How well do you satisfy your customer needs?
Believe it or not, simply supplying them with goods or services is not all there is to it. You would never realize it, but there can be a lot of things happening under covers that you would learn of! You may have made a successful sale, but the customer may not have been happy with the service, or maybe your ‘excellent customer service’ isn’t so excellent after all. Keeping a tab on all this and going that extra mile to make sure that the entire buying experience is impeccably perfect for your customer is what is referred to as ‘customer excellence’.
Customer Excellence simply means placing your customer at the center of everything. Obviously, it is the customer for which the business exists. However, somewhere down the line, businesses tend to forget about this. They start behaving as though the business exists only for making quick cash, for red-tape, for protocols and procedures and so on. In all this, the focus on the customer is lost.
When the business goes back to placing the customer at the center of everything, all departments come together to focus on enhancing the customer experience in whatever way they can - whether it’s the Accounts team, HR, Tech or any other. They may not directly impact customer experience, but they will definitely make decisions that will optimally lead to an overall enhancement of customer experience. For example, an Accounts executive will go out of his way to make things easier for billing, even if it means a little more inconvenience to him.
Let’s face it - perfect customer service excellence is not possible. However, that should not stop you from trying to be better! Remember that Customer Excellence is a process, a journey.
Sometimes, things will not work out, and that is okay. What is important is that you keep trying to get there. What does this mean? It means that when things aren’t working out and your team makes mistakes, or if your initiatives are not bearing the kind of results that you were expecting, you should not react badly. Be appreciative of the efforts your team has put in, and figure out what went wrong. Be encouraging, and open to improvement.
Setting your aim at perfection is not a bad thing. The reason we advise against aiming at perfect service excellence is that if things don’t go as planned, it can be a major disappointment to you and can discourage your team. However, if you set your aims at simply doing better tomorrow than you are doing today, things are going to be more sustainable and achievable - milestone by milestone.
Customer Excellence is not going to happen overnight, so do not be impatient about it. Trust the process, and little by little you will definitely get to a point where you would have achieved quite a good level of customer excellence.
Here are 5 ways we know you can develop great Customer Excellence:
1. Identify Your Potential Customers
This is number one. If you do not have the right kind of customers to sell to, how can you have customer excellence? No matter how much you try, you will not be able to make an elderly individual happy with a Virtual Reality device. So, the very first thing you must do is to make sure that you are targeting the right kind of market. Understand what gaps your products or services are filling.
This will help you understand who is most likely to want what you have to offer. Needless to say, if you sell your services to that person, you are going to have better luck with developing great customer service excellence strategies.
2. Work on Easy Reach-outs
Even if you have excellent customer service, if your customers are going to have to get in touch with you over email, only to receive a response in 10 business days, you are not going to have happy customers.
The easier you make it for your customers to reach you, the better would you be able to create a successful customer excellence strategy. Successful businesses today are available everywhere - Messenger, Instagram, phone call, Twitter - just name it! And that’s not all - no matter where the customer chooses to reach out, the conversation gets registered onto one common dashboard where everyone else on the customer support team will be able to keep track of the query.
3. Resolving Issues Before They Occur
Imagine a situation where you could resolve an issue even before it can occur? This means that you pay such close attention to the sales cycle that you will be aware of every single glitch and issue that the customer faces even before they themselves realize it.
By the time they can bring up the complaint to you, you would have already begun on the resolution. The kind of good impression this would make on your customers is phenomenal! Not only that, but it also saves a lot of time for you because, well, you already know what is wrong instead of having to learn the nature of the issue and then thinking of ways to resolve them. There are a number of things that can help you here - excellent customer service, cobrowsing, live video chats and so on.
4. Constant Feedback for Improvement
Like we discussed earlier, the best way to achieve great customer excellence is to try to do better tomorrow than yesterday. This cannot be possible without constant feedback. Only when you are open to feedback will you be able to make improvements to your products and services, thereby making sure your customers get happier and happier with you.
It’s nice to receive praises, obviously. However, how much value do praises add to your business, really? It is those scary, painful complaints and feedbacks that really give you something to work with. That is why, think about feedback, especially negative feedback, as valuable resources for enhancing what you have to offer. Don’t just assume what your customers want from you - hear them out. Let them tell you what exactly their expectations are. After all, it is for them that your business exists, doesn’t it?
5. Use both, human and digital intelligence
There are two types of businesses. One that believes absolute digitization is everything. The other, that believes that the traditional human touch can never be replaced by AI.
The fact is that there is a little truth to both ideologies. There is no denying that there are lot of things that AI can help with. There are a lot of routine, repetitive tasks or queries that AI can completely handle, taking off that massive pressure from customer support teams.
Similarly, human touch is very important to customer excellence. Customers don’t always like being speaking to machines. Besides, there can be issues that AI may simply not be able to handle. At such times, the intervention of an actual person can work magic.
The trick is to remember that AI will not replace human beings. In fact, you must employ AI to help your human teammates and thereby, enhance overall customer service excellence.
Finally, it is important to realize that if you are satisfied with how things are with your service excellence and don’t think it is worth the effort to develop great customer excellence strategies, you are going to lose out on a lot of business. If you do not strive to achieve customer excellence, your competitors will - and before you know it, you will be left behind!
So if you are still on the fence about service excellence, it is about time you put the inputs we have share here to use and get that massive competitive edge over your competitors that will skyrocket your business to success.
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