Customer service is what you do, and customer experience is how the client perceives what you do. The size of the gap between the two depends on how client-centric your organization is.
Since improving client service is a primary focus for many companies in 2018 – including your competitors – let’s look at how core values drive client experiences, and how you can achieve a greater focus on services by establishing the right values.
What Are Core Values?
Core values in business are the fundamental principles on which your company bases its goals and objectives, its strategic plans and service philosophy. These values also help suppliers, customers and other parties understand how you operate, what’s important to you, and what to expect when they’re doing business with you.
The beliefs shape your company culture and reflect what your organization considers important, while educating existing and potential clients and clarifying the company’s identity.
Why Do You Need Them?
To deliver a successful customer experience it takes more than simply offering a better product or service. You can have in place all the core values you want – honesty, integrity, productivity, respect and trust, for example.
If your customer’s experience is important to your business, developing customer-focused core values is essential for your staff so they understand buyers’ pain points and provide solutions. This helps you to ensure referrals, bring back returning clients, and deliver a high performance.
Identifying Appropriate Values
- Client Focus. Once you recognize that customers are the reason for your business success, you’ll be more committed and interested in listening and responding to their requirements.
- Diligence. To achieve the highest level of diligence in your company, you need to implement the highest levels of staffing capabilities. This requires training, motivation, supervision, and support to deliver, but if each member of your team is focused on giving their best performance, your customers will benefit.
- Integrity. Nobody wants to do business with a dishonest supplier. Even a whiff of dishonesty will cost you sales. The ability to ensure that your company operates with integrity and each employee does their very best for clients at all times can provide you with a real competitive advantage.
- Respect. This value works in several ways, and doesn’t apply only to customers. You certainly have to treat your clients with respect, but by developing customer-focused core values that extend respect to the employees, you’ll encourage your staff to hold themselves accountable to high moral and ethical practices.
- Strong Leadership. This one’s important, because leadership can make a significant difference in a company’s ability to enhance profitability. Pay people what they are worth and set your team up for success by improving efficiencies and removing routine tasks from your staff. This gives them back time in the day that can be better spent providing good customer service.
- Accountability. Train your workers to understand that the customer’s experience ultimately depends on them. Instill in them a sense of accountability for the success or failure of each individual transaction, for the conversion of every lead, and the retention of every customer.
- Empower, Recognize, Reinforce, and Reward. U.S. companies spend billions on incentives to influence positive customer care and keep service staff focused on the clients’ experience. According to Forrester Research, it’s more effective to begin with the person serving the customer than the customer themselves. Empower your employees to solve the customer’s problem, make them an advocate within.
- Customer Empowerment. Enable your customers to respond through multiple channels and encourage them to provide feedback. Some options for connecting include online chat, help desk, email, social media engagement, or even telephone calls.
- Fostering Loyalty. Create a gratitude program that honors long-term customers and highlights your appreciation.
- Performance Management. Integrate your customer-focused methodologies into all your programs for coaching and training then review the performance of your staff to ensure they comply with all of these requirements.
The Link Between Core Values and Brand Promise
There is a strong link between internal and external service and profitability. Many companies don’t recognize that employees need to “live” the brand promise for them to be effective in creating a customer-focused culture that attracts and retains clients.
Organizations that are successful at doing this typically involve their employees in the development of values, which are based on customer feedback and linked to their brand. They encourage their employees to align their behaviors with the values and reward them for doing so, above and beyond basic payment for “doing their jobs.”
It all begins with having the right culture and core values in place and getting all team members to buy in to them.
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Resources you can use:
- https://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3072017 https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2016/12/core-principles-customer-centric-organization.html