5 Key Steps Businesses Can Take to Ensure Customers Feel Valued
January 03, 2020
In this day and age, you could argue that customer loyalty is a thing of the past. It’s easier than ever for customers to change suppliers without even communicating with their existing providers. In an effort to hold on to potentially transient customers, businesses are looking to bolster customer satisfaction by investing more time and resources into providing excellent customer service. Delivering a great customer experience is necessary to ensure customers feel valued as the marketplace becomes more competitive. So, what can businesses do to ensure their customers feel valued, even in the most testing of circumstances?
- The right team
Having the right customer service team in place is crucial, so you need to hire the right people. You need people who can build and nurture relationships with customers in even the shortest of timeframes, letting the customer know that they empathize completely with their current situation, be that a problem, a complaint or a query. To a certain extent, you can teach technical and industry knowledge, but a team with good communication skills, empathy and a willingness to fully understand a customer’s concern could be what makes the difference between an average customer experience and a positive one.
- A personal response
It’s important to remember that customers are people too. They might be referred to as a particular job ticket number when it comes to internal processes, but they’re real people with real emotions, and it’s important for any customer service team to have the ability to recognize this and respond accordingly. As a customer, it’s easy to spot if you’re being given a pre-prepared, scripted response, and although there are times when such a response is effective, wherever possible, communication must be personalized and targeted, making every customer feel like they are the only customer that matters.
- Keep your promise
Empty promises are a sure-fire way of letting a customer know they’re not valued. Effective, efficient communication is key here; you must manage expectations as to what you can do for them and the timeline by which you can do it. Even if you can’t solve their problem or answer their specific query, letting customers know the steps you’re going to help them as best you can, and getting back to them when you’ve done what you’ve promised, is another way to demonstrate the value you place on the customer.
- Be on their side
It might not make you the most popular person on the customer service team, but sometimes you need to fight in your customer’s corner, particularly when it comes to customer complaint management, even if it means standing up to your own organization. A responsible business should always be prepared to do what’s right, and it often falls to those in direct contact with the customer to ensure that the customer’s voice is heard. Rather than an us-versus-them environment, acting as a true advocate for customers goes a long way to building trust, helping customers to feel more like valued business partners, rather than passive recipients of a service or product.
- Listen to feedback
The supplier/customer relationship of today needs to be a two-way partnership, with customer feedback taken on board to not only improve customer service but for the benefit of the business as well. It’s no longer enough to let customers know their feedback is being listened to. Forward-thinking businesses not only make it easy for customers to provide their opinions and ideas, but evaluate and analyze customer feedback, making changes to the organization where possible and viable, and then letting the customer know the difference their suggestion has made. Obviously, this isn’t always possible, but for customers to see their input in action reinforces the knowledge that they’re more than just a number, which further increases their sense of worth when it comes to how valued they are as a customer.
For more information on how Aptean can help your customers feel valued, reach out to us.