Customer Facing 101: How to Make a Difference
⏱ Reading Time: 8 minutes
The customer-centric philosophy is far from a new one. Once upon a time, when most businesses were small, local, and family-owned, it was perfectly natural for those owners to focus on the customer. They listened to the customer’s needs, and adapt to their output. Today, with so many digitally dominant brands that have little to no direct interaction with the consumer, that personal touch has increased in value. Building a customer facing business with effective processes that are genuinely centered around the customers’ needs and preferences is more of a challenge.
Leading brands that value their audience have implemented many powerful strategies centered around their customers. Making things easier for the buyer every step of the way to boost customer success, recognizing the roadblocks and eliminating them, and trying to be where the customers are. Those are just a few of them.
Your business, should it fail to meet various customer facing criteria of the modern era, risks falling short. Since you have an entire array of departments and processes that are customer facing, we’ve compiled them into a single article. This actionable guide is here to help you improve this aspect of your business. The following customer facing strategies can help you make a difference for the people who buy from your business, and they will make your employees’ jobs much easier in the process!
Educate and train your support staff
Among all the people in your organization that define all customer facing processes, your support team will by far be the most vital component in improving satisfaction and loyalty in your customer base. They often interact directly with the customer, be it by phone, email, or social media. Your support team also has the chance to cross-sell and up-sell directly via your site’s chat, making them indispensable for your sales team, too.
- Make sure that each support team member can ensure brand voice consistency across all platforms. The goal is for your buyers to recognize your authentic brand at every turn.
- Provide optimal training for support teams on how to tackle criticism and complaints. Their ability to do so can transform a negative review into an opportunity to win over that customer’s trust.
Education helps prevent employee burnout, as your teams will be able to complete tasks faster and more to your customers’ liking.
Picture 1. The most important thing is to make your customers happy
Get omnichannel with your customer facing presence
It’s not enough to be on Facebook if your customers want to be on Instagram, email, YouTube, and dedicated phone lines, too. Your customer facing departments, both from a marketing and a support perspective need to be on all those channels to be available.
To make sure your omnichannel customer strategy is effective, you should always look for ways to derive and compile relevant data. This is where utilizing a range of analytics tools can give you the insights that you need! Pick up emerging customer trends, preferences, and industry shifts that can alter how you interact with your buyers.
Unifying your customer facing communications onto a single platform such as Paldesk allows you to keep track of all customer queries, complaints, as well as opportunities. It prevents your agents from reaching out to the same person twice in one day or dealing with one issue all the time. Taking a unified, omnichannel approach in your customer facing processes can elevate your internal productivity, too.
Listen to your customers and provide options
Too many brands believe that a customer ends up on their site knowing precisely what they want. Depending on your industry, you could potentially be dealing with someone who doesn’t even know where to begin looking for a solution. Giving them options helps them filter what they can use and what they need from your brand. It ultimately reduces customer churn and disappointment.
- Provide clear service or product categories to help each customer land on the page they need.
- For many people making larger purchases online, the chance to pick the payment method makes all the difference. When they are considering a significant investment, customers like to have the option to “buy now, pay later” and do so in installments, and providers such as humm group make it possible for businesses. Offering customers this option helps them make a decision more quickly.
- In addition to paying in installments, customers want to be able to pick their banking institution, credit card, or currency. Diversity in this respect helps your customer facing staff personalize their offer even further.
Giving options means that your customer facing employees are actively listening to customers. To summarize, they are making sure that your business strategy adapts based on what your audience needs.
Follow up and stay proactive
For many companies without a clear customer facing strategy, customer interactions boil down to the ones that are initiated by the customer. They react as opposed to making proactive decisions that can increase customer interactions, boost their engagement and satisfaction, and finally, that can create the perfect basis for retention and loyalty.
- Give value with every follow-up: this helps you make each interaction more likely to deliver results and to get customers back to your store.
- Follow-ups are great for asking for feedback, testimonials, or even for a survey that will only be used for improving your internal processes.
- Getting back in touch is a great way to show your appreciation for their business, through deals, freebies, and personalized offers to promote brand loyalty.
Being proactive shows that you remember each customer and that you value their loyalty. Make sure that your customer facing people are free to take initiative and kick-start conversations, giving new life to old connections.
Picture 2. Stay proactive in your customer approach
Empower employee happiness
High employee turnover means that you’re not doing a very good job of creating a strong corporate culture and a positive employee environment. How likely do you think it is for unhappy employees to do a very good job of portraying your business in the best light?
Add a crisis of global proportions into the mix, and you get the perfect recipe for disaster. The pandemic has increased the rate of employee dissatisfaction. It has also increased burnout, stress, anxiety, and a range of other negative emotions among workers everywhere. If you’ve switched to the remote work model, all the more reason to worry about team cohesion.
Customer facing employees, together with the rest of your employee collective, need to feel secure and taken care of. Their satisfaction makes it exceedingly possible for them to be engaged at work and to deliver immeasurably better results.
- Create a transparent work environment where you can help employees deal with their frustrations and actively help them resolve issues in their work.
- Provide work-life balance to make sure they are motivated and eager when they do their jobs.
- Reward employees for their effort, but don’t promote competitiveness. You want your customer facing staff working together, learning from one another, and mentoring each other.
Getting a grip on customer experience
Every single person in your organization occupying a customer facing role is critical. Every employee is ensuring the right experience for each customer that comes your way. For starters, make sure that the experience you provide is regularly tested and evaluated in order to be improved. All customer facing processes should fall under the purview of quality management since the quality of all customer interactions will define your success.
With the help of your analytics tools, performance tracking, and evaluating past customer exchanges, you can get a much deeper understanding of what they love most about your business. It can become clear what kind of experiences they are most eager to receive from your brand and the best means to ensure them.
- Conduct regular, but simple customer surveys that require little effort from the customer. This increases the probability of them actually filling out the survey and giving you relevant information.
- Identify the most successful and the least successful customer interactions, so that you can increase the former and diminish the latter in all future transactions.
- Take note of specific touchpoints during the customer journey that elevate customer satisfaction, and the ones that reduce it. This info can help you limit customer effort, eliminate the steps they dislike and give them more of what they prefer.
- Personalization is the name of the game, especially for digital brands that have few opportunities to interact with the customer face to face.
- Remember that customer service is merely one part of customer experience. Therefore, don’t neglect your content output, content optimization, social media engagement. Also, don’t forget about incentives, gamification, and a slew of other opportunities. Take your relationship to the next level, beyond the purchase.
Picture 3. Elevate your customer experience
Customer facing roles paired with strong, well-defined customer facing processes will help you create the right experience and provide the right level of customer support at every turn. The final thing to take note of is that this is not a set it and forget it type of process. It’s an ever-evolving strategy that will change with the times as well as trends, customer preferences, and industry fluctuations. It’s up to you to recognize when such change is about to occur, make smart forecasts, and use your brand’s existing protocols and roles to provide increasingly improved customer facing services and experiences.
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