Digital technology has transformed communications between companies and consumers beyond recognition. Call centres have become ‘contact’ centres to encompass an omni-channel form of customer service. Social media, chat, emails, calls and video chats, businesses have a duty to meet their clients where they want to talk, but not everybody has yet embraced the digital revolution, or at least understood all its potential.
If you want to deliver outstanding customer service and grow brand loyalty, here are some tips on how to use digital tools effectively.
1. Rethink your systems before digitising them
Many successful operations started in someone’s spare bedroom before growing into a fully-fledged business. That kind of organic growth is often accompanied by patching on software, hardware, systems or processes in response to the needs of the company at a specific point rather than the customers’.
What happens next is that business owners model their digital strategy on what is currently in place, not always realising that what grew from their history and served them well is no longer adequate or satisfactory for their clients – and perhaps never really was.
To design a customer-centric culture, you have to be willing to go back to the drawing board and question your business in great detail, and cull mercilessly what has outlived its usefulness. Only then can you put your clients at the heart and create the right digital systems.
2. Know what your customers want and need
We don’t watch DVDs any more, we stream; we don’t use a phone directory, we google; we don’t write letters, we email or IM. But as human beings, some of our needs haven’t changed. We want to be respected and we like companies that make our life easier.
To build a client-centric culture, you need to know first of all what your clients want so that you can deliver it. Luckily, you don’t have to guess. Send surveys, ask for feedback and do A LOT of competition research.
3. Respond to customer demand
It’s not all to ask your customers to give you their opinions, you also have to respond to their views or they may feel ignored. But you may be surprised to find out that, sometimes, inexpensive, simple changes can make a massive difference to customer satisfaction, like offering to save credit card details for future purchases for example.