Building and Maintaining Lasting Customer Relationships

With the constant evolution in the way businesses are using technology to create customer convenience and improve profitability, it is essential not to lose sight on the importance of strengthening client relationships based on customer care and empathy. Earning customer loyalty requires developing a sound relationship between a business and its clients. Focus on making the customer journey a fulfilling one right from the start and make sure you offer a consistent and personalized experience across all touch points, connecting with your customers, offering them help and taking feedback from them about their experience with you.

Offer Tailored Service Experience

A large percentage of companies are offering self-service and moving towards automation of processes. Wherever this is used to improve efficiency and make procedures simpler, faster and easier for the customer, it will receive applause and favour. However, at many stages of the customer journey, clients might require help or assistance from a representative or want to talk to a person and discuss their requirements in detail. A customer might want a suggestion or advice before making a buying decision. In such scenarios, going out of the way to offer help and customized solutions based on client preferences will help strengthen relationships.

Product recommendation and personalization based on customer interests will help in retaining and building brand loyalty. Make sure to create a lasting connection between your business and customers. All interactions with customers must be meaningful in order to make the overall experience memorable for them.

Do More than the Expectation

“Going out of the way for customers” should not only be in terms of number of coupons and discounts a business offers. It is important to learn the significance of providing assistance and support at every level to refine the experience. While customers always appreciate being rewarded through loyalty cards and giveaways, other ways of relationship building such as sensitivity to their issues and needs, active listening, staying in touch and showing empathy are just as important. These essential elements will help create sound relationships and should be present in every customer service representative. Go out of your way to help customers and always work towards exceeding their expectations in every way. Give customers the assurance that every concern they have will be addressed and solved with expertise. Focus on creating an unforgettable journey for your clients in order to gain loyalty.

Conduct Surveys to Measure Customer Satisfaction

Collect data on what your clients think of you, where they rate you for being proactive, helpful and perceptive by designing questionnaires and surveys for the sole reason of making improvements in your products and services. Ask them about what changes and improvements they would like to see. This will act as client feedback which is important for strengthening your bond with them. Have a mix of questions in your surveys that are both open-ended and close-ended. Conduct surveys that reveal the level of client satisfaction and frequently ask them to rate their experience. Understand the areas where you are lacking and work on improving them. Staying in touch with your customers is important for sustaining your relationship with them.

Have a Team with High Emotional Intelligence

It is the age of emotional Intelligence, and people are educating themselves to understand and build relationships based on it. This calls for the need to have team members who have high emotional intelligence and who make it their job to build better bonds with customers. It is essential to understand the need of every customer and respond according to his/her preference. Being sensitive to what the customer is saying and responding with sincerity by offering a likeable solution will make customers want to keep coming back to do business. Understanding the emotions of the client by focusing on their body language, tone of their voice and being able to read between the lines will enable staff to deliver better. An example of this would be sensing that the client is unwilling to share more details with you about the bad service experience they have had, and reacting in an appropriate way, building confidence by offering them a seat and a cup of coffee, listening to them and asking them questions. Someone with high emotional intelligence is perceptive, knows what to say, offers the right solutions and can show empathy which goes a long way in strengthening relationships with customers. When hiring for your business, make sure you have people who know how to deal with different kinds of customers as it will help create more loyalty.

Customer Service Tips for New Entrepreneurs

New entrepreneurs are often faced with challenges as they try to grow the business and come across different kinds of customers. However, if you understand the basics, learn the dynamics of exceptional customer service and how to achieve that, you will be able to build a strong foundation for your business. Make sure you’re doing your best to meet your customers’ needs. Gauge their reaction and evolve your service accordingly, work hard on your relationship building and provide them proactive customer support across all channels. Here are some tips that will help you provide better customer experience to grow your business.

Offer Only the Best to Customers

Make sure to be at your best with all clients. Teach your customer service staff the importance of acting polite and friendly. Always greet customers with a smile, and make sure that you’re doing your best to improve the overall experience for them by ensuring your service is quick, efficient and top notch, and your products are high quality. There should be no unanticipated delays in delivery and responses, and their overall experience should reflect the idea of “value for money.” If you slack in any of these aspects, your clients will immediately sense it and their satisfaction levels will go down, adversely impacting the reputation of your newly launched business.

Hire a Team with High Emotional Intelligence

The most important decision that you make is hiring the right people for the job with the essential customer service skills. If your staff is unable to detect subtle hints that your client is unhappy with your service or product, and do something about it, your support department will become inefficient and customer turnover will increase. Look for people who are emotionally intelligent and perceptive, and develop proper screening processes for hiring. You should also introduce elaborate training programs for your staff, and teach them all they need to know about the essentials of good service. They should be instructed and taught how to think outside the box, and cater to all sorts of clients with efficient problem solving and damage control measures. They should also be trained to handle difficult situations and make the best out of them by improvising and putting in extra effort to ensure client satisfaction.

