Customer care has made it into the heart of many brands’ advertising messages. But let’s be honest: how many organisations promise WOW experiences à la Zappos and actually stick to this because they cultivate a customer care culture?
More than ten years ago, a study by Bain concluded that, from the customer point of view, only eight percent of the service promises were fulfilled. And what about today? According to a recent study, it is still only eight percent, even though 80 percent of companies claim the opposite – they are convinced they are offering excellent customer care.
This result raises many questions, bearing in mind that most customers simply assume seamless service. Many customers switch to a competitor after just one bad experience. It’s true that there are numerous examples of superb customer care. However, most articles cite the same companies over and over again.There aren’t many brands out there which deserve the title ‘service champion’. However, what makes these unlike the others? McKinsey says: They actually do their homework, in the truest sense of the word. They create and maintain a company culture and convey values with which employees can identify with naturally.
So what creates an organisation that provides outstanding customer care?
1. Pride & Joy
No one can force employees to identify with their organisation. One must be strategic to make employees feel proud of their employer. Startups get this and that’s why they offer their employees flextime, gym memberships, flat whites and beers after work. Not to mention location – offering a workplace that competes amongst the best is a real estate game: Location, location, location.
So why do some people love their work whilst others have to drag themselves out of bed to crawl in? In addition to emotional factors such as the mood of the team and good working relationships, what matters most is the feeling of mastering the work in a productive and efficient manner. Help your employees by providing them with cloud communications services that power their productivity. Give regular and prompt feedback and celebrate successes!
Your organisation could even be certified as a Great Place to Work – THINK BIG.
2. A Sense of Ownership
Give your employees responsibility. The most common mistake of poor customer care is the fact that employees are not empowered to take decisions. This could be your greatest distinctive feature. For effective customer service, the first step consists in having the right tools and the freedom for decision making. This includes quick access to what they need most urgently to be able to work independently – providing customer data from the first point of contact.
What is the second step? Freedom of choice. All employees are responsible for every customer experience. Give them the opportunity to influence it in a positive way by ensuring there is ample room for negotiation and improvisation, without them having to ask for a hierarchy of approvals in the process.
3. Customer Obsession
Not everyone must officially take care of customer requests although companies like Amazon ask that all managers attend two days of call center training every year. Keeping customers as the focus at all times is paramount to every role in the organisation, not only customer care agents.
Walt Disney hit the nail on the head: “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” This works when everyone on a team is working towards a common goal of excellent customer service.
As Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, says, you must obsess over customers. This means the organisation must be consumed by every customer’s journey. Every employee, from Finance to R&D, must have a customer-centric attitude. If you need further proof that Amazon’s tactic of customer obsession is working: Amazon currently takes around 34 percent of the U.S. e-commerce market, and this market share is forecast to grow to about 50 percent by 2021.
The Bottom Line
Give your employees pride and joy – and motivation! – by showing you appreciate them and their work. Provide them with modern cloud services to enable their productivity rather than demotivating them with outdated desktop software. Empower them with knowledge so that you can trust them to take the right decisions. Give them a reason to feel like they are helping to shape your organisation. And obsess over your customers – from every corner of your organisation.