Do you really know your customer….

Last month I was privileged to speak at Yorkshire Ladies Links talking about my 4 key principles when dealing with customers and how technology can impact that journey. Over the next 4 weeks I am going to share with you those principles.

I won’t bore you with my background but suffice to say, I am a customer…..well aren’t we all, I’ve also worked in organisations with direct to consumer and business to business over the last 25 years, I’ve seen and dealt with the issues of large corporate dictating their requirements and the pitfalls of some of these, although much of my work is covered by the good old NDA, I will share with you a few examples over the next 4 weeks.

As a starter, think about what you expect from the companies and people we deal with, not forgetting that as your business grows your fellow colleagues could also be your customers. Generally people suggest this is good customer service.

The big question then is ‘what does good customer service look like?’ I don’t think it is as easy to answer that with ‘to be treated as I want to be treated ‘ any more’.

Lifestyles have changed, technology has made this change, and whilst face to face we can see people’s expressions and know if they may be happy, confused or emotional. We can’t do this over the internet as easily, lets be honest how many of you have received an email, got cross with the tone and sent one straight back without thinking that actually this other person may not be good at writing down what they want to say…..

Principle 1   Understand Your Customers

Think about their demographic and the product or service you are selling and then look at the customer journey that you want to impose.

    1. What works for them, doesn’t mean that works for everyone, even in this world of reducing post there are still some people who like to have a letter in from of them and not always be communicated by email.
    2. Look at how you communicate with your customers, is it all via the internet, can people order just on your website or do you give them a phone option. Sometimes it works well to ask as part of your customer journey ‘how would you like us to communicate with you?
    3. Looking at your telephone calls, do you struggle to speak to people, is your outbound phone line withheld, how many times do you find you have to leave messages as people won’t answer. Too often this is because they think it may be a PPI reclaim or sales call centre on the line, people are more likely to answer the phone to a regional number that they recognise.
    4. Regardless of your systems and processes, treat customers as individuals, by stating to them ‘what we can do for you is………’ sounds so much better than ‘our process is….., even though the two are the same.

This week I would like to leave you with the thought of making sure you take a step back to see who is buying your product/ service, where are they buying it from and how are you then interacting with customers. Once you have done this, look and see how many times you ‘touch’ a customer be this via email, text, telephone or social media and look at how this can be reduced.

If you want support in exploring your customer journey, why not come along to our Customer Service pledge workshop on the 9th December,