Five characteristics of customer-centric employees!

By August 8, 2015Uncategorized

SMALL-shutterstock_46800931What makes a company a customer-centric organization? Certainly not the product alone. What stands out for the customer is always the service and the experience they receive from everyone in your organization. Customer service is never a department, but an entire company. Increasing employee engagement is a smart and necessary way to improve your customer service. Engaged employees are long term employees, and increasing employee retention will significantly lower your operating costs as a business owner.

Although customer-centric companies focus on the customer, they also put their internal customer at the heart of everything they do to deliver great service. The reason customer-centric companies stand out is because their employees are empowered and willing to go above and beyond to create an amazing experience.

The internal customer is just as important as external customer. Companies such as Southwest Airlines, Amazon, Disney, Ritz Carlton and Zappos understand the importance of creating a service culture of their employees.

The top performing customer service companies are usually the best companies to work for. Why? Because everything starts with the internal customer-your employees. Customers experience is created by interacting with your employees. If the company’s employees are providing memorable experience for the customer, most likely the customer will come back and drive loyalty. When your employees feel motivated, empowered, and take pride in what they do, that translates to customer satisfaction for the long run.

Service culture of any organization is measured by how your employees relate and create an environment of empowerment to deliver great customer service. Everyone has to feel like they can take of the customer and want to create legendary service by word of mouth. When customers are happy and delighted, it leads to more sales for your business.

When it comes to customer care skills, your business should be focused on one thing – people. Since we are talking about your employees, let’s explore what customer-centric employees do?

They have a “Can Do” Attitude

Do you ever walk into a place and you just feel like no one can help you with anything you asked for? Or maybe you call a business and everyone seems to pass the buck? When it comes to customer service, attitude will always make a lasting impression. When hiring new employees it’s important to find out their willingness to go the extra mile. Even if they have the best technical skills for the job. It is much easier to increase the technical skills of an employee than modify undesirable attitude. Employees who excel at customer service have a passion to serve and express genuine empathy when conversing with customers.

They want to listen closely to customers

Curiosity and listening well is the key to great customer service. When you’re truly curious about your customer’s feedback, expectations and requests, you’ll find the customer to be more pleasant, interesting and rewarding to you as well. A little patience and authentic listening can give you the ability to re-assure your customers. This ability to connect through listening may be very important in differentiating your customer service and keeping a loyal customer for your business.

They are empowered to do the right thing

If employees can only do exactly what they’re told, they’re not empowered to take care of the customer in extraordinary way. Empowerment is a critical component of delivering great customer service. Nobody likes to be passed around to the next person or manager. According to a customer-centric research study done by Dick Lee and David Mangen, employee empowerment is an important factor in Customer Focus behaviors, “The most influential in driving purchase selection, and by a wide margin.” But the study also found that Customer Focus includes product quality, and concludes:

“Customers are saying that product strength alone cannot cover up for customer indifference—and conversely, that customer-friendly behaviors alone can’t cover up for weak product.” Employees need to know they can make the right decision at any given moment and given enough authority to resolve their first time.

Ability to Identify and Anticipate customers’ needs

The key to any customer’s relationship is offering the customer relevant services that will be beneficial to them. In addition, you want to get to know your customers and find out what would make their experience hassle-free. These recommendations should be based on their preferences, past purchases and knowledge of customer needs.

Ability to solve a customer’s problem

When a customer has a problem, they look for your employees to solve it as soon as possible. The customer want to feel that any concerns that they have are valued and that everything is being done by the employee in order to solve the problem quickly. When you own the problem, you own the solution to rebuild the trust with the customer in making every effort to win them back.

What do you think customer-centric employees do?

I would love to read your feedback and suggestions. If your organization can benefit from a one on one consultation, please email me at tal.shnall@leadershiphospitality.com

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