If you don’t adopt a proactive and mindful approach to every customer interaction, you’re headed for trouble. What’s more, if you don’t actively encourage customer interaction and nurture a supportive culture across your business at every level, you cannot expect to compete at the highest possible level.
These days, customers expect the highest level of support, service and interaction at all times from those they deal with. Over and above product quality and even value for money, customer care and service standards have become the number-one differentiator of trust and authority in the eyes of consumers.
How you approach customer service and interaction really doesn’t matter – just as long as you approach it effectively and consistently. From traditional in-person conversations to telephone support services to more advanced digital software suites like IEX total view, there are countless options and opportunities to explore. It’s simply a case of determining which method (or combination thereof) represents the most viable and effective for your business.
The single most important thing to remember is that every interaction with a customer – positive or negative – provides you with an opportunity to grow and improve. So rather than shying away from the inevitable, consider the following five ways customer interaction can significantly benefit your business:
- Improved Customer Satisfaction
First and foremost, you need to acknowledge the fact that customer satisfaction lies at the core of every successful business. Or to put it another way, you cannot and will not succeed without quality customer service of and comprehensive customer satisfaction. Isolating the exact formula with which to provide positive customer experiences every time is one of the most important things a business can do. Try to remember that each and every interaction with a customer represents an important part of their customer experience and journey – ultimately contributing to their satisfaction or otherwise.
- Improved Training Methods
It’s also worth remembering that every customer experience can also be an invaluable learning experience, both for the workforce and for the business as a whole. Customer interactions give you the opportunity to determine what you are doing right, what could stand to be improved and what aspects of your current service strategy and approach simply aren’t working. Particularly in instances where challenging or problematic interactions can be recorded – i.e. voice calls to customer service centers – the interaction can be used as a basis for more advanced and valuable training methods and materials.
- Improved Customer Recovery
The term ‘customer recovery’ refers to the process of at least attempting to reverse something of a negative experience or interaction on the part of the customer. It is impossible to get by in any area of business on even a short-term basis, without encountering any number of disgruntled customers. When this happens, there are essentially two options available – work to recover the customer, or ignore the incident and move on. Unfortunately, the latter of the two holes absolutely no benefit for your business or for the customer. By contrast, the right kind of interaction at the right moment can transform what may have been an irate customer into a regular client and even an advocate for your organization.
- Improved Employee Motivation
Customer interaction can have a direct impact on employee motivation – if it is handled strategically and proactively. Which happens for two reasons – the first of which being the way in which strategic focus on customer interactions can significantly reduce the likelihood of dissatisfied or irate customers slinging mud in the direction of your workforce. Secondly, when each and every member of the workforce is equally competent in the field of customer interaction, it isn’t left to just a few members of the workforce to take responsibility and the lead in the case of negative incidents. When everyone is on the same page, the business as a whole operates considerably more smoothly and motivation takes a significant step in the right direction.
- Improved Procedures In General
Last but not least, it is critically important to remember that each and every customer interaction represents the perfect opportunity to determine how, where, when and to what extent your business and its key daily processes could be improved. While some businesses seem to view customers and customer interactions as inconveniences, others recognize them for the priceless opportunities for improvement they represent. After all, it’s worth remembering that everything you do and the reason for your success or otherwise comes entirely down to your target audience. Which in turn means that it simply makes sense to encourage proactive and ongoing interaction with your target audience, in order to determine how you are performing and where your procedures and processes could stand to be improved. Rather than simply assuming you know what your customers expect, customer interaction gives you the opportunity to collect comprehensive and conclusive answers.