So many organisations get this aspect of business operations wrong. Not completely and totally wrong – but in a fundamental way many of the largest and most respected companys in operation today miss the mark when it comes to ensuring customers remain happy.
Countless organisations take a flat ‘two dimensional’ view of customer relations, and see it as a function of business only suited to aiding the end user – merely providing itself as a nuisance to the business. This means many firms will adopt a begrudging angle of approach when dealing with customers on such a level, which makes even attempting the exercise a pointless undertaking from the very beginning. For customer care strategies to convert effectively into customer satisfaction, it is important to take a more multi-faceted overview of the situation; good customer care benefits both sides of the relationship.
More often than not, a user will be met with a more than gracious sales pitch before being tied into some form of contractual relationship. This is all good and well, provided the relationship is then supplemented with a top level of support and care. Sadly however, this is often not the case. Goodwill gestures are particularly hard to come by when dealing searching for a suitable remedy in rectifying sub-par levels of service.
Placing customer satisfaction at the very heart of all business operations is essential in ensuring customer retention, as well as maintaining a solid and reputable brand image. So how can this be realistically achieved?
Below are 5 blanket tips that form the foundation of the Netwise Hosting customer care ethos. As unfortunate recipients of poor customer care in the past, we hope that sharing such information will help some way in unifying high levels of care across the board.
1) Want your customers to be happy.
Far too many businesses simply objectify their customers as money-making machines. It is expected that they will spend money with you because the services/products are on offer, and that as a result the customer will be happy. This – naturally – is the wrong opinion to be taking. You have to want your customers to be happy for it to carry across into the overall effectiveness of your approach to customer care. If customers can feel and understand this translation in the mutual agreement of terms and the collective desire for real happiness whilst making use of their services, then they are far more likely to enjoy true satisfaction.
Of course, ‘happy’ is an evocative term used to describe an emotional state. It is being used here as a descriptive element in understanding satisfaction, even if being satisfied does not always result in true ‘happiness’.
2) Connect with customers properly.
One way connections can be a drag for the end user. As a service provider, its not good enough to simply sit back and wait for the customer to make contact should problems arise. A proactive approach to connections is very important, in fortifying the customers faith in the business and the reliablity of its after-care. Global faults, scheduled maintenance, system changes or any other such issue should always be reported to the customer directly and in due course. Bad news, however rare, should still be conveyed to the service users – as well as good news; doing this will ensure customers feel truely connected with the business, and that they matter enough to the organisation to be informed of important issues that may effect their services (be that positively or negatively).
3) Build a professional yet personal relationship with clients.
Giving meaning and depth to a relationship is important. A cold low-contact relationship with no discernible point of contact is far from rewarding for end users. Naturally, where to apply such an approach is also important. Not all customers will be looking for a close business relationship, and as such it should not be forced upon them (however it should available if and when it is required).
This will require an understanding of your customers. If you know they will benefit from a more hands on approach to handling their account, then it would be advisable to act on this. Netwise Hosting always give users one point of contact, and a personal account manager to deal directly with any questions or queries they may have. This is the case right across the board, whether dealing with singular dedicated server owners, right up to high-end colocation clients.
4) Let your products do the hard work.
Taking great care of your customers is a pointless exercise if your products and services do not reflect such qualities. A good product will speak for itself in promoting customer satisfaction. It is also likely to relieve pressure on the need to provide such enterprising levels of support and after-care on a large scale, as a customer with no real issues will almost certainly be satisfied with the product. However it is important to not rely entirely on the product itself. Of course, let it do the hard work for you in ensuring customers feel satisfied before having to deal more frequently with your business, but total reliance on the product to provide users with such satisfaction can lead to problems. No product or service can have a 100% guarantee across all areas, meaning solid customer care strategies must be in place regardless of how successful you feel the product may be.
5) Be flexible and approachable.
Rigid and stuffy avenues of customer contact are a thing of the past – so don’t get left behind. Customer care does not only describe support given after a sale. As a business, you should care for customers from the very first point of contact. Flexibility in tailoring solutions to a particular customers needs is very important in securing more sales, as well as building a deeper relationship with a new and satisfied customer. This flexibility should also extend into the working relationship, applying to customer care strategies and how you deal with your users.
It is also highly important to carefully balance professionalism and approachability. You’re not looking to make personal friends in the course of your business activities (although it can happen), but coming across as a friendly company with no barriers in place to hinder contact is beneficial. This can be reflected in the tone of your business literature, as well as how your brand is presented.
Netwise Hosting always strive to provide our customers with world-class levels of satisfaction. Our own satisfaction comes as a direct result of our users enjoying their services. We aim to make the process of purchasing a solution from us as trouble-free and as satisfying as possible – start to finish. Enter into a powerful relationship with Netwise Hosting, and enjoy the benefits of truely uninterupted peace of mind.