What does it take to build a customer service experience that attracts and keeps customers long-term? To earn loyal customers, you may need to take a hard look at your customer journey – the complete experience your customers go through when interacting with your business.
Here are a few ways to create a customer journey experience that stands out.
Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
As in any successful relationship, communication is the most important part of the customer journey experience. Take time to understand your customer's communication preferences, how your business interacts, and develop a thoughtful and consistent communication structure.
Define Roles and Expectations
Relationships are a two-way street. As a business, we have certain responsibilities to our customers. Our customers also have a role and responsibilities in the relationship with our business. Define the roles and expectations of both parties in the relationship.
Create an Action Plan
All roads lead to nowhere if you don’t have a plan. A plan of action is one of the best ways to manage expectations. Create a plan that includes a timeline and details the entire process your customer can expect to have with your business at every stage of their journey.
This should be expected, but unfortunately, often overlooked. Make sure information is accurate, easy to find, and simple to understand.
Use Technology to Enhance Service, Not Replace It
Technology, along with a dedicated customer service team, is a powerful combination for enhancing the customer experience.
Self-service technologies help to resolve immediate issues quickly and allows other staff members to be available to handle more complex customer issues.
Invest in Customer Service Training
After multiple calls for help, you are finally connected to a customer service rep only to find they have no clue about your account, no experience, and no solution - we have all been there. Every second wasted with long wait times and being shuffled from rep to rep diminishes the experience and erodes trust.
Resolving an issue in a single interaction defines a superior customer service experience. By investing in a top customer service training program, you can equip your team with the necessary skills to do just that. At Propel, we have taken the idea a step further. Each of our clients has a dedicated team of Propel Pros, who are specialists in payroll, benefits, and Human Resources. Each Propel Pro team member knows their client and their business.
When something goes wrong, customers want to connect with a real person. In the areas of Human Resources, employee benefits, compliance, and payroll, change is constant. And with the added complexity of employment laws, many businesses may not be equipped to handle the growing demands of HR.
Small and midsize businesses, like Propel HR, have an advantage over larger payroll and HR companies in the ability to get human with customers. Through our Propel 911 service, our clients can connect with key personnel for immediate help with critical and emergency issues. The assurance that a knowledgeable professional, backed by a team of HR experts, is just a phone call away goes a long way in building trust.
Deliver Value at Every Stage
A successful customer journey also has a lot to do with how your business responds to bumps along the way. With the help of a customer journey process, you can gain a better understanding of your customer’s expectations, pain points, and how your customers want to interact with your business. Knowing this is helpful for anticipating what your customer needs before they even make the first call. For example, in preparation for a holiday schedule, let your customers know in advance about your new hours and ways to communicate with their team.
Don’t get bogged down in the process of rigid touchpoints. Every business is different. Keep in mind that your customers may experience multiple journeys during a relationship with your business. As their business changes, their needs may change as well. Design a journey that delivers what your customer needs right now, which is the flexibility to adopt new strategies as the journey changes.
Check-In and Check-up
Today, customers view your standard of customer service as a key differentiator in their decision to work with you over the competition. If you are not constantly elevating your standards, expect to be left behind.
Once you determine what it means for a relationship to be successful, conduct a check-up with your customer for feedback and make sure goals are on track. Identify important growth areas and address areas and processes that may need improvement.
The Road to a Successful Partnership
Customers come to your business for many different reasons, and every customer journey is unique. Part of what defines a successful relationship is sharing a common goal for exactly what you want the relationship to be and where you want it to go. At Propel, we see our customer’s success also as our success. Our unique and personable approach is a distinct point of difference that separates us from other payroll and HR providers, and we are proud of our ability to deliver unparalleled customer service to our customers. Here, our customer’s journey is about developing a partnership with our customers and building a long-term relationship.
About Teresa Dick, Vice President of Operations, Propel HR. With considerable experience working on both sides of the PEO partnership, Teresa brings a unique perspective to all Propel HR clients. She spent more than 21 years in corporate administrative management in the restaurant industry, where she was instrumental in a successful national expansion effort for a major restaurant chain. In 1995 she stepped into the role as a PEO client, where she gained experience managing the complex issues related to payroll, benefits, and Workers’ Compensation. Recognizing the value PEOs bring to small businesses, Teresa left the restaurant corporate side in 2000 to join the PEO industry. For more than a decade, she would serve in executive management roles before joining Propel HR’s executive team in 2011.
About Propel HR. An IRS-certified Professional Employer Organization (PEO), Propel HR has been a leading provider of Human Resources and payroll solutions for more than 25 years. We partner with small to mid-sized businesses to manage payroll, employee benefits, compliance, and other HR functions in a way that maximizes efficiency and reduces costs. Visit our new website at www.propelhr.com.