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Delighting your Customers
2015 was a wonderful year for the world of service. It’s the year where executives finally realized (or accepted) the important role of quality service in building their brand and differentiating their company and offerings. This is reflected by a willingness to invest in initiatives to enhance the customer experience. As importantly, management is also acknowledging that delivering outstanding service (including sales) is not just the responsibility of their service organization (or contact center); instead, great service needs to be an integral part of a company’s culture, the overarching operating imperative that guides every employee’s interactions with customers and prospects and how departments work with each other.
Below is a list of ideas for building a corporate structure that is dedicated to delighting your customers. Some of these can be accomplished by changes in best practices, organization and training, while others require major investments in people, process and technology. Many of these suggestions are strategic and will have a broad impact on your company, while others are more tactical. DMG recommends selecting 2 or 3 from the list and including them in your plans for 2016.
- Make it easy for your customers to conduct business – This is an extensive and ongoing initiative that requires a company to review and analyze every step of the customer journey.
- Look at business from your customers’ perspective – Please stop trying to force your customers to adapt to your business practices; they are going to do things the way they want, with or without your cooperation.
- Personalize the service (and sales) experience – Figure out how to give every customer/prospect what they want.
- Be transparent – This is both strategic and tactical. Train your employees to “own” customer service – if something’s wrong, fix it; if it’s good, make it better.
- Take down organizational silos that stand in the way of progress – If your organizational structure results in extra effort for employees and customers, it’s time to take it down and rebuild it.
- Enhance your self-service solutions (interactive voice response (IVR), websites and apps) – There are new and effective self-service capabilities and apps. It’s time to update 5- to 10-year old applications, particularly if they’re your primary interface to customers.
- Go social – Social media is the least expensive focus group and method for capturing the “buzz” about your company and competitors. (It’s also time to use social media for social customer care.)
- Build customer engagement – Reach out and interact with your customers in their channel of choice; be there for customers when they want/need you.
- Actively listen and acknowledge – Create a closed-loop feedback process to solicit and respond to feedback from customers and prospects.
- Deliver random acts of kindness to your customers – Let your customers know that you appreciate their business.
- Create customer-friendly rewards programs – Use rewards and incentives to show your customers that you appreciate them and their business.
- Encourage and reward employee advocacy and engagement – Invest in your employees; they are your best advocates.
- Fix known problems – Identify and fix any problems; all companies have them. Reward and recognize employees and customers for helping you resolve issues.
Reward innovation – Recognize and reward new and creative ideas and concepts.
These are a few of the initiatives that companies should consider on an annual basis. The most customer-friendly organizations are not those that think they have all of the answers, but rather those that are willing to work with customers to find new approaches and solutions. We invite you to share your ideas and suggestions for delighting customers with us. Click here.
Wishing you a wonderful, healthy, happy, successful and fun 2016!
Ask the Experts
What is enterprise feedback management?
DMG Consulting defines enterprise feedback management (EFM), previously known as surveying or voice of the customer (VoC), as a holistic approach to collecting feedback from multiple parties, including customers, employees, investors, prospects, partners and other constituents who have a vested interest in a company’s products, services and performance… Read More
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DMG Consulting LLC is a leading independent research, advisory and consulting firm specializing in unified communications, contact centers, back-office and real-time analytics. Learn more at www.dmgconsult.com.