The buzz in customer engagement is social media and online engagement marketing. The rise of social media has indeed changed the way we engage with our customers, we too are now focused on forming more meaningful and long term relationships with our customers online. Whilst social media plays an important part of the overall engagement strategy some more traditional concepts are being forgotten.
One of the simplest and more traditional strategies to employ to engage your customer and keep them coming back is through offering quality customer service. In some markets where the product or service is relatively the same (think banking and insurance) organisations that focus on engaging their customer by offering outstanding service are the winners!
Your Top 5 on How to Engage Your Customers Through Outstanding Customer Service Practices awaits!
1. Service Strategy
How the organisation sets itself up to deliver effective service is the strategy. Take for example MCDonalds and other fast food outlets. McDonalds is known for its exceptional service compared to other fast food outlets. Mc Donalds invest heavily in process automation and ensuring the way they set up their business assists they deliver a high quality of service around the globe. In your organisation look at:
- Structure of technology – ease of use, location convenience, telephony, website interface.
- Structure of people – divisional, functional, matrix and reporting lines of these.
- Resourcing – budgets allocated to effective service, ratio of people to customers.
- Culture – Top level commitment, leadership role modelling effective behaviours, service language being common, symbolism, rituals in service, team approach and buy-in to service, internal politics being goal oriented towards service, standard service way, the things are done, employee satisfaction, .
- Environment – conducive to service delivery from layout to lighting.
- Customer satisfaction – how customer service is communicated and feedback is received to achieve customer satisfaction.
It has to be said with the engagement of email, mobiles, text, Skype, social media platforms and the demise of the ‘business lunch’ has our ability to talk to our customers faded away along with our communication skills? You have a golden opportunity to engage with your customer simply by demonstrating outstanding communication skills. Your goal as a business leader is to embody these communication skills and impart them to your staff so that when a customer makes contact with a real live person in your organisation, or your telephone answering service – they still feel like they are cared about, that their needs are genuinely important and that you are interested in finding the right solution for them.
3. Customer Service Training
To maximise engagement your customers need to hear a common voice, energy and tone when they communicate with your company. The message needs to be clear and communicated throughout all the areas of your business. This can be difficult to achieve on your own but customer service training programs are an excellent way of assisting you in delivering the same message throughout your organisation. Look for programs that can be tailored to your organisation and one that focuses on a solid customer service model. For example a model we use during our Customer Service Training Programs at Happening People is the Customer Contact Steps Model. The model helps guide participants through the stages of customer service and include:
- Planning (looking at attitude, appropriate responses and identifying customer behavioural styles)
- Initiating (establishing records, building a personalised relationship and being attentive)
- Interacting (active listening, clarifying expectations and using appropriate hand over techniques)
- Responding to Concerns (address concerns appropriately)
- Gaining Shared Commitment (check level of customer satisfaction)
- Follow Through (meeting commitments made, value ads and informing on progress made).
4. Knowledge is power
Most employees want to deliver quality service to their customers; it gives them a sense of pride and satisfaction. For an employee to do their best work they need knowledge of what to do and how to do it. This knowledge includes:
- People – who works where, what they do and how they are relevant to customers
- Product – all deliverables which the organisation can provide to meet a customers need
- Technical – details of company processes, company policy, technology availability and use and computer processing.
- Customer Knowledge – relationships with ‘who is who in the zoo.’
5. Personal Attitude
Attitude is so important to delivering outstanding customer service. We know from childhood that a poor attitude affects performance, relationships and our ability to get ahead. One of the best ways to ensure your team or organisation demonstrate the right kind of attitude is to ensure your HR Team your recruitment policies, induction programs and learning programs are aligned to the attitudes and behaviours you want displayed.
Happening People are known for their results giving Customer Service Training Programs. Each program is tailored to your organisation to ensure that one clear message is communicated to drive your business to success. To find out more click on the links above or call Happening People on 1800 68 67 69 or go to www.happeningpeople.com