A reminder of the value of customer obsession
Today marks the start of National Customer Service Week (NCSW), an event spearheaded by the UK Institute of Customer Service to inspire those looking to revitalise their customer service programmes and celebrate the achievements of those doing it well. The timing of the event is somewhat fortuitous, coming at a time when organisations are striving to return to some semblance of business-as-usual, and looking to boost all-important customer loyalty in the run up to the lucrative Christmas period.
It’s safe to say that the UK business economy has been rocked over the past couple of years. From COVID-19 to the recent product shortages and supply chain issues, organisations have been faced with a turbulent business landscape and an uphill scramble to retain customers. As such, customer experience has come to the fore, and while many departments have suffered budget cuts, there has nevertheless been a trend of investing in customer experience, as companies realise the importance of understanding and meeting constantly changing customer needs. National Customer Service Week therefore serves as a timely reminder of the significance of investing in a stellar customer service strategy.
Time to re-assess and think ahead
It has been proven time and time again that an excellent customer experience is key to brands’ success. From improvements in customer perception metrics that drive long-term customer retention, to higher levels of employee engagement, the benefits of a superior customer experience strategy are legion. Post-pandemic, however, are companies’ legacy programmes still fit for purpose, and do they address the needs of a multi-generational, enlightened and digitally-savvy customer base?
The reality is there is always something we can do to improve our customer service offerings. Listening to customers, capturing their feedback and acting on that information is a good start, but organisations shouldn’t rest on their laurels. Look at the trends, look for best practices and think ahead to what’s coming next in a fast-changing consumer landscape. After all, if your organisation has changed over the past couple of years, it’s likely that your customers have too.
Let customer and employee signals guide your strategy
Technology can help here, providing an ability to capture signals automatically across the entire customer journey, detect patterns in the data and drive customer-focused actions at every level. It can also help to capture the views of your whole customer base - including the not so vocal majority who don’t respond to surveys, comment on social media or leave reviews. Don’t ignore the internal perspective either - that of your employees - as this is often where some of the most helpful and actionable insights will be found. After all, it is through the insights of all these stakeholders - and their collective experiences with your brand - that you can shape the future direction of your organisation and the journey your customers take with you.
As National Customer Service Week reminds us, the most successful brands are those that continue to put their customers first and prioritise investments into optimising their experiences. So, use the opportunity this week to become inspired and consider ringing in the changes. Becoming customer-obsessed will be the best decision your organisation makes this year.