Every business sells either products or services – that’s what makes it a business. Everything a company does is structured to encourage more sales so that the company can thrive. That can include slashing prices to drive more people to the business to make a purchase. However, that approach can have collateral damage, as service and profits erode because of the lower margins. So, how do you keep margins high, while remaining competitive in a marketplace dedicated to cost-savings?
According to the 2011 Customer Experience Impact Report from Oracle, 86 percent of consumers will pay more for a better customer experience. That is a staggering number of people who are able and willing to pay you higher prices in return for an experience that makes them happy. How do you ensure that customers enjoy their time in your store, on the phone with you, or while they’re in your office?
- Engaged employees: One of the most famous customer service techniques is to simply smile, even if you’re on the phone. That can be advanced further to ensure that your employees, especially those who have direct contact with customers, are actively interested in making your customers happy. Passive employees can emit a ray of negativity that may be communicated to the customer.
- Excellent products or services: At the very core of your business are the products you’re selling. When you combine products that can’t be matched with great customer service, there will always be demand. Constantly tweak your offerings to ensure that customers are receiving the value they deserve and the products they crave.
The same Oracle report also states: 89 percent of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience.
This can be interpreted as bad news, but with proper planning and execution it is only bad news for your competition. Once you pump up your customer experience, you will be able to keep margins high without contemplating price reductions to keep customers happy. You’ll be a haven for the 89% who are disgruntled with your competition’s service. This is the perfect storm for your business that can only end in success. But it’s not easy. None of the globally celebrated brands, such as Apple or Coca-Cola, accomplished it overnight. Offering an unparalleled customer experience takes an organizational commitment, and a long-term strategy, instead of short-term tactics.
One of the keys to honing your customer experience is listening. Deploy a customer survey so your customers have a voice. Then, design improvements to your customer experience from the gathered data. Re-survey periodically to gauge the effectiveness of your improvement initiatives. Customers are searching for the best customer experience. Listen to them and they will tell you exactly what they expect. Contact us today to start listening. Also, our Downloads section is stocked with free white papers on customer service.