customer careIt is fact that it is arguably more expensive for a company to capture new customers. Therefore to save both time, and money, great customer care has been recognized as a brand builder on steroids. Earning customer loyalty saves marketing dollars, as it is far more difficult to replace custom that has been left to drift away.

Top on the to-do list of all the best brands today, is taking care of their client base, where responsive, reliable customer service, results in some serious standards of satisfaction. The knock-on effect of this kind of care is more sales, better positioning in the market, and a virtual army of volunteer brand ambassadors. Word of mouth advertising has always been considered to be the most powerful payoff of loyalty.

Creating a company culture with customer care at its core often means revving up customer service. We want as many people as possible to talk about our brand, spread their own personal accounts of how well we were able to address all their needs. This means that from the front-line to the top floor – every employee understands where both they and the patron stands.

There are a number of recognised ways in which to orientate company culture – the first place it starts is at the top. Business owners are looked up to by employees, so they need to set the tone. Value both the employee as well as the customer, and listen to both their needs. Employees will then value their jobs, which will make the client valuable to them too.

This value includes empowerment, and to empower an employee, we continually need to refine, and redefine policies. Every business has protocols, but if these stymie the empowerment of the team, it will frustrate them. Protocols need to be continually updated to keep up with fast-moving times.

It is the employee who is out in the trenches with the shopper, and if policies dictate that they cannot meet customer needs, empowerment goes out of the window. With customer care held in such high regard these days, the service agent needs to know they can go above and beyond the call of duty.  Obviously within a predefined structure, but defunct “red tape” systems are not the way of the world today. Redefinition of protocols needs to take place with input from relevant employees.

Reward excellent service, there is nothing wrong with offering a public perk. A placard, a promotion, or the potential for a promotion, something to work even harder for, is as good for employees as it is for a business, and the customer too. Encourage them to know their customer, and use technology to make sure you do. CRM data is a brilliant tool.

It is important that we should realize, a shift in corporate culture never takes place overnight. It takes time for changes to filter through the hierarchy, and get to the customer. Educating employees from the ground up is vital, but what is even more vital is creating a reputation for customer care excellence that comes from the core, and forms the core of a company.