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Your lifetime guide to a better Customer Service

12th Sep 2014
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“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 
- Maya Angelou
This is true in business too!  Outstanding customer engagement can take a company thousand miles ahead. Not only can the company stand out in a crowded marketplace but create a distinct name for itself for many many years.
And it’s not that exceptional customer engagement can only be delivered by the bigger companies. Startups too can deliver exceptional customer service, provided they do it smartly!
Do not believe? Here are three ways how even the leanest of startup teams can create a wonderful customer experience on a small budget:
1. Invest in a Customer Engagement Platform.
Don’t worry they are not high on expense. Moreover, most of the reputed customer engagement platforms are SaaS based (like Cloud CRM), offering you benefits like – 

Easy Scalability

Easy Integration

Frequent Upgrades. 

Once you have the platform, use it to manage the entire customer facing functions. Use it as an overarching software platform at every point of customer engagement - be it a Prospect maturing into a Lead or a Lead converting to a Customer. 
And what’s best: you’ll get the added benefit of communicating or collaborating with the customers from any internet-enabled device anywhere anytime – between the floors, on the road, at the airport. 
2. Use the Customer-related Metrics.
Research shows that customers’ metrics are the best way to deliver a personalized service. Use the customer engagement platform to get your customers’ data. Analyze them and pick a metric or group of metrics that you believe is the most useful.  Share it with your team and start deriving value from them.
Example: Look at the percentage of customers who’ve made repeat purchases. Identify the trigger point of all these repeat purchases i.e. what prompted them to buy again i.e. Special offers on same products/festive season etc. Also check out their demographics to get a deeper insight. 
Accordingly, now provide a highly customized experience to make them believe that you KNOW your customers well.
Jim Freeze, Chief Marketing Officer of Aspect comments – ‘’the idea behind the smarter customer experience is: proactive and predictive engagement. The result is that customers feel like the brand “knows” them. It’s like "nesting" the customer: gathering data through all points of engagement that the individual has with a company so as to anticipate his or her needs and create smarter experiences.’’
3. Provide Customer Service across Channels.
Today’s customers expect engagement with a company on all channels (voice, text, instant message). And this is where small and medium-sized businesses can score a SIX. They can compensate the lack of size and resources (that their bigger rivals have), with service speed and nimbleness. 
Use the customer engagement platform to deliver consistency of service between all the channels. Train your sales, marketing and customer service agents to use the platform to quickly address customer questions and issues as they arise.
Define criteria regarding the messages your team will and won’t engage with. Put more emphasis upon replying to constructive messages. Avoid answering personal attacks and blatant provocations. Train your staff to take a helpful, patient and conversational tone especially when it comes to answering negative reviews.
Jim Freeze, comments – ‘’the future of customer care will be a completely synchronous response, able to call upon any resource, any individual and any piece of data to deliver an experience that meets that consumer expectation. By creating a seamless relationship between omni-channel communication, analytics and predictive, proactive communications, companies can create the smarter experiences, consumers, and their smart products, demand.’’
While the tactics listed above will help you enhance your customer engagement, you won’t be able to continue it for long if you do not have it in your company culture.
To bring in continuity in your customer service, make sure that it is not just another business function but a foundational part of your company ideology. Ensure that not just a small and siloed team but everyone in your company is equally committed to making your customers happy.

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