ACHIEVING CUSTOMER SERVICE EXCELLENCE
As an award-winning digital marketing company, delivering excellent customer service is one the keys to our success. It’s helped us build strong relationships with existing clients and gained us new clients; no doubt these are results that other businesses have also seen.
It’s a huge concern for companies with studies showing that poor customer service can drive away 89% of consumers. It makes sense for companies to look for ways to keep customers satisfied and strengthen loyalty to their brand.
There is a well known statement in the business world: “It costs 6–7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one.” This begs the question, are businesses putting enough effort into retaining their existing customers?
From having over 30 years’ combined experience in customer service we have been able to draw knowledge on how businesses can retain customer satisfaction through a number of approaches…
THE VALUABLE CUSTOMER
The one key word that appears when asking customers what they want from companies is VALUE. This can be in the form of guides for using products or even articles offering advice. These little extras can go a long way; if customers are faced with the fact that they can gain rewards from continuing their services then there is less reason for them to go to elsewhere.
To put this into context, imagine walking into a car dealership and choosing between two different cars. You will weigh up the pros and cons of both cars, but the deciding factor could be which of the cars would offer better fuel efficiency? Or which of these cars comes with a longer warranty. Or even which model has the best entertainment system.
The customer will always be comparing companies to see how they can get the better end of the deal. It makes sense to distinguish your company from the rest.
THE DIGITAL CUSTOMER
Customer service comes in numerous forms, many of which have become more prominent in the world of digital.
Having help on hand through social media has proven to be a successful initiative, in fact most major companies will have a customer services team in place for their social media accounts. This can guarantee a quicker response for customers and highlight a company is dedicated to help their service users.
As a digital agency, social media is of the utmost importance to us and our clients. Social channels are used daily by customers whether it be to praise a service or to complain. From airlines to finance industries, all sectors are participating in social media to address customers.
Social can be the easiest way for customers to address their concerns about products/services. A study showed that customers can spend 20 – 40% more with a company as a result of companies engaging and responding to customer services requests over social media. Clearly a social media presence is an essential for companies; it can pay to take advantage of social platforms out there.
Communication between customers and companies can have a huge effect on the flow of service. With maintaining a clearer understanding of the company’s responsibility, it’s vital that a company is able to clarify and identify customer needs.
Customers want to know clearly what companies can do for them without needing to communicate back and forth. If a company is able to communicate clearly with their customers, then it shows that they care about the details which can help build a professional and trustworthy image of the company.
For a company, miscommunication can lead to big problems. Through clarifying your messages there is less likelihood for miscommunication and can make service delivery smooth. Remember, it’s never smart to assume! Always think of how customers will perceive your message and whether the customer has been given sufficient information to move forward.
MEASURING CUSTOMER SERVICE
Like all aspects of business, measuring the performance of customer service is the only way to see it is working efficiently. Not only does this show whether it is working but can also indicate how it can be improved.
As a creative digital marketing agency we are always looking for ways to get better at what we do; this doesn’t limit to just digital marketing but also the way we communicate and help with our clients. This includes refining processes for dealing with customers and managing customer relationships.
Finding out the performance of service delivery from a customer’s feedback is advantageous. This insight is valuable, many customer service providers will find it difficult to get into a customer’s mindset and could subsequently miss out issues concerning their customers.
How do you measure customer service? The way for measuring customer service can differ for each organisation, for instance, surveys could be suitable for B2C businesses whereas B2B businesses may opt for more professional methods such as follow up calls after delivering a service.
Customer service is a huge priority for all businesses, so making this to the best possible standard can differentiate your business from the rest. The quality of how customers experience communication and help from businesses will have a direct impact on their brand’s image.
In the digital industry there is no such thing as filtering out negative publicity, which is why keeping customers satisfied is more important now more than ever. Freedom for customers to choose service providers motivates businesses to excel at all areas; from the quality of their products/services right down to the quality of help customers are receiving.
With the reward of referral and retention from customer service excellence, it’s an essential to improve, evolve and define your customer service strategy.