3 Fundamental Ways to Deliver Great Customer Service

I was sitting in a mall with my friend Natasha when she made a very funny request. She asked me to call her employer and ask her for the job offer that my friend had recently taken up. Unusual as this was, I called her employer and said “Hello ma’am, I saw your ad on the internet and was wondering if you are looking for an interior designer for your home? Oh, you've already got someone to do it? How do you like the designs? Okay, no problem, yes, I know that ad is quite old, but I just thought I’d try my luck. I'm glad you’re satisfied with your current interior designer. Have a nice day.” I kept the phone and saw that Natasha was grinning ear-to-ear. On probing, I realized what I initially thought to be a distasteful prank call was in fact a tactful technique my friend had used to gauge exactly what her employer thought of her. She said, that if her employer had any complaints, she would have definitely voiced them to me, as I was a third person. The fact that she didn't was proof that she was really happy and satisfied with my friend’s work.

In day to day business, we tend to ignore customer complaints that come our way. Complaints from people that have bought a product or have done business with you is the single most powerful tool you can possess to know exactly how well your business is doing. So, rather than writing off customer complaints as a reaction from a bunch of unruly people that have had a bad day, for any company to thrive, it needs to assess these complaints carefully. No amount of research and analysis or extensive pie charts will give you a  realistic and accurate account of how your business is doing, if complaint registration does not figure high up in your priority list.

There are many companies that have websites with a separate page of customer reviews, and for a good reason. This is an excellent strategy used by many tech-savvy companies to gain new customers, because nothing works better to convince a fist timer about a new product than a good review from a satisfied customer. At the same time, the contrary is just as true. Even in a long list of good reviews, if a single poor review flashes, it instantly casts a shadow of doubt in a potential buyer or clients’ mind. So, just like they say, ten good reviews usually usher in one good business deal and one bad review can drive away ten potential business opportunities. Therefore, rather than turning a deaf ear to complaints, companies should make a proactive effort to register them and then work towards solving them as well.

Many companies rely on a highly qualified team of professionals to give them details and insights of how well their business is doing, but no guy in a suit will be able to tell you how many times a customer irately walked out of your store due to long snakelike queues or rude salespersons. Many companies make efforts to launch new products or entice customers with exciting discount offers but to win over a spurned customer, these measures will fall flat. A company needs to not only register every customer’s complaint but should also try and solve it as quickly as possible, because a spurned customer that has been won over once again will become a truly loyal customer. And nothing works better to gain new customers than a loyal and satisfied one. So, how does a company go about ‘finding’ complaints? It’s simple. You need to use a sophisticated tool called customer relationship management system which ensures customer satisfaction and increases loyalty.

To register and address every complaint by giving it a high priority can only truly be executed if a proper customer relationship management system is in place. A CRM system not only collects information from customers but also fast tracks the process of solving the complaint at hand. This software enables you to optimize customer experience by responding to the customer immediately, which makes the customer feel they are truly valued in your business set up and that their opinion matters to you. Always ensure that your contact with a complaining customer is on a one-on-one basis, the last thing that a calling customer wants to do is wait at the end of a line for what seems like an eternity to register a complaint. A CRM system streamlines this entire process and makes it easier for you to register, address and even follow up on customer complaints using newer channels like social networking and SMS. Also, poorly handled complaints can be escalated or reassigned to specialists.

Every company realizes that for a business to succeed, a minimum amount of mistakes need to be made. Indeed, the learning curve is very short in the competitive field of business. Thus, the main curve that a business must strive for is the smile of a satisfied customer, and this can only be achieved if a proper CRM solution is ensuring complaints and customer comments are captured for a company round the clock through customers' preferred channels. Most critically, there is no point collating complaints and inviting feedback from customers, when no decisive action or changes are made based on common issues and bottlenecks throughout the organization. For forward thinking companies, an effective CRM software ensures that management from top down has clear visibility that processes and strategies are being carefully followed to optimize customer experience.