Customer service and customer experience are common business phrases that are often interchanged. What do they mean? Are they the same? Are they different? Let’s take a look at the reality…
Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during, and after a purchase.
Customer experience involves every point of contact you have with a customer and the interactions with the products or service of the business.
Customer experience has emerged as the winning strategy for all businesses that are facing competition. All businesses should endeavor to offer their customers the best customer experience as this is the differentiating factor in this century. Products and services being offered to customers are all the same across the board and there is nothing new that may ever be developed that customers have not experienced so far. If a business is to grow and flourish, then their customer experience must be top-notch.
- Make a great first impression– When a customer visits or contacts your business for the first time, make it memorable for them. First Impressions always last. As we are talking about customer experience, there are various touch points that the customer will interact with from the security guard at the gate to the CEO, may all these points make the customer’s journey as pleasant as possible. The service you intend to give at first contact should be consistent in all subsequent customer interactions with your business.
- Customer Relationship Management- :
a. Attract new customers and retain existing ones
b. Saving on marketing costs as your customers become your ambassadors and word of mouth from a trusted source works better than digital advertisement
c. Increase sales, it is said a happy customer will keep coming back and probably refer the business to their friends and family
d. Cushions the business against hard times as loyal customers will stick with you through thick and thin.
- Customer feedback– Customer feedback is paramount for a business as it tells you the health of your business. Customers should be encouraged to give feedback on the level of satisfaction they have with their interaction at the business. This can be made easier by providing all avenues of communication e.g. suggestion boxes, email addresses, phone numbers etc. collect as much data as possible and make sure to use it to improve the service and products offered as this encourages the customers to keep giving feedback.When customers give feedback it helps the business in:
a. Making informed decisions
b. Working to improve the areas of dissatisfaction
c. Creating strategies of retaining satisfied customers
d. Making customers feel valued and important, cultivating loyalty.
4. Hire the right people– As a business owner, your employees should know what your vision for the business is and buy into it. Hire people with excellent people skills as they will be the face of your business.
Treat the employees well, it is said that you should treat your employees how you want them to treat your customers. Keep growing their skills as this will ensure that how they handle the customers keep improving and customer satisfaction is guaranteed. Basic info that should be passed to staff on handling customers include but not limited to;
a. Keep it simple. Provide customers with comprehensive information in a simple way that is easy to understand. Do not use internal jargon.
b. Respond quickly as this saves time and the customer is able to make informed decisions.
c. Be honest and transparent, the business should be an open book. Hidden charges should not be a factor in any business, customers should know what to expect and get value for their money.
d. Take responsibility and ownership of the customers, this goes for all positive and negative things the customer experiences in the course of transactions in the business. It builds trust and loyalty as the customer knows that they are safe with you. e. Reliability, your employees should be reliable. A customer should be confident when contacting your business anytime knowing that their requests and instructions will be handled with the timeliness and efficiency required.
f. Know your company, all your employees should know their company and what it does well enough to take the customer through any queries with minimal references.
At Springboard Capital, we are consistently checking in with our customers and making sure they are happy with the products and services we provide. We will highly appreciate if you would kindly spare 2-3 minutes to FILL IN THIS FORM in order for us to offer a better experience and more pleasant customer journey.
Article written by Mineh Maina(Customer Service Manager) – Springboard Capital Ltd.
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At Springboard, we never stop improving our services to enhance our team’s capabilities and increase customer satisfaction. We are a client-centric organization. We make it our business to understand and help our clients achieve their business goals.