Does the term “customer satisfaction” ring a bell?
It should. In a practical sense, the word now personifies the most important metric for defining best practices on the business front. Yet, it has increasingly become overused and misunderstood.
And then came the sound of a dull clank.
It’s no secret that customer satisfaction is an essential factor in measuring customer loyalty, identifying unhappy customers, reducing churn, and increasing revenue. After all, it stands to reason that the better the numbers look, the more likely sales projections will meet expectations. However, simply accepting that circumstance as a given doesn’t provide any real means for competitive advantage. Rather, the pivotal component is made possible through the work of customer service representatives; in particular, those empowered with a firsthand knowledge of business acumen.
Business acumen sets the precedent for achieving a level of customer satisfaction that differentiates one organization from another. In today’s intensely competitive economy, customer service reps of every stripe must be able to understand the changing needs of their clients, anticipate challenges before they materialize, and propose solutions that do more than move product; they help move the needle in marketshare.
The point is customer service reps need to be on their game during each and every interaction. Those who fall short of that standard likely exhibit one or more of the following characteristics:
- They lack empathy and problem-resolution skills—they just don’t seem to care
- They don’t understand processes and policies—in the absence of any applicable business understanding, they simply say “we cannot do that” or “that isn’t our policy”
- They are missing key blocks of organizational knowledge
Any frustrated customer on the receiving end can certainly add his or her own complains the list, but the solution strikes a familiar chord: business acumen training for customer service reps. Companies that invest in it give their people the ability to understand the big picture, as well as the tools to solve the everyday and not-so-everyday problems that confront their customers.
The dialogue is worth having, and not only because it results in greater empathy and knowledge, but because it really does improve customer satisfaction across the board.
Talk about music to the ears.
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