Your customers are the lifeblood of your organisation. Without customers a business cannot survive. You can have the best idea in the world, build a brilliant service or product, spend millions of pounds on marketing endeavours, but if you do not have good customer service practice, and skilled staff members within your customer service team, it will all count for nothing. You can see how important customer communication is, as even when a large company fails with a customer interaction and it becomes viral news spread across social media, the fallout can be large and unforgiving. Implementing key customer communication channels and strategies should always be a priority from day one as a company, but especially if you are experiencing growth. Never be scared to ask for outside help, for instance in the form of contact centre specialists that can ensure you have out of hours availability, or that can take care of order taking on your behalf.
The customer is king. It is a comment that has to be taken as fact in any business if it is going to be successful. What this means is that you should always take on board what your customer wants, make changes to your approach based on critical feedback and continuously speak to and engage with your customers in a way that makes them feel special.
Put in place strategies that make it easier for your customers to be heard. Whether this is in formal customer surveys, focus groups, or complaints procedures, make it as easy as possible for your customers to let you know how you are doing as a team. This includes positive feedback as well as negative. Over time, the information that you collect and collate can be used to effectively strategise for the company as a whole, and make the necessary changes and little tweaks that make a real difference to your brand reputation and recognition.
Your goal when starting a company is to attract new customers. Over time, this target will shift to retaining customers in order to build a loyal customer base, and from there it will tweak slightly again to want your loyal customers to tell their friends, family, and colleagues about your product and service. Always answer questions and queries in a timely manner, being sympathetic to the customers needs and desires. Finding a resolution to any query should be your priority when speaking to a customer.
If you can ensure that your customers receive the same high quality of customer service over a consistent basis, no matter which platform they are interacting with your business through, you’ll have gone some way to defining your company as a brand that can be trusted by customers. Implementing a series of processes to ensure your customer service staff are trained well, understand your brand identity, know what your customers want, and also have the additional support of a fully trained and equipped external contact centre team to take up the slack and support out of hours, will all help you to achieve great things as a company that puts its customers first.