Say what you may but the customer always has to be the soul of your business. I don’t want to sound repugnant but sorry to say it’s not you or what you want, it never was.
Customers bring you the revenues so why shouldn’t you give them what they want? You have to be selfless here, I agree, but trust me it’s either their way or the highway. That doesn’t mean complying with every demand they throw your way, obviously sale and service conditions also matter. What I’m trying to imply here is that you have to make your entire product offering customer centric right from tailoring your product to their needs, down to service offered before, during and after purchase.
They say it’s all about getting the first impression right, but I think you need to keep impressing them like it’s always going to be your first impression or it will turn out to be your very last.
The new generation customers want it fast and want it now! You know they follow that popular saying “Time and Tide waits for none”, so well why should they? You either give them what they want or stand to lose them to your competitors at a click of a button. We have evolved into a generation of impatient fanatics who want a speedy solution to everything in our lives thanks to our futuristic digitally enabled technology that caters to just that. We often look for instant gratification in everything we do and customer service should not be anything short of that.
Your customers nowadays undoubtedly have a shorter attention span but is even shorter on patience. They want you to respond to them immediately, more like right now because that for them demonstrates how much you care and how reliable and trustworthy you can be in times of despair. This evolution in customer service, calls for the company to be active and responsive in real-time. This undeniably garners a lot of benefits and can earn you an unseating price as the key brand differentiator. In order to achieve this you need to align your company’s mission to adopt a pure customer centric approach in terms of how your customers wish to be served and assisted by listening closely to their needs. However, failing to respond to them ‘ASAP’ is an open invite to trouble. All it requires is that one frustrated customer who can dampen your reputation in a jiffy by posting a review on any social media platform. Bet you, this will make your brand go viral… for all the wrong reasons!
Now the key here is not just to deploy a real time strategy and amass huge volumes of customer data but to assess and act on it just as quickly. That is what separates successful brands from also-rans. On the contrary, sometimes you can be fully prepared with all the right infrastructure and company attitude towards customer centric behaviour but they would be of no use if the data acquired is not right.
Here are 5 ways you can up your ante when it comes to excelling at real-time customer service:-
- Store and collect real-time customer data centrally as well as contextually
- Use predictive analytics to anticipate future needs
- Don’t underestimate the roles of smartphones and social networks
- Empower employees as well as customers with reliable, easy-access, self-service options to handle glitches by themselves whenever possible
- And finally,
Act Fast, Act Now!