Maham Riaz (December 14, 2015)
While rules and policies are made for streamlining business processes, some rigid rules leading to long service wait time and bad service can strain customer-brand relationships. Therefore, as businesses endeavor to retain customers, the prime focus should be towards changing or bending the rules or procedures that are roadblocks to satisfactory customer service. Policies that require customers to wander from one department to another to get things done or rules that restrict CSRs from making decisions during customer service failures can result in damaging the repute of an organization. In order to satisfy and retain your customers, businesses need to be flexible with their rules and policies. Following are some tips for businesses on amending rules for enhancing customer retention!
When it comes to customer service there are many policies and rules that come in the way of delivery of quick service to customers. Making customers wait for a product/service they paid for because of rigid policies is likely to result in angry and frustrated customers who would leave your company. So in order to retain customers, change the rules and policies because of which your customers have to wait for an annoying time period. If for instance, you have a shipping policy that says that “the product would be shipped within 10-15 days.” You need to change that policy and cut the wait time to minimum for making the shopping experience better for customers.
For addressing customer complaints, many businesses have long rule books that require customers to go through several departments for resolving issues. Such rules and policies should be amended for offering better customer service. If for instance, a customer comes to a representative with a damaged product complaint and is sent to the Customer Support department and has to go through another department’s procedures before getting compensation, this customer is not likely to buy from such a brand again. Therefore, in order to offer your customers convenience and comfort, you need to bend the rules that will annoy an already complaining customer.
Many businesses don’t believe in empowering their customer service staff and they have to adhere to certain rules and policies while interacting with customers. However, it often happens that because of restricting your CSRs, a customer experience gets ruined and he/she cannot do anything to help the customer. Changing rules that restrict the decision making of your CSRs can help you with enhancing customer satisfaction levels. For instance, if you are running a clothing brand and a customer walks in with a product exchange request while the days for exchange have already elapsed, an empowered CSR can improvise to satisfy the customer and make the shopping experience better.
Many businesses fail to rectify a negative customer experience because of long and rigid set of policies, consequently losing customers for good. A customer who has been delivered a wrong order would not simply be satisfied with an apology. For turning a negative customer experience into a positive one, you need to forget the rules and policies, go the extra mile and do whatever you can to make an annoyed customer feel better. Businesses can turn a bad experience into a memorable one by thinking out of the box to delight an angry customer.
Bending the rules can go a long way in building stronger relationships with your customers. For example, offering an additional ten percent discount or a free gift with a purchase will make your customers happy. This will also result in positive word of mouth for your business, thus getting you more customers and increasing your sales. Therefore, if you have a thick customer service rule book it is time to revise and change some of the rules for better customer relationships.
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