#Winning: teams that deliver exceptional customer experience

Today, customer experience will make or break a business. The pressure is on to create powerful customer experiences at every touch point. Here's how to build a team that delivers on that promise.

Johannesburg, 14 Jun 2018
Read time 3min 50sec

Customers today are king. They are demanding and expect excellence at every point of their sales journey with your business, online and offline. With a mobile in every pocket, you'd better believe that poor customer service will spread like wildfire across every digital touch point you can imagine.

The pressure is on businesses to create powerful customer experiences at every touch point. The businesses of tomorrow will create teams who are unapologetically customer-centric in their decisions and actions.

Studies show customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020. Organisations will need to implement significant business model changes to improve customer experience. For every negative experience, it takes 12 good experiences to make up the damage.

How? Well, before you answer that, understand the who.

Meet the customers of today

Customers are more connected than ever before. They really hold the key to the success or failure of small businesses in their first year and can make or break a brand on social media at any time. Customers are leading the conversation about businesses.

Research shows that close to 90% of customers will refuse business to one company over the next based on their experience, and nearly 70% will switch to a direct competitor.

Now onto that 'how'

Exceptional customer experience starts at the top. Management needs to make it clear that there is a focus on customer experience and invest in this area. Management should also spend time interacting with customers at different touch points. For example, a CEO could spend time on the customer help desk.

Encourage a culture of problem-solving rather than passing the buck. Eighty-nine percent of customers get frustrated because they need to repeat their issues to multiple representatives. Each team member should take accountability of that customer and solve their problem.

Recognise the value of social media in customer service and develop a strategy for answering to every query. Just as a customer will run straight to social media to complain about a brand, those who have positive experiences on social media are more likely to spend more with the business.

Foster a culture of accepting feedback and taking the lessons. Customer feedback, both positive and negative, is an invaluable resource. In fact, studies show the majority of companies that deliver the best-rated customer experience actively seek out and use customer feedback.

Real people drive results and influence customers' feelings. Authentic reactions go a long way to impact a sale. Equip your team with the training they need to be compelling representatives.

Equip your team for the future

Rome wasn't built in a day and exceptional customer service is not created from thin air. A shift to a customer-first model could mean a complete organisational and technological transformation in business. To provide a memorable customer experience, start by removing silo operations, different reporting structures, narrow incentives and no clear accountability.

This model is more collaborative; under one strong brand, voice is key. A seamless customer experience is about providing one unified brand voice that is authentic, solves problems and delivers on promises.

The reality is that technology has made it easier for customers to take their business elsewhere. Why settle for a bank with poor customer service when an innovative FinTech can provide the same service with improved experience. Technological transformation is critical.

Businesses avoid tackling technological transformation for two reasons: the disruption to business cycle and not knowing which device they need.

Start with Nashua's free work space assessment. A team will conduct an audit of your equipment, software, workplace and processes. Once complete, recommendations and solutions will be presented to improve your operational efficiency, minimise wastage and costs and future proof your business. Internal efficiency breeds exceptional customer experience.

Partnering with a total office provider, like Nashua, would mean finding the affordable, innovative and simple solutions that improve productivity in a flexible work space.

At the end of the day, your customer experience and, by extension, your business is only as good as the people you choose. Hire amazing team members, give them powerful support training sessions, the right technology and watch the magic happen.

Editorial contacts
Gullan&Gullan Thulisile Mhlongo (+27) 11 887 6591
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