World-class customer service is now an expectation from end-user consumers who have gotten used to clicking a button, ordering it now and having it at their doorstep tomorrow — or in some cases, later that same day. And now corporate decisions makers have a heightened sense of what constitutes good customer service having seen what is possible in their personal lives and migrating those expectations to their businesses.
Unfortunately, too often customers service is seen as an output triggered when something goes wrong and a customer complains. In today’s competitive environment, that is a very short-sighted way to look at customer service. If you view customer service this way, you run the risk of missing out on growth opportunities with your existing customer base.
A customer-centric organization is one that works hard every day to make sure that every interaction a customer has with the organization is positive. The idea of world-class customer service has to permeate the entire organization; from the very top of the organization all the way down so that every employee knows that taking care of the customer is their first priority — regardless of their job description.
When you align sales with the rest of the organization, it allows you to deliver a more personalized customer experience, which will lead to better business outcomes. When your salespeople have better insight into how a customer has interacted with other employees in your organization, this allows them to see opportunities to grow business with that customer.
It is common knowledge that when customers have a great experience with your business, they are more likely to be more loyal, buy more from you and share their experience with others. It is hard to put a price on the value of that kind of word-of-mouth “advertising.”
In order to provide world-class customer service, your employees need to be able to adapt to new situations as they arise in order to respond to changing customer needs. They also need to leverage their knowledge of the customer to provide other associates within your organization with the support they need in their interactions with that customer.
As a manager, it is your job to make sure all employees have the customer service training they need to best interact with your customers.
A good customer experience is based on speed, convenience, consistency, friendliness, transparency and the human touch. When all those elements come together, it helps create real connection between you and your customers and that is how you gain loyalty and continued business.
Doug Adamson is Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing at Transervice, overseeing the North American sales organization and directing all marketing efforts with a special focus on creating strategic initiatives for new business development. He has more than 25 years of experience in sales and sales management in all aspects of transportation, logistics and logistics design.