Work on Relationship Building with Every Customer

As a new entrepreneur, you must understand the significance of relationship building with clients. Starting with initial interaction till post-purchase period, make sure you are strengthening your relationship with the client at every step. Offer them personalized support, and go the extra mile for those unsatisfied with your business. Encourage clients to give feedback and immediately get it implemented in your processes, to ensure maximum satisfaction. Let them know that they are important to you, and express it with your attitude and service. Your customer support should be exceptionally proactive, and follow-up emails should be shared with clients who have purchased from you, along with greetings on special occasions.

voice-activated atm for visually impaired

For the first time in Dubai, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) one of the leading banks in UAE has partnered with NCR Corporation, a leading company in omni-channel solutions to provide voice-activation technology on its ATM machines across UAE. This facility will assist visually impaired customers to easily conduct transactions, making it safer and more convenient for them.

The voice-activation feature is going to be used in 20 ATM machines of ADIB from December onwards. This initiative will help visually impaired clients to make transactions using their voice. The ATMs will have high-tech voice-guidance technology, braille stickers and multilingual service for the accessibility and assistance of visually impaired clients to carry out secure and easy transactions, thus enhancing customer experience.

Speaking on the occasion, Philip King, Head of Retail Banking for ADIB said, “We are pleased to be partnering with NCR in our efforts to better meet the needs of visually impaired customers, and to empower them to take control of their transactions and have secure access to our ATM services. ADIB continues to look for ways to utilize innovative technology to bring convenience and flexibility to our customers’ everyday banking transactions, and deliver a superior customer experience every time.”

How to Restore Lost Customer Confidence

Regardless of the care and caution you ensure when it comes to serving customers, complaints and issues are inevitable. There will always be some customers who are unhappy with your product or service. The question is how to restore their confidence in your business? What measures should you take that will ensure you win them back? What’s the fastest and most efficient way of achieving this? The goal is to handle every challenging situation in a way that leaves the customer with a reinforced positive impression about your business. Make sure that every disappointed client who comes to you leaves satisfied with your business. Train your CS staff on the following techniques that must be implemented in order to get your clients to trust you again:

Always Admit Your Mistake

Admitting your mistake is the first step towards a comprehensive solution. In order to solve the problem, acknowledge your mistake, put yourself in the customers’ shoes, empathize with them and make amends through your words and body language. A friendly attitude along with words of comfort will give clients the reassurance that you are sorry for your mistake. For example, if your product was delivered past the delivery date or turned out to be faulty, instead of making excuses, you must apologize for the inconvenience faced by your client and reassure him/her that the issue will be solved at the earliest and will not happen again. This will serve as the first step towards damage control that every business must implement in order to regain customers’ confidence. Reassure them that you realize what went wrong and are willing to fix the problem.

Begin Damage Control Instantly

A speedy response towards the implementation of a solution is necessary for client satisfaction. CSRs must be well-equipped to handle the problem and solve the issue at first contact. The only thing worse than a disaster that makes your clients lose confidence in your business is a delay in the solution to a problem. The longer you take to provide them with a convincing solution, the more concrete their perception of being treated unfairly becomes. A major aspect of damage control is time management. Teach your customer service staff to come up with immediate and effective solutions, and to be able to think on their feet to restore the trust of clients.

Ask For Detailed Client Feedback

While reassuring words and an apologetic attitude is essential, if your clients get the impression that you’re all talk and no action, you will start losing their trust completely. One of the best customer service practices is to convey empathy and immediately ask for their feedback with the clear intention of implementing it to make your service better. Show your clients they matter to you by making sure their recommendations are implemented. This will change their perception of you and make them inclined towards giving your business another chance.

Express Your Gratitude by Going the Extra Mile

Once client complaints have been handled well and the problem has been fixed at the grass root level, what is the next step? In order to make certain that the clients’ impression of your brand changes into a positive perception after the bad experience they have had, you must offer them something extra, as a gesture to show you care and value their business. Give them a free product, or a month worth of free service, offer them an exclusive discount on one of your top deals, or a platinum loyalty card. This way, they will truly see that you have gone the extra mile for them. This will act as a remarkable gesture and the final step towards making sure their faith is restored in your business.

DED LAUNCHES ‘DRIVE-THROUGH’ SERVICE

The Department of Economic Development (DED) has launched a drive-through service at TAAJEEL Centre for business registrations and licensing in government departments to ensure better customer experience and timely service in UAE.

The Drive-Through service is an initiative to ensure instant, effective and trouble-free customer service, specifically with the help of efficient online communication channels, through which the centre can immediately contact customers with information required for the procedures.

Business license holders in Dubai are being offered three options by the Drive-Through service; the option of downloading the “TAAJEEL” app on their smartphones and getting in touch online, calling the official toll-free hotline, or via email. After they have done this, the centre lets them know about the documents required. Customers can then just drive-through the centre and provide necessary papers, and the centre will get in touch with them as soon as the process is completed. Customers will receive a confirmation SMS, and the documents will be delivered to the given address, saving them time, effort, and improving the overall experience.

Sami Al Qamzi, the Director General of DED stated that the Drive-through service is designed to be the first of its kind in the region and such state-of-the-art information and communications technology will be used in the near future as well to introduce more solutions to improve customer service experience.