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Looking after customers is a team sport!

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

We all understand the importance of looking after customers- it not only makes commercial sense but it’s a much more pleasant, ethical way to do business.

Here’s some top tips to help you create the right culture in your business:

You must lead by example. The first step in creating a customer-centric culture is to make sure the entire leadership team lives and breathes customer-centric values. Do this by prioritising customer satisfaction, communicate the importance of providing excellent customer service to the entire organisation, and consistently demonstrate customer-focused behaviours.

*Ensuring customer excellence starts internally

Nurture a customer-centric mindset throughout the organisation: Instil a customer-focussed approach in all employees, across all departments – whether they see themselves as ‘customer facing’ or not. Everyone’s actions in an organisation will affect the customer. Explain and emphasise the importance of understanding, meeting & trying to exceed customer needs and expectations at every touchpoint. A really good way to do this is to ask colleagues to put themselves in the customer's shoes and then to be honest and consider if this looks and feels like outstanding customer service.

*Everyone in the business is a marketeer

Coach, train and empower employees - equip everyone with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to deliver exceptional customer service. Encourage them to take ownership of customer interactions and empower them to make decisions that prioritise customer satisfaction. Coach & train colleagues to understand and practise empathy. They will need to understand customers emotions and perspectives, especially in challenging situations. Demonstrating empathy can create a positive and supportive environment that in turn leads to improved trust and loyalty.

*Create a culture of 'yes'

Reward and shout about successes! - people need to know when they have done a great job.

*Endorses purpose

Consistently strive to exceed customer expectations - this doesn’t need to be costly just thoughtful and a positive surprise for the customer.

*Be brilliant at the basics

Listen to customer feedback and constantly look to improve your offering – standing still means moving backwards in business. Use NPS, online reviews, in house follow ups & social media to find out what your customers are thinking and saying. Make sure this feedback is analysed and great solutions found for problems – no sticking plasters but a proper root cause analysis to minimise the likelihood of issues reoccurring. Really importantly communicate changes throughout the organisation so that everyone understands the impact of their actions on customer satisfaction. Encourage a culture of continuous learning and improvement amongst colleagues.

*Hear & act

The experience must be personalised. Treat each customer as an individual - there is no ‘one size fits all’. Collect and utilise customer data to anticipate their preferences and tailor interactions accordingly. Use customer relationship management (CRM) & dealer management systems (DMS) fully to keep track of customer information, previous interactions, and specific preferences to enhance these personalisation efforts.

*Know the customer

Streamline processes and eliminate friction. Make it easy for the customer to do business with you. Convenient for the customer must come before convenient for the company! Identify and address any bottlenecks or points of friction in your processes that may negatively impact the customer experience. Make it easy for the customer to navigate through the purchase or service journey – and signpost the customer where applicable so they are not wondering what’s going on at any point.

*People before process - flexibility

Ensure you have strong communication channels to help facilitate seamless and timely interactions with customers, be that phone, email, social media or live chat. Ensure timely response to customers and consider how you deal with enquiries, concerns and complaints outside your regular opening hours.

*Be available

Creating a customer-centric culture requires a 360 degree approach that involves leadership commitment, employee engagement, and a focus on delivering exceptional experiences throughout the customer journey. Customer excellence is a team sport! Please don't hesitate to get in touch if R7 can assist you.

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