There are five key aspects for being Proactive with the Customer Service element of your marketing mix with the aim to achieve your overall marketing objectives to achieve your business goals. These five actions will help you to form a bond with your customers before, during and after the sales transaction in order for your business to remain competitive.
Here are the 5 aspects in the form of questions which you can ask yourself and your staff to help you achieve great proactive customer service:
1. Who are my customers? To answer this question you need to consider both your:
- Direct customer(s) i.e. those who make the buying decision and hand over the money, and also…
- Indirect customer(s) also called consumers i.e. those who don’t pay for but use your products and services.
In many cases they may be the same person in a B2C market or a business in the B2B market, though quite often they are different. In any event, ask yourself what you could be doing differently to better serve one of your customers or groups of customers (market segments).
2. Do I/we give my customers what they really need and want? Consider whether your products and services actually match what your customers need and want, their desires and what it means to them whether online or offline
- Defining how much work they have to do to buy and get your products and services
- Looking at the elements of your service package for ease and convenience from their point of view
- Your processes and delivery system
- How you help and support them to actually use your products and services
3. What are my customers actually telling me/us and am I/we listening to their feedback and changing as a result? What do you think about what they think of you? And how are you using a variety of ways to discover what they actually think of you and your business? And then what actions are you taking to close the gap in expectations.
4. How do my customers see me and my business? You see, they will have a very different perception of your business from your own image of yourself and your company… So what is the current image that you and your staff are expressing internally inside your business and also externally in the marketplace? And should you be wondering if there is a need for a new approach, and if so, how do you manage this and how do you get your message across to staff and your different customer audiences?
5. How am I/we being proactive to mastering great customer service? To answer this question, you need to consider long-term customer service goals and activities as part of your marketing plan. And the responsibility and actions required for changing:
- Your business goals, culture and values
- Beneficial exchanges for offering value and quality for your customers
- Your business structure to enable staff to help and support customers
- A focus on a customer orientation i.e. ‘the way we do things around here’
- A flexible approach to service culture which makes improvement and updates the knowledge, skills and attitude of both yourself and your staff
- Getting specific feedback from customers and then being proactive in taking action for improving customer service resources and build long-term customer loyalty, relationships and referrals
- Measuring ‘perceived’ customer performance and instigating a service recovery programmes to correct complaints/problems
By reading this article we hope you now get a picture of the importance of these five key elements of customer service as part of your marketing mix…
And you now know the specific questions to ask for making the resources available to address the key issues of customer service in your business …so you can be proactive in the constant survey and review of customer satisfaction levels for the changing needs of your individual customers and customer groups whether online or offline, or both.