Rising customer objectives continue to drive businesses to strengthen the customer experience across all channels, from their brick-and-mortar locations to their website. Quality in one channel is no longer enough; customers count on the same high-quality experience in a retail location as they do online. Furthermore, they are less tolerant of bad experiences; one survey learned that 89 percent of shoppers started doing business with the competition after a bad experience. The same survey found 86 percent said they were prepared to pay more for a better customer experience.
A good obsession with increasing the customer experience is always a good thing. No business is perfect, but leadership teams should want to fix every problem or bad experience. Operations that allow companies to record and learn from all their customer interactions help them to frequently test assumptions on how customers service is perceived, and continuously fine-tune the experience.
This healthy obsession is what allows companies to go over and above what’s normal, and into the outstanding. For instance, if online shoe retailer Zappos is out of stock on a product, the website helps locate the item from a competitor. Features like that lead to the company having 75 percent of its orders originate from repeat customers.
Ways to Improve Customer Service
If you think your customer service is lacking, there are a few simple steps you can take to boost the overall experience you are providing.
Invest in reception
First impressions matter because that’s how the human mind works. Make sure people who come into your retail space or offices are greeted with a professional-looking environment and put-together staff. Public areas should always be kept clean, and employee parking or break areas should be outside of customers’ view.
Listen to what your customers are saying
Thanks to site like Yelp!, today’s customers are quick to share how they feel about a company. While these sites tend to attract the negative more than the positive, you should be staying on top of these reviews and assessing their validity.
Listen to what your employees are saying
Your employees will tell you about how your company performs customer service, if you simply listen to what they are saying. If you are hearing stories about keeping customers from taking advantage or otherwise doing things wrong, your employees are seeing customers as the opposition. Instead, you should be hearing about how employees went the extra mile or how customers are expressing their appreciation for your brand.
Prioritize employee satisfaction
Rather than making customer satisfaction a top priority, many companies are shifting focus toward making their employees happy and finding that satisfaction translates to a better customer experience.
Make sure your employees feel appreciated, and introduce incentives programs if you don’t have them already.
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At ZDA, we help managers at our client companies reach a wide range of goals, including better customer service. If your organization is in need of a custom staffing solution to reach its objectives, please contact us today to work with a leader in supply chain recruitment.