A company's customer service is what will set a business apart from its competitors. Those that excel at customer relationship management (CRM) are the ones that will be most successful and see the highest returns from their efforts, according to some analysts. In fact, the only way companies will be able to stand out in the highly competitive business environment is by delivering superior customer experience, Forrester research analyst Harley Manning said, according to Investor's Business Daily.
Investor's Business Daily provided some steps for CRM managers to take in order to remind them of how important customer service is to their organization. First, Manning suggested managers write themselves reminders, such as "I need my customers more than they need me," and read it often. Manning told IBD that such an idea might seem "simple and obvious," but too often companies around the globe forget this important fact and fail to deliver effective customer service.
Managers might also benefit from "being the customer." Manning said executives should try out their organization's products and services, search the company's website or call a service line to see things the way a new customer might. Often, Manning said, people are surprised by the way their organization handles customer relations. This type of exploration can very effectively highlight the areas where improvements must be made.
Communication is another obvious step IBD suggested businesses take. One business owner told IBD that to be successful, a company not only needs to communicate with customers, but also remain in constant contact with them.
A simple yet effective way many companies are doing this is by using social media networks. Forbes contributor Kelly Clay wrote in a recent article that companies need to take note of the high number of consumers turning to social sites to discuss their experiences with brands and companies. These experiences may be negative, and customers are sharing such impressions with thousands of followers on a site. The brands that listen and respond to these customers will be able to provide a level of customer service that could eventually lead to brand loyalty.
Building trust with customers was another one of Manning's suggestions listed in the IBD article. Companies need to be consistent with customer service, so consumers can know they will receive the same level of care and attention every time they return to use the company's services or buy their products.