Are you the only person in your space doing what you do? Probably not. The unfortunate truth is that no matter how good you are at what you do or how incredible your product, there’s a good chance that your losing business to your competitors. Even if their product differs little (if at all) to yours. Why? Because they offer a more satisfactory or trustworthy customer experience. Whether you operate in the digital or physical space, the customer experience is your opportunity to establish a USP. It allows you the opportunity to distance yourself from other businesses that are offering the same things in the same place.
That’s something you can’t afford to pass up! Especially in the current climate where consumer confidence is low, and customers are looking for reassurance and reliability from the brands they do business with. You need to deliver operational excellence with a strong focus on customer service.
Here are some areas in which you’ll need to invest to create a flawless customer experience both on and off the premises…
Chatbots and answering services
Being heard and acknowledged is crucial to the customer experience. All too often, businesses fall at the first hurdle, because customers don’t feel as though they’re listened to. Which is why customers need to have an immediate point of contact. Even when it’s out of hours. An answering service can give customers that much needed point of contact out of hours. Even if you can’t action anything until the next morning. Likewise, you may be surprised by how much more sophisticated chatbots have become. They can help customers to feel that they have been engaged with so that your customer facing employees have a strong foundation to build upon.
Don’t you just hate it when a company has a great looking website, but when you arrive on-site, your comfort and care seem like an afterthought? Where you have to sit on a seat that’s seen better days sipping stale coffee in a waiting room that’s either stiflingly hot or unseasonably dank and chilly?
Even if you’re at the top of your game operationally, when customers don’t feel comfortable on-site it can sour the experience. Everything from investing in good quality electric furnace parts to maintaining restroom cleanliness and even making sure that there are recent newspapers and magazines in waiting rooms go a long way in helping customers feel valued and comfortable on site.
Employee training and development
The infrastructure that you’ve put in place ensures a framework for excellence. But for your customers, that excellence will be manifested in the actions of your employees. Which is why it’s so essential that you invest in their training and development. Nothing deflates customers like employees that are lacking in confidence, unable to answer their questions or need to “ask the manager” everything except their own name.
Engaged, motivated and empowered employees will always be the best way to make customers feel valued and cared for.
Keep collecting feedback and using it effectively
And finally… Returning to the notion of ensuring that customers feel listened to, you need mechanisms in place to solicit feedback from customers. Whether these are exit interviews, collections of ad hoc social media responses or follow up calls, your customers’ impressions of their experience can provide invaluable data that allows you to chart a path to ongoing success in customer service.
Just make sure you check back on the data you’ve obtained frequently and use it to guide your strategic decision making. Data for data’s sake is of no benefit to any business!