The more companies I interact with, the more I see in many cases we have lost our way and forgotten about the basics of good customer service. How many companies do we call that take several minutes before we speak to a human being? These new pieces of technology, whereby we select options, are sometimes multi-layered to help efficiency, but has that sacrificed potential profit?
I always refer back to what a couple of old bosses and older family relations have said over the years: “Treat people how you want to be treated yourself”. When I call a company, I do not enjoy talking to voice machines and then waiting for up to thirty minutes before I finally speak to someone. Our country is massively reliant on the services industry, but can we say we are world leaders? I see very little to suggest we are.
There are some exceptions where customer experience is very good, but the majority fall short. We may be focusing on cost savings and perceived efficiency, but have we gotten it right? As a customer, sit and think about this for a second. After spending far too long thinking about this, I am sure we have gotten it wrong, but we all have our own views…
Some of these massive corporations have massive databases therefore masses of opportunities. If you look after a customer for one product with complete satisfaction then what are the chances of selling other products? Very high, but more often than not we have a poor experience and are turned off completely.
We need to go back to basics and start interacting with our customers at a personable level. Show that we really care and genuinely want to delight them in every experience they have with our brand.
With my company, we always did a customer satisfaction call at point of engagement, completion of the transaction, and throughout that customer’s life as we engaged with them selling other products. This was after consulting with them and asking how they wanted to be communicated with. You have to have standards and ensure you measure them, exceeding them where possible. So few companies do this, let alone do it well.
First, we need to get senior management to understand that we all want to be treated as an individual customer, not a number. Each of us are individuals in our own right and need to be treated as such. Then we need senior management to build a “delight the customer ethos” through its people so all staff at all levels are inspired and passionate about delighting their customers. The staff need to be valued, included, listened too, communicated too, and incentivised to ensure they go that extra mile.
Through every employee you need to ensure that your competition are behind you. Continue to make strides forward so that you become the market leader in your field that everyone aspires to beat.
Let’s get the joy and passion back into business. Remember, our business is nothing without its customers and people. Customers need to be delighted and our people need to have passion to be inspired.
Having built and sold my SME, I now work with SMEs. I understand their model by embedding myself in the senior management team so I feel the heartbeat of the business. All areas are covered, but the four questions that we work on solving are: How do I grow my business?, How do I achieve client excellence?, How do I make more profit?, and Does my business model deliver?
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