Good Customer Service Isn't Good Enough

By | Feb 20, 2013
Topic: CRM/ERP

If you are the leader of a small to midsize business, you know good customer service just doesn't cut it anymore.

Today's customer has high expectations, and to win and keep their business, you must anticipate their needs, deliver exceptional customer service consistently, and provide easy access to a variety of communication channels both online and offline.

Anticipate Customer NeedsExcellent customer service begins before the customer interaction. Anticipating a customer or client's wants or needs allows salespeople to be better prepared to answer questions and provide suggestions. People are impatient, and if they have to wait for a salesperson to fulfill their needs, they are more likely to visit a competitor that can quickly find the item or provide the service they are looking for.

Today's vast amount of data generated by customer relationship management programs, social media, and other online platforms, gives IT professionals in midsize businesses a virtual gold mine of valuable information that can be used to develop what customers want. This large amount of data, often referred to as big data, is analyzed with robust analytics programs to identify and isolate trends and significant details.

Exceptional Service Every Time

When you travel through an unknown area and need to grab a quick bite to eat, do you choose a familiar fast food restaurant or an unknown local establishment? Many people will choose the restaurant chain because they are familiar with the service they will receive.

Customers like consistency in service, so enable your sales and service staff to provide exceptional service every time by arming them with the latest technology and information to best manage customer relationships. In today's world, this may mean going mobile.

According to a recent report from Nucleus Research, CRM applications that were social-media-enabled and available through mobile devices increased salespeople's productivity by 26.4 percent. This supports the theory that customers want their needs met quickly and simply.

Providing your front line sales and service staff as well as your IT workers with the latest in customer relationship management tools can make the difference between good and exceptional customer service, and go far in building customer loyalty.

Variety of Communication Channels

Your customers and clients are online and offline, and they expect you to be where they are. Enterprise resource planning services can help prepare your business for escalating customer demands across communication channels and identify those that are most effective.

Providing a variety of communication channels shows customers that your business is available to serve them on their terms. Give them a choice between email, phone, or social media to communicate. Whatever the channel, customer service requires a timely acknowledgment of your customer's need or issue, and to make it truly exceptional, you must make a commitment to respond to all customer service issues immediately, even if that means a simple confirmation that your business has received their complaint.

IBM Customer Solutions for Small and Midsize Businesses

IBM offers CRM products to help establish good customer service strategies for midsize businesses. Discover how you can use these tools to help your business attract new customers and keep them from leaving for your competitors.

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise, and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

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