Not sure if going by the book is the right way to go? Innovation happens when someone decides to not go by the book and take a path not many have yet ventured into. We cannot all be innovators but that does not mean we have to stick to the rules, cent per cent. A sense of entitlement pervades in our society and your customers demand to be given special care and felt appreciated.
All companies appreciate regular customers but do they always express their appreciation? Most companies get weighed down by the processes behind the scene, the work that needs to be done as soon as possible. Take a minute, breathe. Do you think your average customer is aware of your struggles behind the scene? And more importantly, do you think they care? The answer is no, as simple as that. Your customers have life and struggles of their own and it is your products and how well they are served that make an impression on your customer.
Take the stories of customers who received thoughtful gifts from companies. These stories often become viral, with millions commenting on the thoughtfulness on the part of the company and its employees. The story of the little kid who received a new phone in place of the one she lost or the regular customer who got a call of concern for his sudden absence is all stories worth sharing and celebrating. This general tendency can easily justify over-the-top customer services some companies provide.
These services work on two levels. Firstly, it develops a sense of loyalty in your customer as they feel appreciated and would not seek another brand or product simply because they like where they are at present. Secondly, it can prove to be an effective method for attracting new customers. People like to share their stories and when they share the story of your excellent customer service, the story is bound to attract attention and with attention comes affirmations from other customers and then comes the new customers whose interest you have successfully piqued.
Do you find yourself asking why it matters? It matters because we live in an age where FOMO(fear of missing out) and instant gratification abounds. We are never content and nothing ever satisfies us because a new desire takes the place of each desire we fulfil and the cycle is endless. Customer choices are no longer based on money alone. The budget does not matter that much in such a competitive environment, it is the service and delivery that matters more. And if the service you provide manages to please your customers, then you can set yourself apart from your competitors. To build up that reputation, make people gush about the excellent customer service you offer.
A salesperson becomes synonymous with the company they represent and their actions translate into the actions of the company. If you can treat a customer with warmth and consideration, you have consequently helped improve the reputation of your company. However, it can be a double-edged sword as the inappropriate behaviour of one employee can put the whole company into disrepute.
According to Defaqto research, 55% of customers would pay extra to guarantee a better service. How can you make sure that you are providing that ‘better service’ that your customers seek? Keep the following pointers in mind as you deal with your customers.
Communication does not end with Successful Sales
A customer needs to feel valued for them to become a regular customer. Follow-up on their order, collect their feedback and if they have any issues make it your job to resolve them as soon as possible. Got a call from a customer during your day off? Pick up that call and answer their queries because a quick response is a sure-fire way to win the approval of that customer. Go that extra mile and make that customer feel glad that they chose you over your competitor.
Personalise your Customer Service
From shampoo to operating systems everyone craves personalisation and today it is more a norm than an exception. So personalise those follow-up emails and those telephone conversations. Create customer personas and work on tailoring your services to suit your kind of people. Products in the same price range have become so similar that there is a dearth of ways by which your product could stand apart. To distinguish your company from the competition by providing excellent customer service.
Keeping track of all your customers and remembering all their individual preferences can be highly taxing. Apart from the computer-generated data it always pays to make personal notes and keep a track of the observations and general tendencies that you may pick up as you create a bond with each customer. It’s a human impulse to trust a person who remembers something about us because of the fact that the person remembered automatically translates to concern and care. Staying organised can also prevent you from making mistakes like forgetting to follow-up with a particular customer. These seemingly minor omissions and mistakes can eventually tarnish your company’s reputation.
The Administration should Step Up
Offering your customers with the best customer service is no mean feat and it cannot be accomplished solely by a dedicated sales force. The salesforce needs the backing of an administration that provides the resources necessary for the same. Simple steps like decreasing the number of customers per sales personnel can enable an employee to focus more on a single customer and hence ensure that the customer is satisfied with the service. Allow your employees to think independently and refrain from curbing their freedom so that they are not forced to stick to standard procedures. Sticking to the book may seem easier and convenient but it will ultimately limit your employees.