B2B: Why Personal Service Matters
Why personal service is crucial for business-to-business organisations and demonstrates strategies to deliver it.
In every interaction our first priority is to meet the customer’s need: to answer the question they asked, provide the information they needed, close the sale they wished to make. Our second is to reinforce their positive engagement with your brand – to raise a smile, to encourage them to say: “I like working with you, you’re a great company.” And to tell their friends.
It’s our priority for two reasons. First, because engaged customers are most likely to stay loyal. Second, because customer advocacy creates your most productive salesforce; advocates for your brand who offer positive customer feedback and recommend you in their conversations and across their social networks.
When we work with you to design the customer experience we’ll focus first on customer effort (make it easy) and second on customer delight (make it exceptional). Meeting the customer’s need with speed and efficiency earns their respect. It’s what you do beyond that earns their love and loyalty. In every case we’ll work with you to identify the “exceptional extra” that enhances your brand – then train our advisors to deliver it in every interaction.
It’s easy to guess at what makes customers feel good – and get it wrong. We prefer to take a more scientific approach. By applying analytics and Voice of the Customer, we identify the root causes of positive or negative NPS scores. We can then work to replicate the former and eradicate the latter, so that more customers love you, more of the time.
Nobody gets excited by talking to an automaton. Our people are trained to be efficient and encouraged to be individuals. Instead of working to restrictive scripts that restrict their responses they’re empowered to think, improvise and ask themselves every day: “what can I do to make things better for customers?” They’ve got guidelines to follow, of course, but above all, they’re guided by your brand values, not our rules and regulations. And we know empathy starts early. For every client project we start by drawing up an advisor profile that matches our people to your customers – because people like to talk to people like them.
Our advisors think they work for you. That’s fine by us. We encourage our clients to take part in training, to visit our sites often, to talk to our people, to share their plans, ambitions and challenges. Our people get excited by that. It means they not only know how to meet customer needs, but are passionate about doing so and will go the extra mile for the best result. While we encourage them to think of you as “the boss” we do all we can to be a good employer. Beyond fair remuneration we offer great training, positive reinforcement and opportunities to get involved in service improvement programmes.
When we train our advisors we teach them everything they need to know about your business and the products or services they’re supporting on your behalf. Just as importantly, we instil your culture and brand values in their working environment and their customer conversations. They’re encouraged to “live your brand” and become its passionate advocates.
We measure customer effort and satisfaction on every client programme. But that only tells us whether we’re meeting expectations. By contacting customers after every interaction and asking about its impact on their likelihood to recommend, we get a true measure of our impact on advocacy.