|DELIVERING EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE WHATEVER THE WEATHER
By Joanna Swash, Group CEO of Moneypenny
We’ve weathered the worst of it, we have survived. But have we learned how to thrive in what is accepted will be ever-changing times as we look to the future?
Previously I have categorically stated that customer satisfaction can be the difference between business success and failure, a business factor never to be ignored. I stand by that and the basic elements I outlined in getting it right. Communication, partnerships, empowered people, and basic manners are at the core. But we are always learning and listening, so what has the past year taught us and what can be learnt from it so that we are prepared to weather whatever storms may be thrown our way in our changeable future.
Stay Calm. How you respond in a crisis is always the most important thing and getting the fundamentals right can be easier than you think. To survive, our businesses need to become agile, flexible, and even change business models, all at a rapid pace. Take this moment to revisit business continuity and crisis plans and plan for the unexpected. Those who have a flexible plan will be more resilient.
Use what you know. It is more important than ever to analyze your business data. For example, we discovered that despite a boom in the use of social media to contact businesses, the telephone remains the most important communication method for customers to connect with businesses. 43% of our businesses say phone calls were even more important during lockdown and this is backed up with our figures showing that call volumes were up by a third in the last quarter.
Respond Promptly. We live in an age where instant gratification is the norm and that means that today’s customers want to be able to get in touch quickly and easily. Long periods on hold or phones ringing out are not acceptable. Whether it is immediate answers to queries or a simple human contact to reassure them, clients expect quick responses with accurate information. When lockdown restrictions are fully eased, clients will require this even more.
Invest in tech. As we have all experienced, tech during the last 18 months has boomed with the use of tools like Zoom, Google Meets and Microsoft Teams to name a few. The companies that embrace new tech, such as live chat bots and AI will reap the benefits. Far from removing the human equation from business, our experience has been that tech has stimulated human dialogue, for example, use of Workplace by Facebook by our staff has led to a proliferation of online quizzes, celebrations and information sharing. Thus, keeping them happy and motivated to do the best at the job that they do, which is communicating with our clients.
Do not be afraid to outsource. Many businesses might be tempted to make savings by trying to do everything themselves, but it really does pay to outsource certain functions like communications as this can be handled by experts more easily and cost effectively than you think, leaving you and your staff free to focus on the things you are good at.
Creating exceptional customer service is critical to a business but maintaining it through a crisis or uncertain times can be the difference between success and failure. Master it and your business will switch form surviving to thriving.
Putting your customers at the centre of what you do and working together with them in partnership means that you can be equipped to try and weather any storm, you can adapt quickly and together you can enjoy the sunnier times ahead. Each time a customer comes into contact with your company they should feel like they are your biggest customer, your biggest client. Meeting expectations is not enough. Aiming to exceed them is.
ABOUT THE COMPANY
Moneypenny is the world’s leading outsourced communications provider and delivers telephone answering, live chat and digital customer services, working with businesses of all shapes and sizes from entrepreneurs to large multinational corporations