If you’re looking to improve the reputation of your company and boost customer retention, one of the number one priorities for your firm needs to be how you deal with people.
This is highlighted by Malcolm Carlow, executive vice-president of Impact Learning Systems, a customer service training and consulting firm, who states that there are two key aspects to this that companies need to be aware of. He observed that while being able to fix or prevent problems is vital in creating satisfied customers, this is only half the task of offering a good customer experience. The other half is ensuring you communicate well with consumers.
Keep customers ‘in the loop’
Companies that fail to keep their customers informed about what they are doing to support them are likely to see greater dissatisfaction. As an example, Carlow highlights one firm he had been doing business with for many years that recently implemented a new policy preventing clients from talking directly to employees, instead relying on emails as the primary method of communication.
As a result of this policy, it became almost impossible to have a conversation with anyone in management. Carlow notes:
“The lack of meaningful dialogue led to much frustration and their reputation was ruined. Even if they resolved the problem and provided reasonable customer service, it didn’t matter.”
Outstanding customer service – not low prices –builds trust
This example illustrates a key point that many businesses that focus primarily on the bottom line may not understand. While low prices will always be an important factor in a customer’s buying decision, outstanding service is the number one reason customers do business with a company.
This was demonstrated by figures from Harris Interactive, which revealed this was cited as extremely important by more than half of people.
By contrast, less than 40 per cent rated having the lowest prices as a vital element in why they choose to do business with a firm.