The best companies in the world evolve concepts of customer service, price and value into an overall paradigm known as the customer experience. This way of thinking takes into account how customers perceive a brand and not just how a company interacts with consumers. Executives, managers and employees have the ability to enhance interactions with patrons, provided the business empowers staff to take care of customers properly.
Creating the best customer service goes beyond the adage "think like a customer." Instead, the entire company must design a fantastic customer experience among all facets of the business. Firms should start with three basic levels of service, including looking at the company through a client's eyes. After everyone views the company from a customer's perspective, the business must examine everything in detail. This involves auditing the processes that define a great customer service model.
The third, and most important, facet is when the company impresses patrons. When customers come away from an interaction impressed, they come back for more to create a lifeblood of loyal people who buy a company's products and services repeatedly. Businesses can break down impressing the customer in four basic methods illustrated by a triangle.
At the bottom of the triangle, or the base of customer expectation, sits the accuracy of information given to clients. The next level up is the availability of information or employees to help deal with the patrons' concerns. These two levels of service within a customer experience should remain ever-present, fantastic and an integral part of a company's culture.
The two top-most levels of the triangle include partnering with customers to achieve the outcome they want and giving clients advice so they find out something they didn't know before the interaction. These two aspects create a "wow" factor for customers, and they make them feel good about a company. Partnering and giving advice empowers customers and makes them remember the pleasant time they had with a business.
Firms should engage with employees at all levels to improve the customer experience. Front-line customer service clerks deal with paying clients on a daily basis. The supervisors of these people have authority to make changes and report to upper-level managers. The higher-level managers can receive approvals from executives.
The key to creating a great customer experience is feedback and knowing what to do with it. Listening to clients and employees, followed by making changes based on those suggestions, helps everyone feel excited by the outcome. Companies must pay attention to interactions and determine why customers call the phone number to find ways to mitigate future difficulties. Once a business improves the reasons why people contact the company, the attitude towards the brand becomes more positive.
Building a positive customer experience takes time and effort. However, once a business determines how to work that into its brand, loyal patrons keep coming back for more due to the extra value a company gives its customers.
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