5 side effects of improving customer service
Good customer service is good marketing. It’s a simple idea, but sometimes one that gets lost in the details of managing an organization. How do you make sure your company is focused on customer service and getting it right, and what does it mean for the bottom line?
One of my favorite stories from our work over the last 10 years comes from a call center where the director was convinced that his 30+ years of studying algorithms had created the perfect call center scenario?even though the employees on the front lines were saying they had better ways to serve the customer.
So, what happens when you focus on customer service and free your employees to make customers wildly happy?
1. Repeat business
Imagine all the work and expense that goes into getting a profitable customer to buy for the first time. Great! But then, they have a terrible experience with their transaction and an even worse time with your sales or customer service department. All that effort and money to gain a new customer, just to have them turn around and never come back! The key to a successful business is to persuade that customer to buy again and again. It’s cheaper to keep a customer than to get a new one. Excellent, engaged service is key to keeping customers and clients happy and coming back to you as a trusted partner and provider.
Once you’ve gained that loyal, repeat customer, you’ve also gained free word-of-mouth marketing! Whether you’re serving other businesses or retail customers, referrals are valuable and a direct result of quality customer service. Listen to this testimonial of how changing their workplace culture helped this organization focus on customers and how customers resonded:
3. Online word of mouth
Personal referrals are now amplified exponentially through the internet and social networks. A flurry of frustrated tweets or facebook comments from your customers can do real damage. Providing excellent customer service can really pay off when your happy customers tell all of their friends and followers about their positive experience with your business. Are your employees engaging with clients online? Are they free to interact without overly restrictive social media policies?
4. Higher productivity
How does a focus on quality customer service affect your employees? When your employees are focused on the ultimate outcome and the ultimate customer, an interesting thing happens. Suddenly, any activity or task that doesn’t serve that goal gets dumped and productivity goes up. If everyone is focused on ONE customer, then the system becomes self-correcting. Employees align their behavior to a clear outcome and hold everyone else accountable to making sure all activities are the best use of time to serve the ultimate customer.
5. Improved employee morale
Recently The Maritz® Poll found that while workers generally enjoy interacting with customers they often feel their hands are tied by corporate policies that focus on bottom-line needs rather than those of the customers they are called to serve. Sadly, few employees reported that they were recognized for providing great service to customers. The Maritz survey also found that employee satisfaction has declined from last year?s already low ratings. When employees are empowered to provide good service, their work suddenly has more meaning, and they’re more instrincally motivated. Stories of disheartened employees in massive corporations illustrate how a company-wide lack of concern for customers can lead to a broken workforce.
When everyone in your organization is focused on the same ultimate customer and ultimate outcome, customer service will improve. The bottom line of awesome service is happy repeat customers, valuable referrals, online viral word-of-mouth, boost in productivity, and satisfied employees.
How has your experience with customer service affected your business? Share your stories, advice, and questions in the comments below!
image credit: Warm ‘n Fuzzy
[Quelle/Source (Link): Cali and Jodi Blog]