8 ways to deliver a winning customer service strategy | DMA

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8 ways to deliver a winning customer service strategy

Recognise the Importance of Customer Loyalty

Recognising the importance of customer loyalty for your business is the first step in winning at customer service. No matter how desirable your product or service is to a consumer, if you don’t treat them with exceptional customer service you can kiss their business goodbye.

A happy customer is a loyal customer. And the cost efficiencies of having a loyal customer base cannot be overlooked. It has been suggested that it costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. So it’s vital that your business is focused on making customers happy through customer service - after all they’re active advocates of your brand.

Be visible & accessible

It’s important for you to be accessible to your customers. There’s nothing worse than a brand who makes a consumers life difficult. Making your customer service multi-channel, visible and easily accessible can be the key to a brilliant customer service strategy. Simple, yes. Yet one of the most over-looked aspects for many brands.

Brands can also go the extra mile when it comes to visibility for their customers. Reaching out via newsletters, personalised communications, phone calls and emails are all effective ways to reinforce the message to your customers that you can solve their problems and meet their needs. But make sure you have permission before adding anyone to an email list!

Make Great Service a Priority

Customer service is one of the most important aspects of a business, if not THE most important. Yet it is often not a priority for many brands as return is often hard to measure. These are the brands that find it hard to build ROI and maintain customer retention. Customer service whether through the contact centre or the physical environment should be consistent with your brand integrity at every stage of the customer journey if you’re to succeed in providing a customer experience to be proud of. It should reinforce the message that customer is king! Customer service is your priority!

Use your data wisely

Investment in CRM and technology can help you utilise your data in the most efficient way. Accurate data can be the difference between good and great customer service. Ensuring data is clean and up to date is vital when dealing with consumers in order to provide the most efficient customer service possible. Use the information you’ve gathered to make customer service a science.

Choose your advisors wisely

There is nothing more frustrating to a customer than encountering a brand representative with no knowledge or authority to help solve a problem. Making sure all advisors are trained to the high standards is key for customer service success. Agents should be empowered to make decisions, use good judgment, and be flexible with the rules where possible.

Agents with the right attitude who act as your brand ambassadors are essential to building a successful customer service strategy. Once in place, a planned training programme in both job skills and people skills must be maintained. This is not an area for cost cutting if the market gets tough.

Listen to what your customers have to say

You can certainly learn from your customers and their customer service experiences. Regularly listening to and analysing customer service interactions through the contact centre, as well as regular quality checks, focus groups and suggestion schemes can help a brand analyse their customer service strategy. By testing what customers are facing when they interact with your brand will help you understand the journey and refine the experience so it is the best it can be for every consumer.

Measure your performance

Measurement is key when it comes to your customer service strategy. Measuring the good, the bad and the ugly is all part of great customer service execution. But measuring the right things and not just the easy things is where you must start. Ask yourself…will it get looked at? Will it lead to actions being taken? Is it really relevant? The true question is, are you doing it to give yourself a warm feeling inside, or to see where you have to make changes?

Benchmarking can be a key part of your measurement programme. Learning from other sectors can often be much more beneficial than same-sector comparisons.

Build a reputation, communicate, and tell the world

Your customer service will be the basis for your brands reputation. It will shape the way you’re perceived which will ultimately affect your customer retention and bottom line. A reputation for great service can be easily lost, so ensuring your customer service is ethical, tailored and scalable is the key to success. It’s something to tell the world about, as long as you really are great.

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