Relentless disruption during the past couple of years has elevated the value of excellent customer service. Those who thrive in delivering exceptional customer experiences have increased satisfaction by ensuring that the benefits of their offerings go beyond resolving the customer’s immediate need, to creating value that accelerates that customer’s progress.
Such experiences build enduring relationships which subsequently provide insights about trends, changing customer demands, feedback on strategy, and innovation opportunities – all valuable inputs for decision-making and value creation.
Your customer-service personnel are your front-line relationship reps, the face of your business, who you expect to deliver exceptional experiences. They should be doing more than answering the phone and helping with orders. A committed customer experience team strengthens relationships when empowered to listen more than talk, demonstrate empathy, and provide answers that help the customer succeed. Their demonstration of appreciation, respect and guidance delights customers and validates why they chose your company.
Creating the exceptional experience relies on your commitment to invest in the people, competencies and resources necessary to deliver it. The ROI on your investment is a preference for your products and services based on your reliable delivery of promised value.
When a new product or service is being developed, envisioning the related customer experience will strengthen its benefits, so include it in your planning process. Failing to wrap an exceptional experience around your offering reduces its satisfaction potential and your company’s distinctiveness. It lessens the value you promised to create, thereby increasing your competitive vulnerability.
Customer relationships are valuable, and fragile. If your offering is exclusive, with no direct alternatives available to the customer, then any hint that you are not committed to your customer’s success, that you don’t fully appreciate the business they share with you, will trigger an effort to replace you one way or another. It takes time to build an enduring relationship, and only a small lapse in commitment to damage it.
How much value does your customer service team create for your customers?