I am on a mission. To change the customer experience narrative in our space. I strongly believe that many businesses will do better if they keep a close tab on what their customers are experiencing doing business with them.
Tip No 1: Think Like The Customer.
What are customers looking for? We cannot satisfy them until we have put ourselves in their shoes. It is not enough to just produce something. You must feel what the customer is feeling interacting with your products and services. In doing business with you, customers want to feel good about themselves and that they have done the right thing in making that purchase or experiencing that service. You should reinforce this view of themselves. You can only do that when you put yourself in their shoes.
Tip No 2: Listen To Your customer.
Many times, customers feel barraged by salespeople who just want to offload stuff. They never really pause to understand what the customer is asking for. Recently, as a member of my children’s school PTA executive, I was mandated to look for an insurance company that could develop a package that would cover our children in the event that they lose their parents. However, we wanted a few details addressed in creating this package. I spoke to a number of insurance companies. I was so disappointed. They just kept throwing their regular packages in my face. Only one, of the many I spoke to, was able to develop something that was affordable and also addressed our issues. It was painstaking but possible.
Meeting customer needs requires a measure of thinking, something we just don’t like to do in our clime. Most of the other insurance companies were not listening to me. They would allow me to say my piece, then they would send their regular packages without any recourse to what I had told them. This way of selling is unacceptable. We must listen before we sell. That way, we are more likely to make the sale.
Tip No 3. Go The Extra Mile To Keep Your Brand Promise.
Having made the sale, it is important that the customer is not disappointed in the purchase. He should get what you promised. I watch adverts on TV that make promises that the products can never live up to. The adverts attract customers and that’s it. It ends there. The experience is a far cry from what was promised. What do you think will happen to that customer? He or she will just not come back. Businesses must go the extra mile to keep their promises.
Tip No 4. Resolving customer complaints
When the promises are broken and the customer complains, the least we can do is resolve the problem without irritating the customer further. Don’t start interrogating the customer. Don’t pass the customer from one desk to the other. Don’t hand him over to a staff that does not have the authority to resolve the issue. Don’t make the customer feel stupid and defensive. Resolve the issue as quickly and efficiently as possible. Resolving customer complaints is one of the best ways to engage with your customers. The manner in which issues are resolved can make or mar your relationship with your customers.
Tip No 5. Deliberately Seek Feedback From Your Customers Consistently.
Beyond listening to customers’ needs, also listen to feedback after using your products and services. Many times businesses do not have a structured approach to soliciting feedback. If it is not structured into the process, it won’t get done or at best, it would happen haphazardly. You can’t work effectively with such feedback. Get feedback regularly and do something about the information that emerges. There is a huge opportunity in the feedback customers give. Businesses must begin to mine this goldmine.
Tip No 6. Be Innovative And Think Value Creation.
The Delta Principle George Colombo- says that “The quality of your customers’ experiences is not a direct result of the objective of your products or services. Instead, customer satisfaction is more a function of how closely your customers’ experiences with your business conform to their expectations”. The onus lies with businesses to pay close attention to ensuring that customers’ expectations and experience match. It requires constant innovative thinking. Businesses must never rest their oars. The question must always be ’How can we add more value to our customers’ lives. What can we do to up our game? Organizations that ask these questions will always come up with exciting ways to delight their customers. They will remain in business and most probably give competitors a run for their money.
This post is one of many which I am writing in this season to put my weight behind helping organizations to improve their customer experience. There is so much to say. So I take this opportunity to invite you to take my online course titled, Excellent Customer Service, Your Business Lifeline. I take you on a journey of understanding what customer service is all about and how it really should work.
I will be discussing more about:
- Who the customer really is and what they expect doing business with you.
- What good customer service looks like and how can we transmit it to service excellence.
- The drivers of service excellence
- The skills required to deliver service excellence
- How to handle customer complaints.
Inputting my weight behind righting the wrong, I want to ensure you are able to deliver consistent customer experience by understanding and managing customer expectations well. This will increase customer satisfaction and make them loyal to your businesses. They become your business advocates.
To right the wrong requires a certain understanding driven by skills that ensure you can deliver what your customers are looking for. People don’t have innate customer service skills, they are learned.
So course like this is critical to business owners and their people because research done by Technology giant Microsoft shows that Around the globe, 96% of consumers say customer service is an important factor in their choice of loyalty to a brand.
Against this background, it is pertinent that businesses begin to look again at their interactions with their customers. They must go the extra mile to ensure these interactions are good enough to repeatedly delight customers. That is what this program is all about, to equip you with the skills and mindset required to ensure that customers enjoy. To enroll for the course just click on the link below. We have not left out our corporate takers. We have an interesting package for you as well. Just send us an email [email protected] and we will get back to you.
My name is Chinwe Kalu. I design training programs for SMEs and Entrepreneurs and corporate organizations with special focus on Customer Service, Marketing, Sales, Business Soft Skills, Self- Development & Motivation, Leadership, and General Management.
I have worked in a number of customer-focused organizations in a span of over 25 years-Finance & Banking, Personal Care Services, Consultancy & Training. I am currently the CEO of Customer Passion Point Limited.