Each new company milestone comes with opportunities and challenges. When most businesses go from servicing 1,000 to 100,000 customers, their sales may multiply, but so will their customer service needs. As a result, their ability to deliver an exceptional customer experience may suffer.
To keep up with the rising influx of customer inquiries, customer service agents might swap personalized messaging for canned responses. Even worse, customer service representatives may begin to view inbound requests as merely tickets to close out rather than problems that real people have encountered.
I've seen this happen with many businesses before, and it's a shame when good companies let the quality of their customer service efforts drop as they scale. When my co-founders and I started Amerisleep, we believed our biggest competitors like Mattress Firm and Sleepy's had grown so big that they had long forgotten how to actually empathize with customer needs.
On our mission to revolutionize the way people sleep, one core value that we've held close each step of the way is customer service. While most small businesses focus on customer acquisition to reach new revenue milestones, our company has invested heavily in customer happiness, which has spurred positive reviews, higher retention rates and referrals.
By focusing on the customer experience, we've made it easier for us to scale sales and maintain our growth. Below, I share the key strategies we continue to employ that allow us to serve hundreds of thousands of satisfied sleepers across three different continents.
Hire employees who demonstrate a customer-centric attitude.
The employees you hire, along with their values and personalities, influence every part of your organization. If they have a genuine commitment to customer service as a part of their work ethic, then that will be reflected in every task they perform. It doesn't matter how busy your company becomes, their first instinct will always be to take care of their customers.
To find customer-centric recruits, you'll want to create opportunities in the interview process for candidates to be able to tell specific stories about their interactions with customers in past positions. This includes examples of how they've turned irate shoppers into delighted promoters.
Instruct your team to follow up with previous customers.
When smaller companies start to grow quickly, they are naturally inclined to drive new sales in order to extend that growth. However, this often leads to brands neglecting their existing customer base.
To encourage team members to actively provide support to previous customers, you need to allocate part of their time towards developing and implementing post-sale customer service campaigns. Then, track their performance by measuring customer retention and referral rates, as well as the quality of recent customer reviews.
Improve employee engagement rates to influence customer satisfaction.
When you are able to maintain high employee satisfaction rates it has positive ramifications that ripple throughout your organization. For instance, highly-engaged employees are reported to be 17 percent more productive in the office, according to Gallup. An increase in employee engagement also leads to reduced turnover and lower rates of employee absenteeism.
In addition to all that, engaged employees are also more likely to facilitate happier customers. These team members wear their enthusiasm on their sleeves, which positively impacts their interactions with customers. To grow your business sustainably, you'll want to invest in initiatives that improve employee happiness. This will make it easier for your staff to provide all your customers with a five-star experience.