Engaging with clients improves service

Background

This article and advice was written by Prism Solutions for the IT for CEOs and CFOs publication, an imprint of Credit Control (www.creditcontrol.co.uk).  The article was aimed at delivering advice and guidance about the benefits and value in utilising client feedback and engaging with customers on a regular basis

Abstract

Social media and service feedback websites give customers more and more engagement with the services that your business provides. In this article, the author discusses some of the issues that are integral with achieving superior customer engagement.

Introduction

It is now impossible for any company to avoid confronting the rapidly evolving behaviour of online rating of their services by their customers. There are so many options available to the customer to either praise you or deliver coruscating criticism that it would be business suicide not to engage with this stream of feedback.

The massive increase in business feedback, of one sort or another, offers immense opportunities for businesses to improve their performance and access how their services are faring in the marketplace. Failings with your services can be flagged up within minutes of them happening and action can be taken to correct them.

The huge increase in instant customer feedback is also a great way for you to re-assess the services or goods you provide: it allows you to see things from your customer’s point of view and decide how things should change or develop. Goods and services, of all kinds, can be surveyed and compared in seconds online. Customers can review different companies’ wares and pricing policies instantly. Therefore, the degree of ‘engagement’ the customer feels with your company or brand is of continually growing importance.  Good feedback obviously instils confidence in new or prospective clients and is just as important as your other marketing tools. Companies that design and instigate effective ‘engagement strategies’ with their customers will gain customer share and those which do not will lose it.

Client feedback and surveys

At Prism Solutions, we have always set great store by the quality of feedback ratings that we have been able to achieve from our customers. As part of our continual push for service improvement, we are constantly offering all of our clients a chance to leave their feedback on both our remote and on-site services, and I am glad to report that our attention to this aspect of customer service has resulted in outstanding results in almost all areas.

We also employ industry leading service delivery software to compare our customer survey responses to that of the rest of the worldwide network. These surveys, which are broken down into remote and on-site feedback, show some very encouraging results. The survey compares attributes of our service such as professionalism, timeliness and overall service against other IT Support companies around the world.

In the surveys we use, 5.00 is the maximum achievable score. Results are calculated as an average from tens of thousands of other businesses worldwide using the software developed by service delivery giant AutoTask. Prism has scored at very nearly five in all categories and consistently scores above the worldwide average. We have enjoyed almost a clean sweep across the board, with outstanding results in all categories. There was only one small exception; in response to the question ‘was the problem or task resolved to your satisfaction’, Prism scored 4.68 which was marginally below the network average. But having this knowledge was instrumental in us being able to improve our service.

To address the small drop in rating of task resolutions, our service delivery team has been working tirelessly to address any concerns using this feedback. Measures have already been put in place to ensure that every ticket is resolved to our client’s full satisfaction as part of our constant service improvement program. E-mail surveys are sent following all planned work carried out by Prism and while we understand that no single job is the same as another, we value all feedback regardless.

Conclusion

Gathering customer feedback isn’t just about finding out and addressing customer concerns – it’s about gaining a solid understanding of customer needs, wants and issues. By consolidating all feedback data into a single centralized system and using that system across the organization, you can gain valuable insights into what customers need, want and value most, as well as identify important trends and patterns in the data that contributes to business success.

Precision in understanding and fulfilling customer needs requires organizations to develop new infrastructure: for gathering customer feedback, for assessing and channelling customer demand, and for managing internal capacity to match this demand.

Acting on customer feedback is essential, not only does it help you realign your customer service process for your business, but it focuses on the things that are really valued by your customers. Whatever the size of your organization, it is important to be inspired about the customer service process. A long-lasting customer service relationship ensure that your customers stay loyal to your

organization’s goods, products and services. Ultimately, companies that offer differentiated, reliable and customer-friendly service have a distinct competitive advantage.