Since customer relations considers all of your customer interactions, there are a lot of factors that can influence a customer relationship. When building positive customer relations, organizations need to take a company-wide approach that’s focused on promoting customer success. To do that, here are three key factors that any business should consider when pursuing positive customer relations.
1. Invest in employee training.
A great customer experience comes not only from the product being sold but also from the employees who interact with the customer. Your reps must be highly skilled in their trade and motivated by quickly solving customer problems.
Customer service training may include developing some of the “soft” skills such as improving active listening, developing a professional communication style, and how to solve problems efficiently in your organizational framework.
While you might expect your reps to have these skills when you bring them on, continual training helps align the entire team to your organization’s brand standards, policies, and procedures, resulting in a more consistent experience across the board.
2. Create a fulfilling workplace for your customer service reps.
Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines famously said, “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” This seems intuitive: If a customer service rep is having a bad enough day that the customer perceives this, it can change the tone of the experience.
Studies have also shown that happy workers are also 13% more productive, and in the service world, productive reps and quicker resolution times lead to higher rates of customer satisfaction.
3. Improve first call resolution rate.
86% of customers will pay more for a better experience, and great customer experiences are becoming the norm in today’s marketplace. One of the metrics to look at when creating a frictionless service model is first-call resolution (FCR). FCR refers to the percentage of calls that get resolved with no follow-up or additional touchpoints needed.
It’s a critical metric that improves satisfaction (no one wants to call multiple times about one issue, and more calls equate to more frustration) and your team’s internal efficiency. The more calls that are resolved completely, the less your system is taxed by call volume.
Your service and support teams should be equipped and enabled to handle the majority of issues that customers present.
4. Leverage software to increase efficiency.
Speaking of enablement, companies faced with higher volumes of support and service cases should consider adopting customer service tools to help manage customer relations. Adding a help desk software can significantly help customer service, support, and success teams monitor interactions with customers over time. Tools like a customer relationship manager, or CRM, can help your team expand its bandwidth and create satisfying experiences for every person that interacts with your business.
5. Create opportunities for self-service.
You may not have the bandwidth to provide on-demand one-to-one support at all hours of the day. Ensure that you’re providing the tools for your customers to get help when they need it, even without the help of a rep.
Chat bots can help disseminate information and guide website visitors to the right areas on your website. Knowledge bases can address some of the most common questions customers have.
Even though some customers will prefer calling in, these simple steps can address the problems of your more self-sufficient customers and increase satisfaction by continuing to solve problems on demand.
6. Be accessible.
That isn’t to say that you should replace reps with self-service solutions altogether. To provide an excellent customer experience, your service and support teams need to be readily available to help. A Microsoft survey revealed that over a third of consumers reported that their biggest complaint with a company is not being able to get help from an agent when needed to.
While it helps to have things like self-service help desks, your team still needs to be there when the customer has a problem. Technology can help ease some of the stress for your customer service team, but it can never recreate the memorable experience that a live rep can provide. This human interaction is crucial to creating a meaningful relationship between a company and its customers.
7. Show appreciation.
Part of creating a great customer experience is providing small moments of delight where you exceed their expectations. This is particularly important as our culture is shifting away from brand loyalty and more toward loyalty to the brands that provide the best experience. Consider rewarding your best customers with a loyalty program or other small token of your appreciation.
8. Measure and improve customer satisfaction.
Making your customers happy doesn’t have to be an intangible effort. Ask for feedback from your customers and develop a system for measuring that feedback. This could be in the form of customer satisfaction surveys and NPS scores.
If you do, also ensure that you’re committed to acting on the feedback you receive. As you see scores improve and feedback get better, you know you’re on the right track.
9. Create a customer-first culture.
Companies that want to create positive customer relations need to install a customer-centric culture into the organization. This culture has to be focused on customer success as well as creating long-term solutions for every customer. Companies can do this by creating a customer journey map that outlines the buyer’s journey for a target consumer. Employees will be more motivated to help customers as they can see exactly where they play a role in the customer’s success. It also helps to hire a customer relations executive who can lead the development of customer relationships.