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Customer Service Orientation: Key Benefits, Tips & Examples

Customer service key benefits and tips

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    Before discussing our today’s topic on ‘Customer Service Orientation‘, let’s give a thought to this first. We all are familiar with the below-mentioned sayings about customers!

    “The customer comes first”

    “Your customer is always right.” 

    Every company owner says this every day. Yet, many businesses ignore this truth and put the requirements and preferences of customers after their business profits.

    Companies often find it simpler to concentrate on their own requirements rather than those of their customers. The pressing needs of a business, such as boosting sales or reducing expenses, can be a constant presence throughout the day. Unless you regularly engage with customers, their needs are unlikely to occupy much of your thinking.

    I have good news for you. Many of your competitors are doing the same mistake too.

    You have the chance to offer best-in-class service to customers and cater to their requirements, thus increasing your chances of acquiring and retaining more customers. Here customer orientation will play a vital role.

    It’s basically a business strategy that focuses on offering a best-in-class experience to the customers. It can be done in various ways like providing excellent customer support, developing customized product offerings, and always prioritizing customers over everything else.

    In this blog, I will discuss customer service orientation, required skills and processes, benefits, and also some great examples of companies that follow such methodology.

     What is Customer Service Orientation?

    It’s basically a business strategy that focuses on offering a best-in-class experience to the customers. It can be done in various ways like providing excellent customer support, developing customized product offerings, and always prioritizing customers over everything else.

    Customer orientation is not always about making them happy or satisfied, its much more than that. This kind of unique approach helps to build a long-term positive relationship with the customers.

    If you can get some happy and satisfied customers, chances are that they will come back to you again for business and eventually will be your loyal customers. In today’s highly competitive market, customer orientation can be a big differentiator for many companies.

    You have to understand one thing. Prioritizing customers will not harm the profitability of your company. Businesses that take this customer-oriented approach don’t go bankrupt.

    Here’s some important stats to look into:

    89% of consumers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer service experience. (Salesforce Research)

    33% of consumers would consider switching companies immediately after poor customer service. (American Express)

    Your online conversion rate can improve by roughly 8% when you include personalized consumer experiences. (Trust Pilot)

     

    Importance of Customer Service Orientation

    Having a customer service orientation approach means placing the customer’s needs and satisfaction at the center of everything a business does. Such a type of methodology will go a long way than just making customers happy and satisfied. When a business offers high-end services, higher customer retention will be knocking at the door.

    Businesses can grow revenues between 4% and 8% above their market when prioritizing better customer service experiences. At the same time, 78% of customers have backed out of purchase due to a poor customer experience.

    It’s not difficult to understand that businesses that prioritize their customers tend to be more profitable. When a customer is satisfied with a company, they are more likely to make repeat purchases. By understanding their customers’ feedback and preferences, companies can make targeted improvements to achieve their goals.

    Benefits of Following Customer Orientation Approach

    “Effective customer service ensures that the customer has a satisfactory experience with your company at every touchpoint, not only with the customer service team, but also across the entire organization, including the website’s user interface, user experience, and the delivery process.”

    Jun An, founder of Eezee.sg

    With this quote, I want to explain that good customer-orientated support does not only mean how you interact with them over the phone, email, or live chat. It should be consistent and embedded into the organization’s DNA.

    Such Customer centric approach brings in several benefits for the companies that follow it including:

     

    • Gaining Trust of Your Customers

    Your customers will trust you if you value them and make them understand this. There are a couple of ways to do so like offering excellent services, answering their complaints and concerns, and creating custom products that cater to their requirements.

    Using customers’ first names as a way of greeting them can create a sense of being valued and accepted. Similarly, implementing a money-back policy for products they wish to return can demonstrate your business’s commitment to meeting their needs.

    • Better Sales Conversions

    Customers love to do business with companies that are trustworthy and have friendly customer-oriented staff members. By offering excellent service, you will surely gain some loyal customers who not only give value to your brand but also come back again and again for doing business.

    For example, you can build a long-term relationship with them by offering products or services that cater to their needs and always be there to assist them. Customers do appreciate such efforts and become frequent buyers. 

    • Better Quality Industry Standards

    A company that provides excellent customer service consistently goes above and beyond to meet and exceed customer expectations. They prioritize their customers’ needs and take a proactive approach to anticipate and address any concerns or issues.

     Fostering a customer-first approach has the potential to set new benchmarks for quality and service within your industry. Developing products or services that offer exceptional value can lead to a higher level of customer satisfaction, which may influence these customers to demand similarly high standards from other companies in the industry. This, in turn, can encourage other companies to adopt a customer-centric approach and prioritize providing high-quality products and services.

    For example, you have created a clothing line from sustainable materials that resonate with your customers. As your company expands and attracts a wider audience, you could inspire other brands to adopt sustainable practices. Through this, you could generate a favorable impact on both the industry as whole and individual customers.

     

    • Happier Employees

    A customer service orientation can lead to more satisfied employees. When a company prioritizes the needs and expectations of their customers, employees tend to feel more engaged and fulfilled in their work. This is because they are provided with the tools and resources necessary to effectively serve customers and meet their needs.

    In a customer service-oriented environment, employees may also receive more training and support to improve their skills and abilities, which can enhance their job satisfaction and lead to career growth.

    In addition, employees who work in a customer-focused environment may receive more positive feedback and recognition from customers, which can boost their confidence and job satisfaction. This, in turn, can lead to a more motivated and productive workforce, as well as lower rates of employee turnover.

