In 1992 the U.S. Congress proclaimed Customer Service Week a nationally recognized event, celebrated annually during the first full week in October. What has been learnt since it’s inception is what we at Rova Media Digital, Inc have decided to share.
In sales, commerce and economics, a customer is the recipient of a good, service, product or an idea — obtained from a seller, vendor, or supplier via a financial transaction or exchange for money or some other valuable consideration. — (Wikipedia).
A customer is an individual or business that purchases another company’s goods or services. Customers are important because they drive revenues; without them, businesses have nothing to offer. Most public-facing businesses compete with other companies to attract customers, either by aggressively advertising their products or by lowering prices to expand their customer bases.
In the business of serving customers, there is a crucial need to use effective strategies to enable them (your customers) enjoy their relationship with your business. It is then important to discern that:
- To understand how to better meet the needs of its customers, some businesses closely monitor their customer relationships to identify ways to improve service and products.
- Customers are the individuals and businesses that purchase goods and services from another business.
- The way businesses treat their customers can give them a competitive edge.
- Although consumers can be customers, consumers are defined as those who consume or use market goods and services.
The terms customer and consumer are nearly synonymous and are often used interchangeably. However, there exists a slight difference. Consumers are defined as individuals or businesses that consume or use goods and services. Customers are the purchasers within the economy that buy goods and services, and they can exist as consumers or alone as customers.
So what did we learn from the Customer Service Week?
Lessons to Learn from Serving Customers
We at Rova Media Digital, serve Customers across the Globe and we definitely will share vital lessons to learn from serving Customers, and this will help your business blossom.
- Study Your Customers: Customers are so important that colleges and universities offer consumer behavior courses dedicated to studying their behavioral patterns, choices, and idiosyncrasies. They focus on why people buy and use goods and services and how it impacts companies and economies.
- Understanding customers enables businesses to create effective marketing and advertising campaigns, deliver products and services that address needs and wants, and retain customers for repeat business.
- Businesses often honor the adage “the customer is always right” because happy customers are more likely to award repeat business to companies who meet or exceed their needs.
As a result, many companies closely monitor their customer relationships to solicit feedback on methods to improve product lines. Customers are categorized in many ways. Most commonly, customers are classified as external or internal.
- Identify Ways to Improve Service and Products: As a business entity or even an SME, it’s important to constantly identify ways to improve service and products that will best benefit the customer. These ways must be innovative. You can use survey, and other data collection tool to access the mindset of the customers.
- This will help your business to prioritize it’s mindset in providing more value that will best sustain the customers one core needs. Businesses that do not identify ways to improved their products or services for their customers have a downside in ROI.
- Customers want and need to know that your business values them from all angles and this includes in decision making that affects them. This could be in the form of reducing pricing, adding more purpose value to your services, complaint response and more.
- Improved Customer Service: One key element of Sigma Six is Customer Service. Loyalty in the form of favorable online reviews, referrals, and future business can be lost or won based on a good or bad customer service experience.
- In recent years, customer service has evolved to include real-time interactions via instant message chats, texting, and other means of communication. The market is saturated with businesses offering the same or similar products and services.
- What distinguishes one from another is customer service, which has become the basis of competition for most businesses. So if you improve on your customer service, you’d be amazed at what you’ll be getting!
- Genuine Care: You can have the most efficient experience in the industry, but if customers don’t feel like you care about them, they won’t stay loyal. Most front-line employees probably learned a long time ago to address customers by name to make the experience more personal.
- That still holds true. But adding a memory — perhaps referring to a past experience or personal information the customers shared another time — shows you care about the person, not just the transaction.
- Most databases leave room for notes. Encourage employees to make short notes that they and colleagues can use as references to past conversations that can and should be mentioned again. On the flip side, they might want to also take note of things that shouldn’t be discussed with customers.
- Show Respect: Surely, employees who deal with customers know to be respectful. There are extra steps you can take to show respect beyond listening closely, speaking kindly and using a kind tone.
- Example: Show customers respect by recognizing something they’ve done. I can be as simple as complimenting them on a choice they made during an order.
Or, if they reveal an accomplishment — perhaps a work promotion, 5K finish, a child’s college graduation — during rapport building conversations, compliment them on the effort it took to achieve that. And note it in their account so you can follow up some time down the road.
Customer Service Week is definitely not some once in a year event to checkmate your customer’s relationship and improve them. It’s to be a stable and permanent structure in your business to accelerate growth.