6 Ways to Develop a More Customer-Focused Business
Many companies have a goal of putting customers first, but it’s too easy to let this be an empty saying. Small businesses that are able to satisfy the customer are more likely to grow, but it can be hard to put this into reality. Instead of considering vague statements, it’s a good idea to implement procedures and policies that allow you to put the client at the center of everything you do. There are several ways of doing so.
Hire the Right People
The people who work with customers every day are at the core of your business. Without them, you wouldn’t have a business, so it’s important to make sure you hire the right people. It’s sometimes hard to attract the right talent, but offering more benefits or a competitive salary can entice the top people to work for you. One way of getting funding for hiring this type of talent is to take out a small business loan. There are business loans available that make it easier to pay for the employees you need at your organization.
Come Up with a Client Persona
Coming up with a profile of your client allows you to create practices and policies that will help you market to them. Knowing who you want to reach and why can save you time and money. Once you come up with this persona, you can think about what they want. Consider the type of service and policies that would best serve them. Knowing who you want to do business with allows you to please only those who matter most to your success, which helps you become an expert in that area.
Allow Your Customer Service Employees to Bend the Rules
If you allow your customer facing employees to bend the rules and make judgment calls, when necessary, it will be easier for them to help the customer. If they need to stick to a rigid set of rules, it will be much harder for them to accommodate or feel empathetic. If they can bend the rules when needed, they will be better able to work around policies if it is needed to be fair to that customer. Still, when you empower your employees, that does not mean you allow them to give away services or goods all the time. If you do allow them to bend the rules in a way that causes revenue loss, you will find it harder to make a profit.
Consider training your employees on what to do in different types of situations. This allows them to make judgment calls as necessary so they do not waste anyone’s time during the moment. This type of planning allows you to give your staff guidelines they can use in different types of situations. If someone has been waiting longer than a certain amount of time for help, you might offer a snack or beverage. This type of learning allows them to anticipate needs before they arise.
Have Everyone Work in the Department
Don’t let your client facing employees be the only ones who serve customers. Whether it’s IT employees, HR workers, or upper management, everyone should understand the needs and wants they need to grant. It’s a good idea to train each person in customer service, which allows them to listen and understand what is needed. It will begin to shape every part of your business, changing the way your employees do their jobs.
Be Transparent in Your Relationships
Many companies find it hard to accommodate client requests all the time since clients may become unreasonable or irate. Sometimes, there may be too many requests for you to handle. It’s these cases that might prevent you from thinking the customer is always right. You can’t give them what they want all the time, but some customers might become irate if they do not get what they want. Other times, you may have too many clients who want too many things. If you can’t please them in these instances, it’s a good idea to let them know why you can’t assist them.
Part of building a good customer experience strategy is building trust, so try to be transparent in handling the situation. Your clients want to feel like they are being heard, even if they don’t get what they ask for. You may explain why you have a certain policy in place, which can help them understand. Many times, people are more accommodating if they have the reason behind a policy. Even if the reason does not make as much sense to the client, they may appreciate having more transparency in place. If they can see there is progress made for them, they are even more likely to be accommodating.
You can get to the root of many issues by asking questions to get to the root of customer service issues. Of course, those involved will need to be persistent and work hard to get there. The idea is not to blame anyone but to instead see if there are procedures that do not work as well as they should. Getting to the core of the issue requires you to tweak processes as necessary. A customer-first approach requires you to analyze the structure of your business. You need to ask questions to understand the client, and you need to make sure every employee is thoughtful and involved. The front lines need to be equipped so they can anticipate needs before they arise.
David is a dynamic, analytical, solutions-focused bilingual Financial Professional, highly regarded for devising and implementing actionable plans resulting in measurable improvements to customer acquisition and retention, revenue generation, forecasting, and new business development.