Klandine Thomas | How can Jamaican companies recover from customer service failure?
A number of organisations in Jamaica, both in the private sector as well as government entities, tend to receive a plethora of customer complaints, which can be based on a variety of reasons.
According to some customer service experts, organisations tend to operate from a point of uncertainty and unpredictability due to poor leadership, lack of resources or simply inadequate training of employees within these established organisations.
Oftentimes, those customer complaints move beyond the organisations and find themselves being infiltrated across regulatory bodies such as the Financial Services Commission, the Consumer Affairs Commission, Bureau of Standards, as well as the Office of Utilities Regulation. This, of course, can be the result of non-compliance of customer service expectations.
SEVEN WAYS TO RECOVER
Here are seven ways that organisations can recover from delivering inconsistent customer service and create customer loyalty.
1. EMPOWER YOUR EMPLOYEES
As it is, an organisation’s internal customer should be its most valued asset and should be treated as such. Therefore, treat your employees as human beings and not just as ‘transactions’. This means that ‘leaders’ should get employees involved in the decision-making process, by allowing them to ‘own’ certain responsibilities and do whatever it takes to satisfy a customer more efficiently and effectively.
Customer service practitioner and author Shep Hyken, wrote in his book, The Cult of the Customer, that “the human side of business is almost always more important than the operations side”. Empowering employees to immediately resolve other customer issues will only boost employee morale, improve interdepartmental communication, increase company’s productivity and deliver better quality service.
2. OFFER AN APOLOGY AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
On many occasions, companies find themselves in positions where they need to extend apologies for one issue or another due to mistakes that were made. If something goes wrong, companies should use this as an opportunity to showcase just how customer service-oriented their business is, instead of making excuses. In such cases, organisations should prioritise customer satisfaction by acknowledging the problem and offer the customer an apology, along with a substantive solution. This often leaves the customer more satisfied.
3. LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMER AND PROVIDE FEEDBACK
Listening is a very critical component to help with solving customer service issues. It is important to listen and understand what the cause of the problem might involve and to make the customer feel more at ease. Listening to concerns and providing feedback will allow your customers to feel as though they can depend on you to provide a better service which, in return, results in customer loyalty.
4. DELIVER WHAT WAS PROMISED AND PROMPTLY FIX WHAT GOES WRONG
Delivering a customer promise is imperative to our society today. This approach not only creates customer loyalty, it also builds trustworthiness. Keeping your customers happy can go a long way in building confidence in your brand and develop great customer relationships, ultimately generating an increase in profits.
5. THANK YOUR CUSTOMERS
Thanking customers for their support should set the tone for maintaining support for your customers, and can quickly help to distinguish how your organisation operates differently from the rest of the competition.
On many occasions, customers patronise your product or service offering based on their emotions. It is how you make customers feel that determines if they continue to spend on what you have to offer. Bearing this in mind, it is crucial that you follow up with an email or a quick phone call in order to make a difference to your customer.
7. CONDUCT POLLS/SURVEYS
Polls and surveys are generally used to collect feedback from customers in order to improve the service experience. Customer service surveys can improve your business tremendously by collecting and analysing data received from customer interactions. Your organisation can do this by distributing online feedback surveys and get the opportunity to measure the quality of your customer support so as to improve on areas where your team is struggling.
This process can help to ensure customer satisfaction at every contact point within your business, whether face-to-face or online interactions.