Extraordinary customer service is what sets a business apart from its competitors. This statement applies to all kinds of businesses- large, small, retail, wholesale, and service or product based.
Having gone through the 2016 customer expenditure pattern and the current economic challenges Nigeria faces including a marked reduction in impulsive customer spending as against informed and deliberate spending, it is noted that virtually all companies in Nigeria experienced a reduction in sales, customer patronage and expenditure.
Companies willing to successfully navigate the business terrain in 2017 must, therefore, be deliberate in their customer service delivery. Customers must be offered exceptional customer experience and staff of organisations must serve customers deliberately and efficiently to avoid the bitter experiences of 2016, where customer patronage was negatively impacted in many instances. The availability of alternatives and options all make the challenges businesses will face in 2017 more pronounced.
Through effective customer service processes that will give exceptional customer experience, companies must woo and wow customers in 2017. Companies must learn to keep it simple, clear, leaving nothing to chance or doubt. Satisfy the needs of customers and enjoy repeat business transactions.
Service delivery is now proactive and not reactive. It is critical for every customer-driven organization to focus on customer experience to stay ahead of the competition. While customer service is a reactive approach to business, customer experience remains the proactive measure to service delivery according to NMSP research in 2016.
65% of consumers prefer to do business with companies that use their personal information to make business or shopping experience more relevant. Customers will readily share their preferences with firms that take cognisance of their staff attitude, ambience, and process.
A recent study by the Harris Group reveals that 72% of Millennials prefer to spend their hard-earned cash on experiences rather than on material goods.
SERVICE CHECK AND ANALYTICS
In 2017, companies need to inspect what they expect staff to offer the customer.
Monitoring and measuring service performance will improve customer retention. This can only be achieved by ensuring quality product and service delivery to customers.
Service check will also expose training needs, sales opportunities and better customer relationship management, which would, in turn, ensure customer loyalty in 2017.
Currently, companies use Analytics, a trend that helps companies determine individual customer’s buying patterns and preferences. This is subsequently monitored to create an amazing customer experience. Without a doubt, customised experience creates a connection with the customer, which invariably brings loyalty.
Customers and consumers have become habituated to sharing their impressions of virtually every transaction on social media. Companies must, therefore, increase their social listening to capture every negative and positive reaction of customers.
Companies must track and coordinate customer feedback across multiple platforms and provide timely responses to preserve customer relationships. According to research from Salesforce, as many as 62% of high-performing consumer product retailers claim to have processes for using multi-channel feedback to create “single snapshots” of customers and directly address their concerns. Those who feel ignored will take their business elsewhere.
Trust creates confidence. Confidence turns into repeat business. When the customer comes back and experiences the consistent positive experience that they had the last time – and the time before – that repeated positive experience becomes predictable, and can turn into customer loyalty. Customers are now smart and will pick up on the sincerity or lack of sincerity in your interaction and dealings with them.