Most if not all companies and management talk about and tout customer service; however, they are missing an important element. The thought process is usually that customer service is a function filled with individuals in a department. The liberated CEO runs a company where customer service is ingrained into every employee, function and department.
Common Customer Service Business Models
Depending on the type and size of business, company leadership usually chooses one of the following business models for customer service:
- Data-centric is customer-feedback driven. Information is given to employees, and steps are taken to make changes dependent on that feedback.
- Experiential is experience focused. It is the study of customer reactions and behavior while they are shopping, ordering, etc.
- Co-creative incorporates customer education and empowerment by using customer ideas and suggestions to create and change products and services.
My suggestion is to take a bit of all three of these approaches (as needed) and create your own, customer-centralized model. Be customer aware, and change everyone’s behavior so customers’ needs are built into work routines. Customer service is the priority value, and it is owned by everyone from the very minute they are hired. Company protocols become secondary. If there is any question that you and your employees should ask, it is “What would the customer want?”
Principles of Customer Behavior
Would you rather have a satisfied customer or a loyal customer? Well, to gain a loyal customer, you need to first work on customer satisfaction long term. Here are basics of customer behavior principles:
- A loyal customer is better than a satisfied customer; however, you have to work on customer satisfaction to gain loyalty.
- Loyalty and retention are both developed and tested by time—built with consistent satisfaction.
- Stakes of customer dissatisfaction are high—think social media; it’s immediate and can travel wide and far.
World-Class Service Culture
All company owners want to be known for their great customer service. If you want to become a liberated CEO and build a positive and successful customer service brand, it needs to be embedded in every employee, function and department.
Next blog posting continues our conversation on customer service—we will talk about the five keys to a world-class service culture.