June 14th, 2018 1:56pm | Customer First, Customer Service Excellence,

There is a lot of advice on line about how to deal with poor customer feedback and negative product reviews but the fact of the matter is that by the time you have reached that point it’s too late – you are already on the back foot and trying to put out fires.

Good customer service has never gone out of fashion and today more and more business focus is being placed upon the customer. ‘Customer first’ and ‘customer centric’ strategies are high on boardroom agendas across the globe as a result of organisations undertaking digital transformations of their operations to mitigate against the risk of being disrupted in their own markets.

But what does a customer focussed strategy look like, why is it important to have that focus and how can it lead to customer excellence and in turn lessen those negative product and service reviews?

The UK is predominantly a service economy, so we increasingly need high performance people to keep our customers loyal. Poor customer service is costing UK business’s billions of pounds per year as customers defect! Companies that increase customer interaction investments during a recession can improve profit margins, sales and market share over complacent competitors. It is critical for organisations to retain every customer and maximise their lifetime value.

Institute of Customer Service research has suggested that organisations with a reputation for service excellence have on average a 24% higher net profit margin than same-sector rivals who do not have the same standing – and they can achieve up to 71% more profit per employee.

Customer interaction is key and assuming your service delivery ‘exceeds customer expectations’ is just plain corporate arrogance if you don’t actually know what your customer are thinking, what they find frustrating with your products and organisation and how these issues can be resolved.

Today, most senior managers realise that customer service is a competitive strategic weapon but achieving this is sometimes a major challenge. Organisations are their people, and developing a customer-driven workforce must be the key role of customer service leaders and managers.

So how can they do this? To start with employees and management all need to be on board the customer service bus and sitting in the right seats. You need to interact with users and know your customers – gather the data, analyse it, interpret it and provide what your customers want before a competitor does it for you.

Deploying the right technology can aid you in this quest for customer service excellence.

In an environment where the majority of customer interaction is on line, less common ‘People to People’ (P2P) interaction needs to be exceptional. It’s about understanding the type of calls received, developing best practice and striving to improve. The best customer focused organisations are shifting from quantity to quality measurement, and encouraging front line staff to take more responsibility for exceptional service delivery.

How can Oak Help?

Oak can provide the call reporting and quality measurement tools necessary to provide a balanced and informed view of customer experience. Quality measurement enables staff to develop new techniques, share best practice and focus on continuously improving the quality of conversations.

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