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Customer centricity has become a business imperative. While many companies talk about being customer-focused, they are committing acts that will not only fail their customers, but also risk putting them out of business. Earlier this month, I attended the Gartner Customer 360 Summit in San Diego and learned a lot about the future of customer experience and how companies are engaging customers as their expectations continue to climb. While many companies have come a long way in improving customer experience, others are mired by their own antiquated policies and procedures. If you’re doing any of the following, you may be committing a deadly customer service sin:
1. Asking customers for their names when they contact you.
First impressions are everything. Customers want customer service associates to already know who they are when they call. In fact, they expect it. Using a customer’s name conveys respect and demonstrates to the customer that the company understands their needs and appreciates their existing relationship. Are your associates greeting customers by their names? Do you have the analytics in place to determine the genesis of the call? Have you linked their online and offline customer profiles?
2. Sending communication to your customers only when you want to sell to them.
Leading companies know that the key to successful sales and marketing involves a proactive communications approach that touches customers throughout their lifecycle. Is your data analysis complete so that you can reach out to customers about their specific needs? Do you have the ability to contact them at the right place and right time? Are your communications personalised and customised so that they resonate with customers and earn their respect and loyalty?
3. Selling your customers’ information to third parties.