Knowing your customers

October 5, 2015

Exceptional customer service is often the difference between a good company and a great one. This week, as part of the Institute of Customer Service’s National Customer Service Week, we’re exploring key customer service topics to help brands of all shapes and sizes to improve their customer service and put their organisation ahead of the competition.

Today, we look at the fundamental need to know your customers inside and out.

Knowing your customers and understanding their needs is fundamental to delivering great customer service; if your staff don’t truly know what your customers want, then how are they meant to deliver stand out experiences?

The issue many companies have is trying to define who exactly is in charge of great customer experiences. The answer; everyone. But in order to make every employee at every level of your business accountable for your overall customer experience, you need to empower your staff with knowledge and know-how.

Understanding your customers is easier than ever

The world of research is changing.

Gone are the days of backwards looking, centrally owned research. Instead, today, surveys are a way of working embedded at every level of organisations. Everyone from head office staff to front line employees should – and very easily can – have access to real-time customer feedback and resulting insight.

Take a Voice of the Customer programme that gathers post-experience feedback from people using an organisation’s all important contact centre for example. Using a variety of methodologies, customers can be surveyed immediately on their experience – and gathering feedback as near real-time as possible allows the right information to be collected that will really help push your brand experiences ahead of the competition.

Responses and comments are then immediately analysed and can be sent to the right and relevant people within a business. Take a customer who called to complain about a faulty product but found the agent on the end of the phone to be really helpful and reassuring – comments can feed directly through to that particular agent’s team leader to celebrate a job well done.

Individual responses can also be collated and fused with relevant supporting data ready for review by the rest of the business – everyone from an operational to strategic level can see how their area of the business is performing and come together as one to improve.

It means that everyone at every level of your business is now empowered to deliver great customer experiences; they know what their customers like, what they don’t and how to improve for next time.

This sort of empowerment really works. Just two weeks ago we were celebrating at the UK Customer Experience Awards with parcel carrier Yodel after they managed to transform their business and increase customer satisfaction by over 49% following the introduction of their Voice of the Customer programme ‘Have Your Say’; every one within Yodel – from head office to individual drivers – now know what a great Yodel experience looks like and are able to deliver that day in, day out.

Focusing on outcomes, not just measurement

Many Voice of the Customer programmes often fail, sometimes for numerous reasons, but mainly because companies focus and obsess on measurement rather than real outcomes.

By actively sharing results around the business with tools such as real-time dashboards or insight workshops, businesses can come together to solve potential customer pain points and continue to develop their experience so it’s the very best it can be.

Empower business decisions through informed direction

Empowering businesses is what we’re all about at eDigitalResearch.

Our real-time, tailored feedback solutions are designed to help inform strategic business decisions as well as provide front line staff with the tools they need to continually deliver great customer experiences in the moments that matter.

eDigitalResearch are supporters of National Customer Service Week and proud sponsors of the third annual Customer Experience Day. Tomorrow, as part of our week long celebrations, we’ll be exploring how effectively managing customer complaints can lead to better experiences for everyone.