Maintaining a high level of customer service, customer satisfaction, and delivering consistent and positive customer experiences is key for any business who wants to succeed and gain a competitive advantage over other businesses in its industry.

Your customer-facing business goals should always be to exceed your customer's expectations. This is especially relevant for service-oriented businesses who communicate with customers across all channels, especially face to face.

You see, when you exceed expectations you build trust with your customers, which leads to loyalty, repurchasing, and referrals.

No CEO argues the importance of customer experience when it's on paper.

But it's a little different when you try to apply it to a real-life scenario, like your own business. So many businesses skip the entire strategy and just try to measure results without making any internal changes to processes; it just doesn't work like that.

So what does it really take to implement and maintain a successful customer experience program?

Manage Expectations

Before you try to exceed expectations, start by understanding what your customer's expectations are. Who are you customers? What do they want? What kind of expectations have your competitors set for them?

What kind of promises can you make to them and keep? Can you really have your team respond to their issue within an hour or will it take closer to 24 hours? Whatever you decide is fine, but make it reasonable. 

There is nothing worse than overpromising and underdelivering to your customers.

Make it Easy

Do you know what customers don't like? They don't like having to get on multiple channels, repeat their problem multiple times, and still receive no help.

"If your customer has a problem, they don't care how many departments have to get involved or how complicated it might be to solve it- they just want an answer," says Gal Bareket, CEO of Routier. "They want their issue handling process to be as simple and easy as possible. So, delegate a team to address customer-facing issues and make sure they never provide your customers with an additional number to call."

Motivate Staff

 How frustrating is it to deal with a customer representative who has an attitude or just doesn't care about trying to help you? If your team isn't on board, your customers are going to feel it, and they're not going to like it.

Find new ways to motivate your staff and boost morale; incentive programs and investing in your staff are great ways to do so. You'll see a huge improvement in productivity and customer satisfaction levels.

Be Consistent

People like consistency. If you're going to give great service, do it every time. Customers create expectations from their previous experiences- they want consistency and quality; this is the only way to make them feel valuable. Deliver on your promises every time, not only when it's convenient for you to do so.

Listen

The Dalai Lama said: "when you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new."

Don't underestimate the opinion and feedback of your customers, they're actually teaching you how to make your business better. Problems that may go unnoticed by your team may be creating a huge negative impact on customer experience, but you'll never know if you don't listen.

Managing client relationships in a way that helps you exceed your expectations can make or break companies. I know this first-hand as the founder of a company. 

So unique technologies aside, don't forget that it all starts and ends with your client expectations.

Published on: Dec 11, 2017