July 21, 2016 – Customer responsiveness (the time required and effort exerted to respond to a customer issue) is an undeniable priority (and differentiator) among many business spaces. WalkerInfo reports that by the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. This is especially the case in wireless retail. There is not much nuance anymore among carriers with regard to devices, data plans, technologies and features. Customers are thus looking to make a decision on the basis of the best customer experience.
Providing that high quality experience requires showing a high degree of responsiveness (whether online or in person). You should commit to providing a brand of satisfaction that either counteracts or eclipses every customer issue that comes your way. Here are five action steps:
- Show a genuine concern. A dissatisfied customer feels their needs are being disregarded or ignored. When a customer comes to your associates with a problem, they should be greeted promptly, heard out, and shown a responsibility of ownership on your organization’s part for the issue. If an issue is reported on your social sites, write a prompt and polite reply that takes responsibility for the issue and promises to fix it. Your customers’ problems are your problems too.
- Move with urgency. Dissatisfied customers no longer want their issues to obstruct their daily lives. Thus, it’s on your associates to communicate the priority they place on solving problems immediately. Teach them to use phrases such as, “We’ll take care of this right away!” or, “Let’s get started so this isn’t a problem for you anymore!” If interacting online, offer the customer a chance to further the conversation through a private message. This gives you the opportunity to gather more information and tailor a solution accordingly. Your customers will appreciate an outward show of urgency.
- Provide your customer with a timetable. Along with a strong sense of urgency, your associates should be honest and upfront about the solution they’re providing. Some issues are admittedly more complicated than others. Teach your associates to be specific and transparent in the process of solving customer problems. It’s important that your customers understand each step being taken and be made aware exactly where they (and you) are in the process.
- Go above and beyond. In the social economy, customer service never really ends. The conversation between your customers and your brand is continuous (hence why customer experience has become more of the preferred term). Teach your associates to look for opportunities to provide a little more value to the customer whenever possible. Try discussing how they use their devices and probing for ways to make their lives easier even after they leave. Plug a coupon, or hit the app store and see what’s available. Opportunities to go the extra mile require imagination, initiative, and the aforementioned concern for improving customer’s lives.
- Make a timely follow up. After solving a customer issue, it’s important to follow through and ensure that the issue has indeed subsided and is no longer interfering with customers’ daily lives. Teach your associates to call the customer later that day or the next to check in on the issue and see if there is anything else they can do. Send them a reply or private message on social expressing your gratitude for their business. Let them know they can always come to you in the future if they ever need anything else. This creates brand loyalty because it furthers the consumer-brand relationship.
According to SuperOffice, 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience. As managers, you may not be able to fix every problem your customers will ever encounter. But by being responsive and demanding the highest quality interaction, you can at least illustrate how much you truly value your customers’ patronage.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]