Maham Riaz (January 5, 2016)
Creating a delightful customer experience depends on how well a business can meet the expectations of customers. If you are not serving your customers the way they expect, this means there are gaps and loopholes in your service that need to be filled. Identifying the lapses in your customer service by analyzing customer complaints and widely reported issues is the first step towards improving your service. You can engage your customer service staff in helping you understand the needs of your customers as they are likely to give you better insight on customers’ preferences. Mending the gaps that exist between your customers’ expectations and the service you offer will help you enhance customer satisfaction levels significantly. Here are five ideas to help you root out the reasons for customer frustration and consequently improve the service experience!
Giving priority to what your customers are saying would help you identify the loopholes in your service. If you want to know what you are doing wrong start reviewing customer complaints regularly. Make a list of most frequently reported issues and allocate resources to fix those problems in minimal time. For instance, if you are constantly receiving complaints regarding your slow and flawed billing processes, you should come up with an effective plan to save your customers from getting frustrated and annoyed. Similarly if customers are complaining about your refund policies being too rigid you should look into the matter and come up with an instant solution.
Knowing what your customers prefer and like would help you with improving your service. A smart way of knowing your customers better is to take feedback from frontline staff who serve your customers on a regular basis. You can then analyze the lapses in your service and endeavor to improve the customer experience. For instance, if you are running a restaurant and your frontline staff gives you feedback that customers are bored of the music or decor, you should change the ambiance to make it pleasing for customers. Encourage your CSRs to bond and engage with customers, it would help you offer personalized and better service.
Market research is yet another way to fill the gap in customer expectations. There might be something that your competitors are doing better and you are oblivious of it. Therefore, conducting research on what other brands are offering to customers will get you well-acquainted with customer expectations. For instance, if a competitor brand offers customers a surprise gift with every purchase, you should know that your customers have a better option and you need to create a “wow” effect to get your customers to come back to you. Studying market trends gives you an opportunity to deliver your best to customers.
To exceed your customers’ expectations, focus on the delivery of quality and timely service. The most common reason for customers getting annoyed is often poor or delayed service. Identify the reasons why your customers are facing delayed or poor service and define a plan to set things right. If it is because of your workforce make immediate changes. If you feel that your organizational behavior needs to be customer oriented for improving service quality, devise a strategy to create a culture where customers always come first.
Offering consistent service is an important element that you might be missing. The reason your customers are unhappy could be because they are not receiving the same quality of a product/service. Many businesses offer great customer service to attract customers and then start lowering the standard of service just to reduce the cost. Such businesses ultimately lose customers for good. So in order to win over customers you need to implement a strategy for service consistency. If you want repeat customers you should offer them the same quality of service every time.
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