Americans are living in uncertain times. For many people, their lives, jobs and relationships are different. Customer relationships are changing, too. Businesses still provide excellent customer service. But now they are connecting with customers in new ways, especially online. Here are four ways businesses are defining the new normal and focusing on the customer experience.
- Customer expectationsFor years, businesses have focused on customer service. Excellent customer service is essential. But now, in the new normal, companies also are concerned about customer experiences. They are focusing on all the contacts customers have with their services and products. This includes phone calls, texts, emails, websites, chat functions and voice messages.As your business defines expectations for interacting with customers, share it with employees. Teach them how to predict, meet and exceed customer expectations. The goal is to make every customer contact with your business a positive experience.Emphasize that this new normal is more than just another business trend. It should be part of your long-term strategy to better care for customers.
- Customer experiencesYour employees are essential to connecting customers with your business. Ask workers to think through every contact customers have with your business. How do you treat customers in every phase of the buying cycle? What are some new ways your business can provide more value at each step of the customer journey? How can employees upgrade a normal experience into something more?Examine your business operations. Do you adjust business hours to fit customer schedules? Do you offer self-service tools to help customers buy products and services? What is the acceptable turnaround time for following up with a customer comment or question? Make sure employees handle every contact the same way, so customers know what to expect.In the new normal, make it your goal to deliver value in every customer experience. Customers will be impressed. It creates customer loyalty and loyal customers are your brand ambassadors. They tell others about their experiences. It’s an excellent competitive business strategy.
- Customer communicationsIn the new normal, employees need to communicate well. As an employer, here’s your chance to engage employees and enhance their communication skills.Educate employees about your customers and their business needs. Explain why customers use your products. Share market data about your industry and the competition. Employees can use this information to guide their responses to customer questions. For example, what does your company excel at compared to the competition? Armed with this knowledge, employees can transform a normal conversation into a memorable customer experience.To develop new communication skills, for example, teach them how to write emails that connect with customers. Coach them on the questions to ask to uncover each customer need. Give employees tips to guide customer conversations on the phone and in meetings. This training will help employees be more confident in their jobs and enhance their interactions with customers. Workers will be more professional and able to provide the answers customers want.
- Learning curveChanging work habits and communication styles take time. Be patient and learn together. The new normal is not just about modifying how your company does business. It’s more about helping employees provide exceptional customer experiences and creating long-term business relationships.