5 Best Practices For Exceeding Customer Expectations
Most companies don’t provide exceptional customer service.
They don’t try.
That’s right. They don’t even try.
If you want to boost customer satisfaction and increase customer retention, you must actively pursue good customer service.
You also have to watch for chances to boost customer service. You’d be amazed at how many chances you have to do it if you look for them.
But even if you have good customer service, it may not be enough. To keep customers coming back, you must exceed their expectations.
When you do, purchases rise, revenues rise, and profits rise. So does customer satisfaction.
Putting the customer first
This approach is called putting the customer first. And it’s the foundation of all effective customer-focused strategies.
If you haven’t implemented a customer-focused strategy, you may want to do so soon. Your competitors have probably done so.
If you have implemented one, you may have also installed a customer service system in your organization. The question now is: How do you exceed customer expectations?
Implementing the five best practices below can help you do that:
1. Listen to your customers
Listening is critical to exceeding customer expectations. It helps you understand them and their needs. So set up feedback mechanisms to help you get to know your customers better.
Customer satisfaction surveys are highly effective feedback mechanisms for many companies. They’re also the most popular feedback tools around.
Sending out surveys twice each year is a good rate. They enable you to be proactive and responsive to your customers.
2. Set aggressive goals/metrics
You need to push your organization to create customer service that exceeds expectations. Setting aggressive goals and metrics can does that. But they must still be reasonable and achievable.
Goals and metrics are different for each company and industry. While a consumer-focused call center may concentrate on service goals, a government entity may key on quality of service and constituent reports.
Action Point: Review the goals of your customer service center. Are they challenging? Change the ones that aren’t to ones that are more challenging. Also change impossible goals.
3. Optimize your CRM technology
CRM technology has evolved over the last few years. The latest generation of CRM software can help optimize a contact center.
This tool can automatically guide service agents through the resolution process, tailor the level of service delivery to a customer profile, and help create a 360-degree customer view from one screen, among other things.
4 Integrate your support channels
Consumers don’t always select the channel you would like them to use. They use what’s convenient for them. But this tendency pressures you to offer all the key channels—e-mail, voice, and so on.
Make sure that as you add things like short message service (SMS), text chat, video chat, and mobile platforms, you set up means to track all of them.
Make sure you integrate all of them, too. Customers expect it. Doing so is critical to boosting customer satisfaction.
5. Talk to your customers in real time
Customers usually want to talk to a live person. What’s more, they’re most satisfied when they do—either by phone or video chat. So re-think your use of self-service channels.
Forcing customers to use these channels may cut expenses in the short run. But in the long run it can cost you when it comes to retention and lost sales.
Action Point: Review your self-service tools and tactics. Are they helping or hurting your ability to connect with customers?
It’s not enough these days to provide good customer service. That’s expected. You must exceed customer expectations to drive growth.
Doing so increases customer satisfaction and customer retention, while boosting revenues and profits. And yet many companies don’t actively pursue exceptional customer satisfaction.
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