Businesses must adapt in order to stay relevant, valuable and at the forefront of competitive edge in the global economy. Creating and maintaining a high standard of customer service is central to this. Customer service is key to attracting and retaining business, however, it can often take a back seat to the daily demands of running a business. This week, National Customer Service Week, is an opportunity to raise awareness of customer service and the vital role it plays in successful business practice and the growth of the UK economy.
Customers are constantly demanding a higher quality of service, so it can be difficult to keep up to speed with their evolving requirements, but if your business is unable to deliver on what customers want, when and how they want it, they will go to someone who can. Customer service should be considered on a daily basis, not monthly or annually. A successful customer service strategy is constantly adapting to suit developing customer needs. According to Warren Buffett “it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
Investing in a high quality customer service can minimise conflict, allow customers to feel heard, provide a way to connect with customers and act as a platform for feedback and business development. Inevitability, it takes time to streamline customer service operations, but once the foundations are in place, maintaining a high standard of customer service need not be complicated.
The foundations to a good customer service are:
Having the correct infrastructure and processes in place to streamline your customer service abilities is key, this includes having the correct capacity for effective traffic management. Customers want efficient, effortless service from the communication channel of their choice, whether that be instant messenger, telephone, skype or email.
Clear communication is essential. Customers want accurate, effective and convenient solutions upon first contact. Social technologies have disrupted traditional communications and made the delivery of consistent experiences across different channels more challenging. Focus on quick responses, fast delivery and always try to manage expectations.
- A flexible, trained workforce
Customers generate revenue, but employees drive the experience. Therefore, investing time into employee training and development will ensure your team are delivering knowledgeable help and a friendly service.
Data can optimise performance, enhance customer experience and reduce costs. It is helpful when trying to understand what is happening during the customer journey and when trying to fix problems and measure if and how changes made a difference. Analytics can provide the basis for feedback and can help your business understand what matters to customers and the elements of your service that may need improving.
At HTB, customer service is central to our approach. We value our customer feedback and are constantly looking to improve our service. Our specialist teams aim to provide an effective and helpful service to ensure our customers receive the expertise they need to achieve their ambitions.