Organizations lack control over a lot of what happens in the market and the world. This is true during the best of times, and more so during challenging times. Yet, there is always one aspect of business under your control. That is the quality of service you provide your customers. Regardless of what industry you are in, whether you are a B2B or B2C company, and no matter what you sell, you have full control over your relationship with customers.
Improving the quality of the engagement you have with your customers through customer service and customer experience creates loyal customers that not only want to buy again, but tell their friends and family about your product or service. Many organized consider this area an expense that produces little to no value. Nothing could be further from the truth. While it can be difficult to quantify customer service on the balance sheet, the results are still often felt on the bottom line. Sales are easier, engagement is smoother, and the business just feels better.
Easy Steps to Improve Engagement Quality
There are several simple steps you can take to improvement engagement quality today. Improving the quality of your customer engagement pays off in the short run and long run. You also build a customer centric culture. Amazon has taken this approach and it has paid massive dividends for them. Every organization can afford to take these steps, regardless of whether there are challenges are not.
- Always put the customer first. This should be obvious, but more often than not businesses not thinking about their customers. Flip the script and think about what your customers want from your services and products. Consider what would reduce friction and help them be successful. Looking at your business from your customer’s perspective is easy way to identify opportunities for improvement and innovation.
- Build a great customer service culture. Emphasize the value of the customer throughout the organization. Praise and reward employee ideas that help customers achieve success with your solutions. Empower employees to solve problems and encourage them to take the customer’s view. This also means establishing processes and procedures that support that objective. This more than just lip-service, you want to truly support and empower your employees to do right by the customer.
- Listen to your customers. Collecting feedback and responding to customers issues is low hanging fruit. Really listening to your customers, understanding their paint points, and solving for that is a fantastic way to build loyalty. Customers that feel like they are being heard are more likely to stick with you in tough times, both yours or theirs. Customers are also a fantastic source of innovative ideas that keep you ahead of your competition.
- Be proactive. Don’t wait for problems to come to you. If you are putting customers first, have a customer centric culture, and are listening to your customers then you will know well in advance the possible challenges you customers will have. You can solve for problems before they actually become problems. Not only will your customers appreciate you thinking ahead and looking out for them, but you avoid the costs and hassle of having to deal with problems and rebuild trust.
- Go the extra step. This is often perceived as over delivering. That doesn’t have to be the case. Sometimes it is as simple and connecting the dots for the customer, sending a reminding, or providing a link. You customers are busy and have a lot on their plates. They will greatly appreciate anything you can do to make things easy for them. Even the smallest gestures are greatly appreciated. Who do you think they will renew with—the partner that is easy to do business with and is thinking of them, or the competitor that is difficult to work with and always required extra work to manage? Be the partner that easy to work with.
Improving your customer engagement doesn’t have to cost a lot. It can be a simple as thinking about your customers first, building a customer centric culture, and paying attention to what your customer’s needs are. Being proactive and going the extra step reduce friction and make your organization easy to work with. Taking a customer centric view to your business builds loyalty. What is best is that you have full control over how you treat your customers.