For any organisation, whether it operates in aB2B or B2C environment, investing in a sustainable customer service strategy is vital to encourage and deliver growth. Undertaken with the appropriate levels of support it can improve the skills and capabilities of customer facing staff.
Customer needs are changing, and instead of being focussed on price, customers today are more focused on the overall experience than they were five years ago – essentially meaning they are more concerned with staff attitude, behaviour and skill. It’s no easy achievement to provide excellent customer service that will boost loyalty, so investing in customer service development through the Institute of Customer Service is vital.
Customer Satisfaction Affects The Bottom Line
This may seem like an obvious point, but many organisations fail to consider the fact that customer satisfaction ultimately affects their bottom line. Dedicating resources to creating a personalised and unique experience can not only help customer retention, it could also generate new leads. Evidence from the UK Customer Satisfaction Index suggests that if a customer feels that employees were genuinely interested in their needs and requirements, and genuinely take an interest in doing what they promise to do, they are more likely to recommend the business to family and friends. Word of mouth has always been regarded as effective. Now, with evidence suggesting that more than half of all customers will recommend a brand if their own experience is a positive one, word of mouthis one of the most effective marketing tools and from the impact that attentive customer service can have on it is clear that this should not be overlooked.
Increased Communication Builds Strong Relationships
Increasing the levels of communication between customers and an organisation allows them to build a relationship based on genuine knowledge. With consumers needs constantly changing – and certainly different to the way they were 5 years ago – and with shifting attitudes towards the level of personalised experience that customers want, gaining better understanding is a key element to drawing in and retaining customers. Put another way, using the data you hold on your customers to gain a better insight into their needs and wants is essential to build a long-term sustainable relationship.
Building a strong level of trust between an organisation and its customers can dramatically improve customer satisfaction levels, in turn affecting the bottom line. The latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index shows, for example, 90% of organisations scoring nine or ten out of ten for customer satisfaction achieved at least a nine out of ten for trust, compared to just 44% of those scoring an eight out of ten for customer satisfaction. Trust is therefore the essential ingredient that links customer experience and insight to enable sustainable relationships.
42 percent of managers say that their teams need more customer service training. It’s not because they necessarily feel that skills are absent, but because there is recognition that skills needs in service are constantly evolving. It is also because good managers recognise that their people want to develop. Put this together and it is clear that a strong customer service strategy should involve people development – so that the skills enhanced revolve around solution finding, innovating and communicating. In other words, skills development will engage teams and, simultaneously, ensure your organisation has the capability to give customers what they want.