January 17 is Customer Service Day. Are you prepared? In today’s world we move so fast in business and technology, sometimes we have to slow down to appreciate the core value of the business — customers.
The importance of customer satisfaction
Let’s face it, without customers you have no business. Accenture analysts estimate that $1.6 trillion is lost bycompanies in the United States due to poor customer service. So how do you keep customers in your business? Metrics! You can only manage what you can measure.
Do you know your Net Promoter Score? The NPS is a common metric used to measure customer loyalty based on a single-question survey: how likely they are to refer your products and services to others. Do you have a customer success program or a customer success manager to provide you with this insight?
As a decision-maker, you need to see what your customers and employees think about your company, products, services, processes, etc. It takes time to seek the resources and information you need for these types of evaluations, but it’s an important and critical part of your due diligence to the company and your customers, so you can’t disregard it or put it off.
There are many software tools out there that can provide customer surveys, but how often do your customers take these surveys and can you be sure the correct personnel are completing them? Most surveys have multiple questions that may or may not pertain to your customers’ experience, so how do you get realistic measurements for your business? What about the surveys that just provide stars or numerical values, offering little insight into how customers are really feeling about your service? You need accurate supporting data to make good decisions in your business. How do you get more concise data efficiently and effectively? Make customer feedback simple.
Once you’ve simplified customer surveys, how about internal surveys for your employees? Not only can software tools help with customer service, they can also enhance performance among your employees and provide great feedback on company processes.
Happy customers are the result of happy employees. Want proof? According to Forbes, 58% of customers will pay more for better customer service. If you are willing to invest, so are your customers.
But how do you monitor the service provided by your employees without being a babysitter? By using a software tool that offers URL links or QR codes that can be placed in multiple locations to give quick, precise feedback on the experience from your customer’s perspective. This can be tied to administration to monitor employee performance and inform employees where they need to improve their services to help retain customers, as well as finding out who may or may not be doing their job.
Bill Gates once said “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” You will quickly find out about an employee’s engagement with the company. Are they engaged or actively disengaged? The toxicity of an actively disengaged employee can ruin your customer service and eventually your business. These tools can help catch this on the front end before it gets too far.
We have talked about customer retention, but what about employee retention? Sometimes it is not the employees’ fault given the tools and processes they have. Therefore, conducting an internal survey for your employees to help with improvements could benefit employee retention. You can identify whether there is any disruption or communication issues with the management team and dig deeper into any internal issues at hand. You don’t want to lose your best employees because you didn’t take a 360-degree company survey to find out what is going on fromthe top down. These surveys don’t have to be strenuous on the employees either.
On customer service day, and every day, be sure you have the tools in place to ensure happy customers and happy employees. Customer retention will follow.
Michael Cifaldi is Solutions Partner Manager-USA for iTS, serving the channel industry for six years with successful solutions. He has been in sales and service for over 15 years, building knowledge and wisdom on customer support. He has a bachelor’s degree in business management - Human Resources from University of Arkansas Little Rock.