Customer Service Strategy
Finding the Right Customer Service Strategy
Businesses have been struggling with the development of customer service strategies ever since the time when ancient marketplaces known as agoras provided the human race with its first actual shopping experience. However, modern retail establishments aren’t the only businesses wondering how to improve customer service — it’s an important part of any business even if it doesn’t involve selling directly to the public.
The most obvious examples of customer service involve front line employees in shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues such as theaters. Good customer service makes the purchasing process as easy as possible for the consumer. Many people can’t quite put their finger on what good customer service actually is, but almost everyone can recognize bad customer service from the moment they encounter it.
Effective customer service is more than simply a smile and a pleasant, polite tone of voice — it involves doing everything within reason to ensure the customer has a smooth and positive experience, even if they don’t make a purchase or a commitment to do business at the time.
Effective Customer Service Starts at the Top
One of the most common complaints among frontline employees is that management would never allow them to treat customers the way they get treated by management — and this is an extremely valid point. Those who are wondering how to improve customer service in the workplace should first look at their top tier employees and how they connect and engage with employees who are below them, particularly those in positions involving high levels of customer service. There is often a direct correlation between how these employees are treated by a higher-up in the company and how they relate to customers.
Developing Customer Service Strategies
The first step in developing an effective customer service strategy is recognizing that no two businesses are exactly alike — and that means that no two customer bases are carbon copies of one another. In order to craft innovative customer service ideas, it’s essential to create customer blueprints to use as a foundation and build from there. For instance, if you own a wine bar, your target customer is going to have different expectations than if you owned a fast-food restaurant.
Customer Service Policies are Fluid
Customer service policies aren’t set in stone — they’re living documents that grow and evolve with customer demographics and preferences. Always keep an open door to new ideas for improving customer service from new and old employees as well as from the customers themselves.
The Importance of a Great Customer Service Strategy
At its core, good customer service is essential for any business because customers tend to find other sources of services and materials when customer service skills are lacking, making it difficult, if not absolutely impossible, for businesses that don’t practice good customer service to remain in business for very long. Even though more and more companies have entered the global marketplace, word-of-mouth still remains the best kind of marketing any business can have.
Businesses with superior customer service plans simply have a competitive edge over their counterparts. In fact, even though it’s widely believed by some in the business world that price points are the most important variable in customer retention, many customers will pay a higher price if superior customer service is a part of the picture.
Client Retention is Good Business
Although some companies manage to flounder along by constantly working on client acquisition tactics to keep a steady stream of new business coming in, this is a time-intensive strategy that results in higher overall costs. It’s far less expensive to put efforts into retaining existing clients rather than constantly seeking new ones, and even though it isn’t wise for any business to neglect to attract new customers, loyal customers should never be brushed aside or made to feel as if they don’t matter.
Customer Service Reflects Your Brand
Cultivating and maintaining a solid brand image is pivotal to success in today’s competitive business marketplace, and developing actionable customer service improvement strategies helps promote your brand in a positive fashion.
Satisfied Customers Will Refer Others to Your Business
Customer referrals are far more valuable than the most intensive advertising campaigns. Customers who feel connected and valued will very often sing your praises in the presence of others who are seeking the goods or services you provide.