Guest Blogger

Marije Gould, VP Marketing EMEA, Verint Systems

We find ourselves in the first week of October and that can mean only two things – 1) it’s less than a month to Halloween! 2) even more importantly, it’s National Customer Service Week. These dates should serve as a celebration of those individuals and businesses that go the extra mile and strive for a better customer experience.

Across the industry, there are experts, individuals and organisations that work together to help understand customer needs, build more customer-centric cultures and translate them into actions that grow revenue and customer satisfaction. These professionals and businesses recognise the effort that it takes to create long-term brand loyalty and true customer engagement. This week we should celebrate and emulate their actions, taking a moment to understand our customers and making not just this week, but every week, a customer service success.

Creating customer-centric cultures

The challenges are the same for most, but companies differentiate themselves by listening to their customers and frontline employees, and getting the balance right between digital innovation and human interaction. Forward thinking businesses put the customer at the centre of their organisation and highlight customer feedback as a strategic priority. By listening to the voice of their customer and taking customer feedback to heart they can make positive changes across the organisation. As a result, customer service professionals, frontline employees and businesses are better able to make decisions that directly impact their customers and contribute to bottom line growth, brand loyalty and long-term financial performance.

Best Practices for Long-Term Customer Engagement

Here are four ways to keep the focus on the customer:

Hire a CX professional to lead the charge: As we honour CX professionals this week, we see the benefits for organisations that have invested in a customer experience program. These companies are increasing their momentum towards customer-centricity.  They are satisfying the customer while also meeting business needs.  Most importantly, they are positioning themselves for the future by engaging the customer according to their specific needs and building long-term loyalty.

Challenge the organisation to do things differently: Left to their own devices, organisations will continue to operate the same they always have. Challenge your organisation; collect and incorporate the voice of your customer and affect process and system improvements based on actionable intelligence. Talk internally about how to best engage with customers at each and every interaction and throughout the customer journey. Not only will customers reward these changes with their loyalty, but early success will create an excitement internally to further support a customer-centric culture.

Empower employees: Employee satisfaction has a direct correlation with customer satisfaction, and can significantly impact the success of a company. When approached as a strategic priority, employee engagement can directly affect business outcomes such as reducing absenteeism, increasing productivity and improving the financial performance of the organisation. These employees can also affect the bottom line by driving interactions with customers in new and positive ways.

With Customer Service Week upon us, it’s a good reminder to think about the ways your business engages with customers. This is important not only as a way to strengthen your business, but also to differentiate yourself from the competition. Today, the best business strategy is to actively engage customers to understand their behaviours and improve the journey, to establish long-term brand loyalty.

Often our frontline teams are responsible for listening to the customer every day, and they respond to their wants and needs. We thank all the customer service and customer experience professionals who listen, advise and help customers stay loyal to our brands, and improve our business practices in order for us to succeed – Happy Customer Service Week everyone!

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