements of a certain product, they do have varied desires that they take into account when purchasing a product. This is the reason why talking to customers is the best strategy. It is important for a business to get to know its clients, customers, and consumers. Find out their expectations, their needs, their preferences, their non-negotiables, their opinions on the product and their suggestions for improvement.
Reaching out to customers
Doing research and gathering data on customer expectations bring us to the task of reaching out to customers. There are plenty of ways to advertise and get through the customers. We have print media, radios, televisions, phones, emails, social media and of course, face-to-face campaign. The primary challenge, though, is to get the message across. With telephones, the challenge is to understand just by listening. The challenge in emails and chats is to understand emotions by reading through the opinions that have no tone. In social media, the challenge is to present everything with the pressure of doing it in public.Implementing a customer feedback service and having a systematic approach to gathering data from customers will help the company understand and work for a better customer experience.
Exceeding customer expectations
In businesses, it is not just enough to meet the customer’s expectations. The fact that these expectations are constantly changing, companies must then be always a step ahead. It is also noteworthy to know that often times, the expectations of customers are set by the competitors. Stay ahead of the competition by being updated with new initiatives and suggestions based on customer feedbacks and current industry trends.
Consistency is probably the most difficult challenge to achieve. Great customer service must be delivered to all customers, across all business channels, 24/7. Each and every experience of each and every customer must be equally good. In a research conducted by Rawson, Duncan, and Jones, they found out that customers do not care much about singular touchpoints. What affects customer satisfaction are cumulative experiences across multiple touchpoints and in multiple channels over time.Consistency can be achieved by having clear-cut policies on delivering great customer service. All employees must be made aware of these policies and strict implementation of these policies must be adhered to.
Employing skilled customer service professionals
As more businesses focus on customer service, the demand for skilled customer service professionals is on the rise. Hiring such employees is one thing, retaining them is another. Companies must have structured programs to teach and train new hires about company policies, values, culture and practices in dealing with customers. Additionally, considering that customer service is one of the most stressful jobs, companies must also provide benefits that offer work-life balance and support lifestyle activities that can reduce stress and boost productivity.
Creating a customer-first culture
The long-term solution to achieving consistency across all business channels is to instill a customer-first company culture. A customer-driven company culture can be described as having a distinct appreciation for customer service, understanding the impact of their service and are willing to go out of their way to meet customer needs. In order to cultivate this culture, it must be emphasized during the hiring and training process. The employees must be able to see the company vision, fit into the culture and work with the company to achieving the company’s goals. Employee retention is also a key factor to success. Staff turnover not only affects the internal aspects of the business, it is also not good for the customers. Dealing with the same person develops trust and is a good way to build long lasting relationships.
It is difficult to thrive, much less stay ahead of the competition, in today’s market. But having exceptional customer service makes this possible. The good starting point is to focus first on the employees. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers.
Infinit Contact prides itself on delivering high-level customer service. You may contact us here for more information on how you can take advantage of this service.