The financial rewards of delivering a great customer experience are staggering.

“Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits any-where from 25% to 95%” – Help scouts.

One of the major components of customer experience is customer service, which encompasses the direct engagements between a company and its customers.

It is my mission to better customer service performance in South Africa. The unfortunate reality for many South Africans is one where receiving great customer service is uncommon.


Furthermore in my experience the reality for the business owners is that employees do not take the lead when it comes to delivering quality service.

The question that this article attempts to answer is:

What does a company need to do in order to deliver great customer service?

To answer that question I’ve listed 5 key insights into what companies can do, to deliver consistent award winning customer service.

1. Learn about your customers.

The business owner who does not know about their customers cannot enable the their business to satisfy the customer needs, because all decision making comes from the owner.

“The More You Learn, The More You Earn.” – Warren Buffet.

This holds true for customer service, the more you know about your customers the better you can serve them and the more you end up earning overtime.

Here are 3 simple and cost-effective way’s to learn more about your customers:

A. Ask your front line employees to feedback the common questions and problems that customers may be sharing with them.


B. Reach out on social media. A great way to do this is to ask customers what they prefer using, polls on Instagram for example or with other social media other tools.


C. In store surveys that reward. Be creative with surveys, and offer rewards for them so that customers become excited to tell you about their experience good or bad. For example a restaurant could offer 5% off the bill per table for a populated survey. This ensures that customers provide quality information.

2. Develop a training program that equips employees with knowledge, tips and skills to thrive.

The company purpose is facilitated by frontline employees. Creating a suitable training program is critical to ensuring consistent customer service.

In my opinion, training manuals need to ensure that employees can answer the single most important question in customer service:

‘’How can I best help my customer?”.

A great training program should include regular training, skills development as well as mentorship. I’d also like to add that employees need to buy into the business purpose so that all energies are geared towards a common goal.

3. Get perspective by using video mystery shopping.

“U.S. companies lose more than $62 billion annually due to poor customer service”. – helpscouts.com

Often times key decision-makers are either in meetings, behind desks mitigating chaos, or running on caffeine to get reports submitted in time.

They may not have have the luxury of time to see what’s happening in-store for themselves.

Using mystery shopping can provide a fresh perspective on how customers are treated by employees as well as the challenges that employees face while assisting customers, be it systems processes or customers themselves.

Mystery shopping provides access to real time problems that your customers or employees may be facing, as well as outlet specific recommendations on how to remedy these issues.

Claim a complimentary mystery shopping audit here.

(T’s and C’s apply)

4. Prepare to guide customers across all touch points.

“According to Esteban Kolsky, 72% of customers will share a positive experience with 6 or more people. On the other hand, if a customer is not happy, 13% of them will share their experience with 15 or even more”.

Touchpoints are referred to as places of engagement between customers and company. For example making a purchase in-store or sending an enquiry via social media.

In order to best service customers at each touchpoint one first needs to identify all of the companies touch points. Once that’s done a proactive step should be taken to align systems and processes, based on the needs of the customer.


The result should be that customers are guided through your processes and systems by your people as opposed to your processes, systems and people trying to react to your customers.


I believe that this proactive step will ensure a seamless, and refreshing customer service.

5. Accessible customer support

“After one negative experience, 51% of customers will never do business with that company again”. – newvoicemedia.com

Customer service professionals are in agreement when it comes to customer support as a driver of great customer service.

We recommend a customer support system with self-service options, 24/7 assistance and FAQ’s.


That’s a tall order for many, especially for SME’s with fewer hands on deck.


Therefore, companies use a blend of the above listed insights to learn how and when their customers wish to communicate with the company and then use the information to develop a customer service strategy to reduce the volume of enquiries, and even then create a customised customer support system that is based around the capacity of the business and the needs of the customer.

Recap:

1. Learn about your customers (The more you learn, the more you earn).

2. Develop a training program that equips employees with knowledge, tips and skills to thrive.


3. Get perspective by using video mystery shopping.


4. Prepare to guide customers across all touch points.


5. Strive to be one call away

Conclusion,

When I think about customer service…

I think about a pleasant interaction between employee and customer…


I also think about a training program that the employee relies on…


I think about mystery shoppers working alongside key decision-makers in the organization to measure and strategize around the various touchpoints.


I think about a company growing from strength to strength over time


which leaves behind a legacy that inspires the world.

So there you have folks, 5 key insights on how to win at customer service.

Thank you for reading, and please jump on the offer for the complimentary Mystery shopping audit.

Ready to scale your retail? Posibolt enables retailers to deliver personal, seamless, and differentiated customer experiences by empowering people, enabling digital transformation.

Our team of POSibolt consultants are on hand to help you grow your business. Click on the link to request a callback: https://posibolt.co.za/contact/ or visit us at https://posibolt.co.za/

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