5 Strategies on How to Win Back a Customer Through Quality Service

Disgruntled customers have the most negative influence on any company’s brand value. It is very important to understand that winning back customers is more than PR management. At its core, quality customer service tells the customers’ that the company really cares about them. In order to grow the customer base, a company needs to retain more customers.

Following are helpful strategies on how to win back your customers:

Find the Reason

There can be any reason for a customer threatening to leave a company. From pricing to a product’s features to poor customer service. The first thing the company must determine is what is or are the reasons for a disgruntled customer. This can be done by calmly listening to the customer, asking them for what they want to be done and help provide them with the best solution.

Empowering Staff

A company might have a top-down chain of command, but empowering the frontline staff under certain guidelines and some authority to address an issue immediately is better than saying “I’ll report your problem to my manager.” This will help them deal with disgruntled customers easily and will save time.

Customer Feedback

Customer feedback can be an extremely important tool in pacifying a disgruntled customer. Having an integrated customer support system via phone, email, live chat and social media is vital in today’s business world. Not only can a problem be solved, but also a company can learn and rectify from complaints and mistakes. Following up on a complaint will also make a disgruntled customer feel that his concerns matter to the company.

Apologize

Admitting a mistake is one of the simplest waysof conveying to the customer that they have been heard. A relationship between a business and a customer is built on trust. A violation of trust e.g. faulty service, makes for a disgruntled or even a lost customer. Taking responsibility and accepting the mistake is important. After apologizing, the customer must be told why it happened and what is being done to rectify it.

Offer Incentives

Customers often feel that they are not compensated enough for the anguish that they went through. Offering incentives is one way of making a disgruntled customer come back to the fold. Any number of scenarios for a company to engage a disgruntled customer can be generated.

One possible scenario is a dissatisfied internet service user who is provided free internet for a couple of months for reusing the service. A Win back, which is great for lost customers, is any type of incentive with a short expiration date offered to customers who have not made any purchases in a while. Another example could be of a customer who was promised that a product would be delivered within a certain time limit but it got delayed, the company can instead offer the product at a discount or it can waive off the shipping charges.

Customer Experience and Organizational Culture – The Missing Link

The way an organization chooses to be thought of by its own employees, customers and the world at large makes its culture. The culture of a company forms an integral part of the overall customer experience management. Here are some important organizational culture considerations which can directly contribute to improved customer experience.

Communicate To All Levels

The culture of care starts from the top and flows to the bottom of the organization. All levels of management and junior staff must be clearly communicated about the seriousness with which the company takes customer experience. This should be conveyed through not only the company’s philosophy but should also be reflected in the form of rewards for employees who have set precedents of exemplary customer service.

For example, if a representative makes tremendous effort in trying to please an angry customer, the company should appreciate his efforts and make it well known for others to follow the example.

Define Service Standards

Complex business processes need to be broken down into simpler terms. Each customer situation has to be planned in a proper manner and a standardized plan of action needs to be built. The service standards must be communicated in a manner that employees at all levels of the organization understand them. Here are some of the examples of customer service standards set in clearer terms.

  • Greet the customers in a courteous yet professional manner.
  • Make sure customers’ requests are patiently listened to and all necessary actions have been taken on a timely basis.
  • Inform the customers about the normal process time for completion of a particular task.

Customer service standards should be drafted out according to the industry in focus and for particular scenarios as well. It is better to plan in advance than have to worry about customer management and service at the last minute.

Delegation of Authority

Empowerment of employees who are dealing with customers on a regular basis is essential for the organization, however, the level of authority may differ. Any organization that needs to immediately resolve customers’ issues must strike balance between giving too much authority or no power at all to resolve issues. For example, sufficient level of autonomy must be given to frontline employees for resolving trivial matters instead of sending every small issue to the senior management for resolution which would increase wait time and impact quality of service delivered.

Setup Customer Feedback Mechanisms

There should be multiple ways and platforms for customers to provide their feedback on. The customers can be provided with phone, email, social media, live chat on website and other ways of giving feedback. This makes it easier for them to share their thoughts.

Hire the Right Talent

Customer facing jobs come with a lot of pressure to perform. In order to become recognized as an organization that takes on all customer related challenges head-on, you must hire people who are capable. A customer service employee, working at any level, must be friendly, possess the ability to work under pressure, and behave in a professional manner at all times. The ability to analyze a situation and offer intelligent solutions can greatly help overcome issues in a proficient manner. Similarly, employees with highly developed people skills like patience, attentiveness, clarity of communication, and those who use positive language greatly help improve customer satisfaction levels.

Positive Reinforcement

Customer service staff must be encouraged and rewarded for the efforts they are putting in. Instead of reprimanding them for their mistakes, teach them how to handle difficult situations. Ask questions and present actual scenarios to them during training workshops and ask them for different ways in which they feel, the situation can be handled better. Encourage and incentivize them to perform better. A positive approach will create a positive attitude for the staff, resulting in improved performance.

Why Customer Experience is Important for Business Success

Customer experience is the conscious and subconscious relationship that a customer has established with a brand. The perception formed is based upon comparisons, past experiences, and value for money derived. Competition in every industry is forcing companies to seriously think about revamping their customer service experience. One typical example is the customers of the airline industry who are continuously offered better deals, packages, discounts and offers.

Why Managing Customer Experience is Important?

While customer experience didn’t receive much attention in the past, it has grown to become one of the key indicators of customer satisfaction and repeat sales. If a customer’s experience journey is not managed properly, with focus on each touch point, then there is a high chance of losing the customer to a competitor. The world is changing fast and companies who would like to become successful in a highly dynamic business environment must seriously consider making customer experience part of their organizational processes.

How Quality Customer Experiences Help an Organization?

