Creating customer experiences that delight every step of the way, can create sustainable value for many business owners. It’s much more difficult and expensive to attract new clients, than adding value to current clients. Delivering a great customer experience becomes especially valuable at a time when loyalty has diminished in many service industries.
To sustain customer service that can truly delight everyone requires business leaders to commit to a marathon, not a sprint. Leaders must take an honest look in the mirror: How can we lead and improve our customer service? How often do we listen and anticipate our customer’s needs?
Business leaders that are serious about building a competitive customer experience need to develop the following leadership practices:
Paint a compelling vision of the destination
Every leader needs to have a compelling vision that defines specific outlook for exceeding customers’ needs and expectations. Your team must know how they can contribute to achieve those goals. If they don’t know where they are going, most likely, they won’t get there. Your team must have clarity with your vision and mission. People follow a leader that has clarity about their mission. Mobilizing and harnessing employees’ energy requires them to focus on why customer service is part of the organization priorities.
Hire the right people
If you want your organization to stand out and be known for excellent customer service, you need to look for excellence. What does that mean? Raise the bar! Don’t settle for average. Your customers demand above average experiences. So, you need to find quality people that can create those experiences day in and day out. If you want employees who will put the customers first, you need to put customer service first during the hiring process. Leaders need to keep in mind that great customer service begins inside the company with the way employees treat their co-workers.
Empower your people
In the service business, people must be empowered. If you are leading a customer service team, you are going to want to empower them. That means giving your team authority to make decisions that’s in the best interest of the customer and the organization. If your team feel they can improve and add value to a customer experience, it will get them more engaged and motivated. Who wins? Both the customer and your employees.
Employees with a strong sense of well-being tend to be more eager to help a customer and play a wider role in the success of your business. Sometimes leaders need to develop the potential and confidence of their employees. Coaching and training can be a great resource for sharpening their skills that can create more knowledgeable and empowered employee.
The key to creating a customer experience that builds loyalty starts with understanding what your customer’s wants, needs and value the most. Investing the time to grow the people in your business is your priority in order to deliver that type of customer experience.