Authored by Samantha Chance and Clive Jainarain
We have all encountered this experience at least once in our life: You have had a week that brought you to your knees and the thought of interacting with strangers automatically triggers a frustrated sigh. Despite your desire to simply climb into bed and rest your mind, you get into your car and prepare yourself to complete those mundane tasks you have been avoiding. When you reach the customer service desk you prepare yourself for another frustrated individual who also wants this interaction to be over as soon as possible. Instead, you are immediately greeted with a smile and the words “how are you today?” enter the space between the two of you like a song. Your mood is immediately lifted and you respond with a “great! And how are you?”, all the while forgetting that 2 seconds ago you were certainly not “great”.
I am sure when you read this example, one prior experience, or even a collection of experiences from one store or company branch, immediately came to mind. When you enter those doors you can physically feel the weight lifting from your shoulders. But what if you can no longer enter those doors to feel that positivity? What if, because of the way businesses are changing, you can no longer physically see the smile of the employee who will provide you a service?
The answer is that no matter if it is through a physical or online interaction, nothing changes because the company will always put you first. When one looks into what makes a company known for exceptional customer service, their key characteristics are present on all platforms:
- Friction free service: whether you are interacting with the company because of a complex problem you are struggling to solve, or merely in need of additional information, the process is painless and smooth. The service provider engages with you throughout the journey
- The employees are working for you: the employees are willing to answer any questions and are driven to ensure you are comfortable and informed. The staff are encouraged to solve your problem
- On-time quality delivery: the product or service you have purchased will always be delivered in a timely fashion, with no complications.
Above all, customer service is founded on ease. Ease through interaction, ease through delivery, and ease through service. When your customers feel that you are meeting their expectations and going above and beyond to ensure they are informed, comfortable and satisfied, customer loyalty is guaranteed.
When a company is struggling to align the organisation to customer value and is failing to provide end-to-end integration between customer journeys and operations excellence, they need to return to the basics in order to understand where they have gone wrong. To do this, they need to answer the following questions:
- Who are our key customers?
- What relationship do they want with us?
- What resources do we need to deliver effectively?
- Who do we need to partner with to deliver effectively?
While many companies believe they have answers to the above questions, the reality does not correlate. Something has gone wrong, and we are here to help. At MAC, we believe that by driving end-to-end customer experience through process optimisation, coaching for improvement and team effectiveness, true value will be realised by the customer. Partnering with us will deliver benefits for both the organisation and customer, with benefits tracked through defined operational and customer-centric metrics. In this way, we will guarantee that your customers feel at ease when entering your doors, regardless of whether these doors are virtual or physical.