The #NCSW14 campaign kicks off today in the UK with the aim of raising awareness of customer service and the importance businesses need to place on improving customer service levels.
Over 70% of the working population now perform service sector roles and 78% of UK GDP is now attributed to service, yet customer satisfaction levels are at their lowest point since 2011.
“National Customer Service Week helps to raise awareness of the impact that customer service can have on businesses and their employees,” says Jo Causon, CEO of the Institute of Customer Service.
“The most recent decrease in customer satisfaction demonstrates the importance of customer service and should act as a warning to organisations who may have opted for short term sales goals rather than a focus on consistent customer service which delivers sustained success.”
The five topics the ICS are covering this week are the following:
● Monday- Understanding your Customer
● Tuesday- Easy to do business with
● Wednesday- Dealing with problems
● Thursday- Business impact of customer service
● Friday- Recognition
Day One: Who are your customers and how are their needs changing?
“Customers’ needs are evolving more rapidly than ever before. Customers have become more demanding, more discerning, less trusting and less tolerant when organisations fail to meet their expectations,” says the ICS. “Changes in technology are re-setting expectation about how customers interact with organisations, requiring organisations and employees to develop new skills and capabilities.”
Some of the key questions to ask during activities are:
• Who are you customers?
• What are their needs and how are they changing?
• How do you capture insight about your customers and how do you use it?
• How do your customers use social media and how are you responding?
• What factors will influence your customers’ needs in the future? What do you need to do to respond?
Nick Peart, marketing director EMEA at Zendesk offers the following advice:
"Start simple, with what we know makes customers happy. Ongoing customer research has shown that a fast first response and a prompt resolution are consistently what customers’ rate highest in what they want from companies. Analyse the data available to you to track response times and spot patterns; a consistent time of day when it speeds up or a period of every month that is slows to a crawl can provide you with invaluable data to improve your service and customer relationships."
What does your organisation do to understand its customers better? Let us know in the comment box below or via #NCSW14 on Twitter.
Chris is Editor of MyCustomer. He is a practiced editor, having worked as a copywriter for creative agency, Stranger Collective from 2009 to 2011 and subsequently as a journalist covering technology, marketing and customer service from 2011-2014 as editor of Business Cloud News. He joined MyCustomer in 2014.