  • A major advantage that organizations can gain through monitoring the customer experiences is the reduced cost of dealing with unhappy customers. The idea is to create a user experience that reduces number of complaints and improves quality of interactions with the customer.
  • Happier customers are more easily convinced to buy add-on services or products offered by the company resulting in increased sales volume.
  • An important part of customer retention strategy is to ensure that they get maximum value of their investment in a product or service. Quality experiences linger on in the customer’s mind who automatically wishes to repeat business with the provider, because of how he or she felt.
  • Lastly, happier customers tend to share their stories with others. Social media gives them magnified voice, enabling them to share their experiences with friends and family members. The word of mouth marketing has become even more powerful with the advent of social media.

Challenges Faced In Improving Customer Experience

Internal Organizational Resistance

The process of implementing well thought out organizational policies is a difficult path. Change in overall attitude and implementation of customer experience improvements take a lot of effort. The change in culture starts from the top and flows to the bottom. The mere notion of improving customer experience will not be good enough. In order to bring true change, customer-facing employees need to own the concept and practice it in their day to day dealings.

Employee Job Satisfaction

The biggest challenge faced by organizations is ensuring employee satisfaction. Frontline staff members have to deal with all kinds of customers directly every day. Sometimes this direct interaction results in decreased levels of motivation which can directly impact their performance. Therefore, when considering improvements in customer experience, an organization must keep their employees charged at all times. One of the keys to ensuring high levels of motivation is hiring the right people. Provide your customer service employees with growth and recognition. Lastly, try to make their job more interesting through better management, training and empowerment.

Increasing Sales Volume

Business organizations are always looking for opportunities to upsell or cross-sell products. However, it is not a good idea to try and push a new product or service to an already annoyed customer. The training given to customer-facing employees should make them understand when they can add to the sales and when this is not possible. Being too pushy will agitate a customer and ruin the experience for them.

Cost of Customer Experience Management

One other difficulty faced by organizations is the cost incurred in improving the overall customer service experience. This can include costs of installing a new software or adopting new technologies for better management and streamlining processes. It can also entail within it the cost of hiring more staff or experts who can help make the process smoother and quality oriented. Despite the fact that costs might be high in the beginning, it is essential to focus on the goal at hand, and ensure that customer satisfaction is not compromised, and enriching customer experiences are created.

Top Five Best Ways To Standardize Customer Service Quality

Customer Service standards are a key differentiator between an ordinary and a well performing organization, no matter which industry sector it belongs to. The overall user experience at multiple touch points defines customer expectations. There are many reasons why Customer Service standardization is important. The first and most important factor is the comparison that customers do for the customer service they receive. Therefore, it is very important for a company’s brand image to ensure it has standardized its customer service. Many airlines have become famous because of their exceptional customer service. Once you set standards for the customer service offered, customers can expect same quality of services delivered every time. Lastly, excellent customer service lets the customers feel valued. Here are some important ways to set customer service standards.

Delivering Timely on Promises
A company must realize that it needs to save the time of its customers. There are many examples of companies taking good care of customers’ time. For example, a restaurant that is delivering food must serve it within a reasonable time. Similarly, a company that has promised to launch a product at a certain date and time must make sure it does. Any promises made to customers must be kept. A company that falls short of promises loses trust of customers and eventually starts losing business.

Devise Robust Complaint Resolution Process
Every business organization that offers any service or product receives complaints on regular basis. The process setup for customer complaint resolution must be proficient and reliable. Successful business organizations categorize complaints into level of priority and accordingly assign time limits to them. The complaint resolution process must be transparent and should regularly keep informing customers about status of their ticket or issue. Many industries heavily rely upon complaint management systems to ensure customers’ problems are solved in a speedily manner. One classic example is the web hosting service offered by companies. A lot of customers prefer web hosting service providers that quickly resolve their problems instead of making you wait for long times.

Management Hierarchy
Management hierarchy is very important and companies need to be very smart in delegating power. A company needs to maintain a fine balance between too much decentralization and centralized decision making. Too many layers of staff members is not recommended, particularly in roles where customers’ problems have to be tackled. There are many reasons why you need to consider lean management hierarchy. Lesser number of layers ensure that the complaints are taken up with the right authority within a short time. With lesser number of staff members involved, it takes less time to solve issues. And lastly, by delegating authority, a lot of complaints can be managed by junior or mid-career customer service staff without having to bother senior management about every issue.

Product or Service Quality
One of the most important parts of customer experience is the quality of product or service offered. In order to ensure consistent user experience, companies need to make sure that the products or services they are offering are of same quality. Inconsistency in quality is one of the main reasons why customers leave a company or brand. One example of inconsistency in quality of service is the internet speed. If an internet service provider does not offer the bandwidth that it has promised on consistent basis, customers will not only be dissatisfied but would also switch to another more reliable Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Introduction of New Technologies
New technologies have been introduced in almost every industry. Some of these technologies are promising in terms of improved customer service and better user experience. IPad menus have become a service standard in many restaurants. The use of IPads has made it a lot easier for hotel management to take several orders and the processing of payment has become a lot more efficient. The customers who were wary about giving their credit card to hotel staff can now make payments by themselves. Smartphones and software applications have all combined to offer new possibilities. Business owners and managers need to be more creative in utilizing these available technologies for raising the standard and quality of customer service.

GITEX 2014 – The Cloud Awards

One of the key features of GITEX Confex is the Cloud Awards. The event is one of the most prestigious conference and event for everything about Cloud. In order to become part of the conference, you need to get yourself registered by visiting this link.

The event provides opportunity for cloud companies to nominate their own products for implementation. Nominations can be accepted on behalf of companies provided they are shortlisted. The basic judgment criteria for cloud include innovation, integration, functionality, value, and usability & scalability.