Today, our customers have many ways to attain us to request service or buy our products and services. The upsurge in social networking usage and quantity of sites available to attain us has caused it to be much easier for our customers to offer us feedback. What this has done is improve the bar, raise our customers’expectations as they relate solely to response time, how fast we react to their needs, questions, issues and concerns. We are able to manage the customer experience, regardless of how exactly we communicate using them, by creating and implementing a customer support plan aligned with this business management and growth plans.
Inside their seminal article on the link between service and profit, “Putting the Service-Profit Chain to Work”, the Harvard Business Review authors found that the five percent upsurge in customer loyalty has the potential to supply a profit increase of between twenty-five and eighty-five percent. That is significant. Why wouldn’t every organization seek to create a customer support plan and process that increased their profit? The businesses cited by these authors could increase their profits, not just by improving the degree of customer support they provided, but by improving the number of loyal customers they serve. They do this by carefully selecting their customers, understanding and meeting these customers’individual needs and interests, and; often engaging these customers in delivery of the merchandise or service. And they organize themselves into cross-functional teams where team members understand the goal of the corporation, practice behaviours and implement actions necessary to keep customers loyal. This’ownership mentality’encourages team members to create relationships with the selected customers and treat them as their own customers.
Bain and Company, within their use Fred Reichheld’s concepts in his book “The Ultimate Question 2.0”, developed and implemented The Net Promoter System to measure customer satisfaction. Telus customer service The outcome of their case studies show traditional customer care measurement tools don’t deliver because the results may not make it back again to leading line employees in a regular fashion. These studies also identified that companies won’t be able to… “achieve or sustain high customer loyalty with out a cadre of engaged employees.”
So how can we, as business leaders and managers, develop a better customer support experience? What can we take from the study shared by the Harvard Business Review authors and Bain and Company researchers that will assist us to improve our customer relationships and build customer loyalty?
We are able to do this by creating a customer support plan, a customer support plan that’s an intrinsic part of our business plan where we identify the customer market we have to develop to improve loyalty and drive up profits.
We have conducted our own research on customer support excellence with thirty Canadian organizations and, as a result with this research, we created the’Customer Satisfaction Practices Continuum’- a type for evaluating the customer service degree of the corporation (or any unit in a organization). This continuum outlines five stages for evaluation, each stage has three components – customer focus, measurement and environment. By completing the assessment, an organization has the capacity to quickly assess their position on the continuum and decide whether, they wish to implement the required actions to maneuver to another location, more effective stage. This allows business leaders and managers to balance customer support with profitability and build a customer support plan aligned using their business direction and goals with the degree of customer support they feel is appropriate. Building customer loyalty may be expensive if investment in methods and action plans outstrips anticipated revenue. Customer care excellence is not about meeting every customer need but alternatively identifying those customers with whom we could build a connection and providing our employees with the information, tools, processes and systems they need to continue to nurture these relationships. This will result in customer referrals, the very best and most inexpensive way of all.