The importance of customer service

How do you create the best, unique customer service plan for your business?

Customer service. Often talked about but more often, given mere lip service. What is your business doing to create a truly unique customer experience? In this article we explore some strategies to achieve sustainable change in the way you treat your most important assets, customers.

Importance of quality customer service

Customers choose you for a reason, whether it be reputation, value or just convenience. Why not take some time to ensure you give your customers an even greater reason to choose your business?

For many businesses, customer service is more important than anything else. A positive customer experience will provide you with many benefits such as, reducing costs and increasing profit, building customer trust, and improving brand reputation.

Not so long ago, a business could succeed by simply meeting the needs of customer and managing their share of the market. A customer service plan could be developed from simple internal analysis.

Times have changed. In today’s advanced market, where information is more freely available than ever before, it is imperative for businesses to meet the ever-changing needs and expectations of their customers. This requires a customer service plan that goes far beyond internal analysis. Below is a simple plan that, if implemented, could benefit your business by ensuring it continually focuses and improves customer service.

Four basic steps to better customer service: Developing a customer service plan

  1. The first step is simple. Develop policies to ensure your day to day operations are fair and consistent to all customers. The expectations and needs of customers are broad so it is important to ensure your business is able to meet these needs without compromising the needs of other customers.
  2. The next step is put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Create a vision of how you would ideally like your customers to perceive you. Take a look at your business from the eyes of the customer and consider the elements of your business that makes them choose you.All businesses will have a different ranking of characteristics that will complement their services the most. So, make an effort develop relationships to understand things that are important to your customers. Some examples may include:
    • A reliable and trustworthy service
    • A friendly and personalised service
    • An efficient and fast-paced service
  3. To really make your customer service model worthwhile you will need to develop a strategy to differentiate yourself from your competitors.Take the time to research your competitors and set customer service benchmarks. Aim to develop a unique strategy that is above and beyond the traditional customer service provided in your industry.
  4. The final step is to set goals. Your ideal customer service experience will be hard to achieve and track without setting goals. Every time you review your plan set basic but specific goals to track your progress. The easiest way to do this is through your customers.For example:
    • Aim to develop close relationships with customers you feel comfortable to ask for feedback
    • Utilise technology to provide your customers with surveys
    • Investigate what attracted new customers and analyse customer retention

Don’t forget to continue to monitor your progress; the needs of customers are ever changing. This means that you will need to regularly update and review your customer service plan. The best way to do this is by collecting customer feedback.

Modern technology can assist in timely measurement of your customer service standards and such measures should be incorporated into your regular business reporting. Let our Business Advisory Specialists assist in the development and ongoing measurement of customer service plans. Please contact us on (03) 9835 8200 or alternatively fill in your details below and we will be in touch.

 

About the Author
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Lizzie Wardlaw , Melbourne
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