A Customer-Centric approach adds layers of resiliency
Customer service is shifting as quickly as technology and the global business landscape. Mobile devices, technology, social media, and changing demographics are expanding customer expectations and contributing to the changing service landscape. The new normal for customers calling businesses is the expectation the problem will be fixed immediately and a discount or freebie will be the only forgivable option expected by the customer. Global competition ensures customers have many options and price points; the only way to keep the customer coming back is the feeling of getting more value or genuine identification with the brand or individual representing the company.
- Television reflects this shift in their line-ups with shows such as Royal Pains about an independent doctor practicing in the Hamptons, Burn Notice, an independent spy operating in Miami, or Barely Legal, an attorney that leaves traditional practice for a more holistic way to service clients by win-win mediation. The enhanced value and quality service clients receive from these professionals is evident in results required from increasingly sophisticated consumers. As a result, there are more types of independent consultants and businesses with flexible approaches and practices today than any time in history.
- Consider how, Amazon’s vision and growth provides a glimpse into customer expectations, “to be ….a place where people come to find and discover anything they might buy online”. This statement is an indication of evolving customer expectations and business practices. How are businesses to leverage the evolving customer landscape to weather and thrive amid globalization?
· Collect and analyzed Data – understand who are the customers, why do they purchase the company’s product or service, identify and document the cost of poor and great customer service
· Give staff and associates authority and latitude to creatively solve customer issues
· Stay current with personnel... reach out and show them they are valued and appreciated for the particular abilities they bring to the company
· Engage associates and provide varied work through cross-functional internships, ongoing training, and education to keep knowledge and the application fresh and relevant.
· Provide meaningful evolving content to customers in addition to the product or service... Show customers what it could be, instead of take or leave it.
- New research is continuously emerging on the benefits of developing a “customer-centric” business. Acknowledging the time, effort, and cost required to engage customers and personnel could be substantial. One strategy is to use the communicative and educational nature of technology along with interpersonal skills to build relationships with the Information Technology, CEO, Customer Service, Sales, and Marketing departments within companies and with competitors. Combining talents could produce game- changing products and services. This approach is a catalyst to assist businesses in becoming resilient to outside forces.
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