Giving the best possible service to your customers increases the amount of business they give you, what they say about you and whether they recommend you to others. We’ve talked about referrals previously (if you haven't already, read Increase your turnover with meaningful referrals). These, in turn, obviously help increase your profit and turnover. Let's look at how your customers interact with you and what you should be looking at.
What is customer service?
To you it could be the name of a department in your organisation, the one that deals with complaints. Or, it could be the team that speaks to customers when their service doesn’t quite fit the online ordering process. It could also be your description for the action of picking up the phone within three rings, saying “Good morning”, the name of company, name of person speaking and asking how they can help the caller. Whatever it is, thinking about the way you provide a service to your customer like this is outdated. Instead let's talk about customer experience.
What is customer experience?
You might think this is just a meaningless buzz word but actually it describes, far more accurately, what you need to be focusing on: the experience you give the customer from when they very first hear of you onwards. Their complete journey (hate that word, sorry!) with your brand.
Customer care and customer service are aspects of the way you deal with your customers, see below:
Where do you start?
I suggest starting small and working out. Start with customer service and customer care. How good is yours? How do you know? If you aren’t surveying your customers on a regular basis you need to start, now. If you don’t, you won’t know the impact of any changes you make. Customer surveys can be very simple. Use something like survey monkey and send a survey out on a regular basis. Not too often, it will annoy your customers. Try twice a year: once now and once in six months.
What to ask
What this shows you
1 Customer satisfaction
2 Customer loyalty
3 Main areas for development and further investigation
4 Your Net Promoter Score (NPS)
The NPS is a universally acknowledged measurement of customer loyalty. The fact that customers are happy to refer you (as discussed previously), is a strong indicator of their belief in your brand.
So, repeat each month and investigate areas of concern. Most importantly, report back on improvements so customers know you are listening to them and doing something about it. For more information about how to do this contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I improve the customer experience?
This is a huge subject, which I I'll cover in more detail next time but here’s some things to think about in the meantime:
1 Who is your customer?
2 How do they first become aware of your brand?
3 How many ways can they contact you?
4 What do all of these processes look like?
5 Do they all work successfully?
6 What happens if they don’t?
7 How do you retain customers?