Business status around customer service does not occur overnight. It requires the right people, tools and processes to make it a reality. But investing in building a customer-oriented culture pays off.
According to Forbes, customer-focused companies make 60% more profits than companies that don’t focus on customers. As the standard continues to rise, more and more companies are trying to figure out what it means to be a customer service-oriented company.
Is your business geared to customer service? What are the opportunities to improve your customer service experience? In this article, we explore what it means to be customer service oriented, and we offer 6 steps to becoming a customer service-oriented company.
What does it mean to be a customer service-oriented business?
In simple terms, customer service-oriented companies put their customers first. They understand and think about how every action they do affects their customers, and they build teams and processes to create memorable experiences that their customers will talk about. Customer-oriented business meets the needs of customers and the expertise required. It makes customers feel appreciated, listened and respected.
Customer service-oriented companies do not have an excellent support team only. High quality customer service is part of the company’s foundation. From engineering to marketing to design, customer service-oriented work injects customer focus at every opportunity.
6 steps to becoming a customer service-oriented company
Create a customer service culture first in your organization
Prioritizing customers is the first step in creating a customer service-oriented company. Build your customer support team around a set of values that lead you to put the customer first at all times. By always thinking about the customer, you will identify pain points early and find opportunities to improve the product and customer experience.
Many companies miss the target here. They make decisions based on what is best for their business rather than for the customer. Of course, sometimes this is the right thing to do, but customer service-oriented companies understand trade-offs and always make decisions that benefit the customer. They understand that by putting the customer first, business also benefits.
- Creating and socializing a range of customer service values within the company.
- Invite team members from other departments to keep up with the support team, or practice comprehensive support.
- Measure customer satisfaction and share customer feedback regularly with the entire company.
Take care of your employees to reap the benefits of this in customer service
Taking care of your customers actually begins to take care of your employees. That’s right; happy employees create happy customers. Enable your employees to do their best, and you’ll always be excited to build a customer culture first.
The employee’s good experience begins with the interview and the setup process. Setting up an employee is as important as setting up a new customer. First, plan for the first four weeks, then repeat that plan and improve it as you learn what works and what doesn’t.
Next, identify areas of friction and frustration in the employee’s experience and remove them. Enabling employees to enjoy their work will increase productivity and a better customer experience.
- Create a transparent and safe work environment where your employees are inspired to share with each other to do their job to the fullest.
- Ask staff for regular comments and take advantage of those ideas to improve the staff member’s experience.
- Be thoughtful and deliberate in how you prepare each employee. Make a plan to show every new employee that you are investing in his or her happiness.
- Equipping new staff with appropriate resources by deploying an internal knowledge base
Support on all customer favorite channels
Multi-channel support allows customers to reach you using their preferred mode of communication. For some customers, this may be an email.
For other customers, this may be via social media or live chat. Ask your customers about their desired experience when it comes to interacting with your company, and then understand them and meet those expectations. Whether you decide to move to a comprehensive channel or not, you can certainly make sure you prioritize the right channels for your customers.
- Ask your customers how they prefer to communicate with you for help.
- Make it easy to contact your support team. Get rid of any friction or obstacles when it comes to communicating with your team.
Transparency with customers
Transparency builds trust, trust builds customer loyalty. Whenever possible, embrace a transparent communication method. For example, if you run a software company and are facing a service outage, contact your customers about it in real time. If your developers cause an error with the product update, tell your customers what happened.
Close the loop with customers about service requests and features instead of leaving them in the dark. If you will miss the deadline, tell the customer as soon as possible. Being transparent and proactively recognizing your problems will help improve your internal processes and build trust with your customers.
- Facilitate access to information.
- Create a culture of honesty so that your team knows it’s good to be transparent
- Admit your mistakes and fix them.
Set up SOP for customer service
Develop SOPs (standard operating procedures) or operating manuals that your support team can use to handle different scenarios with confidence. A unified approach helps build repeatable processes and quickly align the team.
For example, what hours should support agents be online? Is there a standard signature they should use in their customer responses? What tone and sound should your agents use? What should happen when the customer requests a refund? Your playbooks must directly reflect customer service processes and enable your team to deliver great work.
- Share your playbooks during training.
- Be sure to update them constantly.
- Enable your customers to influence game manuals.
Take advantage of technology to provide better customer service
Technology can make jobs easier and ultimately improve the customer experience. That’s right whether you’re a technology company or not. Today, all companies rely on technology to do their job. Investing in technology can be scary and expensive, but there’s no need for it.
In addition, any investment in customer service technology can put your business on track to become a more customer-oriented company.
- Publish the appropriate help desk program to get a 360-degree offer for your customers, purchase history, previous conversations, and order types – all in one place.
- Adopt internal communication tools so that support agents can cooperate and communicate efficiently.
- Enable your customers to help themselves through chat programs and help documents.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to becoming a customer service-oriented company because each business is different. You have to work to understand the needs of your business and the experience required of your customers. After that, you can formulate solutions to achieve the necessary results.
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