    Overall, prioritizing customer service can lead to a more positive and satisfying work environment for employees, which can have a significant impact on a company’s success and growth.

     

    Tips to Become a Customer Oriented Company

    It’s clear that prioritizing customers over everything else is important for the success of your business. However, what does it truly entail to be customer-focused? How can you guarantee that your company is presenting itself in the best possible manner when engaging with customers? How can you build a customer-oriented company? Here are some great tips to look into. 

     

    • Hire the Right Team

    The list of skills required to be a perfect customer support agent is too long. Searching for the perfect team members who have them all is tough, so, recruit for aptitude and train them for your required skills.

    Developing your own customer-oriented team is all about hiring people who are happy to help, and eager to learn more. Plus, seek out individuals with empathy and strong problem-solving abilities. You have to select carefully as it can either lead to the success or failure of your whole team.

     

    • Thank Your Employees

    Your employees are the most important part of the company, so make them feel the same. The attitude of your employees towards their work has a significant impact on their response to customers. Happy and dedicated employees tend to work more effectively and provide better customer interactions. They can concentrate on developing long-term positive customer relationships and resolving issues, rather than on thinking about how unfairly they have been treated.

     By creating a supportive and positive work environment, employees feel valued and motivated to deliver exceptional service. You can achieve this by promoting teamwork, providing benefits, and offering career growth opportunities for your team members.

     

    • Arrange Regular Training Sessions

    Just make sure that your team members have an idea about what the company expects from them and its vision and goals. Arrange training sessions on a regular basis that are customer focused, briefing your employees about your target consumers, how they use your products, and ways to address their needs. This training should cover everything from efficient and straightforward complaint resolution to compassionate and personalized customer support.

    When all teams are aware of the company’s direction and share its values, they can align their goals with your company’s objectives.

     

    • Be an Example First

    The customer-oriented approach should not be limited to only the support department. It has to be followed by the whole organization, from the CEO and upper management to the sales staff, from product development to back-end team members. Your entire business should support the customer centric culture.

    For instance, when a customer complaint takes too long to get resolved, the agent gets frustrated and tries to end the interaction without even completely satisfying the customer.

    When staff members are aware that both their colleagues and superiors value their hard work and are willing to provide the support it fosters an optimal atmosphere for excelling in customer service.

     

    • Understand Your Customers

    Understanding your customers includes gathering feedback and insights directly from customers regarding their needs, expectations, and preferences. This information can then be used by companies to better understand their customers and tailor their products, services, and overall customer experience to meet their needs.

    By using this feedback to inform decision-making and drive continuous improvement, companies can become more customer-oriented and better align their strategies and operations with the needs of their customers. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, improved business performance.

     

    • Always be Updated

    You can’t make things right on the very first attempt. The preferences of the customers also keep on changing keeping pace with the advancement of different technologies. So, monitor them closely and update your strategies based on that.

     As you have taken the customer-oriented approach, always monitor the results. Are they happy and satisfied with your product offerings or need some little changes or adjustments? Keep an eye on these metrics. 

     

    Some Great Examples of Customer Orientation

    There are several big brands that have adopted a reliable and enduring customer-focused marketing strategy, and we can learn from their most effective techniques. Let’s look into some beautiful examples and understand how that have done it ‘RIGHT.’

     

    • Zappos

    The online shoe and clothing retailer is known for its exceptional customer service. This company always believes in serving their customers rather than any other type of advertising. Why? Well, their customers do the advertising for them. Customers are so satisfied with this brand, that through word of mouth, everyone knows about the exceptional customer support provided by this company.

    Zappos thinks that having conversations with customers over the phone can develop a close and strong relationship between support agents and customers. This kind of customer engagement meets their desire to feel supported, strengthens their loyalty, and encourages them to spread positive word-of-mouth about the brand.

    They always take different initiatives to wow their customers and have a unique way of tracking it. The Zappos call center has a display board with flower stats that track different gifts sent out for their consumers.

    After a woman contacted Zappos to return a pair of shoes she had purchased for her father, who had recently passed away, a customer service representative expressed sympathy and assured her that she need not return the shoes in order to receive a refund. Touched by their conversation, the representative sent the customer a bouquet of flowers as a gesture of kindness.

    There are lots of other examples too in different social media platforms on how Zappos always walks the extra mile to make its customers happy.

    This is the latest tweet posted by a customer who had a significant engagement with the Zappos brand.

     

    Apple

    Apple is an excellent illustration of a customer-centric approach to their products. It always comes to know about the customers’ requirements even before they actually express it. Apple has gained a reputation for anticipating and even setting customer preferences.

    For instance, Apple created the iPod much before we even knew that we all wanted a small device to save all our favourite music. Technology might not have advanced to its current state without Apple’s customer-centric approach.

    They offer a range of support options, including online resources, phone support, in-store assistance, and a robust network of authorized service providers.

    In addition to offering support, Apple is also committed to making its products easy to use and intuitive.

    Apple also has a strong focus on customer feedback, regularly soliciting input from users to guide their product development and improve the customer experience. They have implemented various programs to collect and analyze customer feedback, such as the Apple Beta Software Program, which allows users to test pre-release software and provide feedback directly to Apple.

    Overall, Apple’s customer service orientation is characterized by its dedication to meeting its customers’ needs, providing high-quality support, and continuously striving to improve the user experience.

     

    • Amazon

    Amazon is the all-time shopping destination for most of us because of its huge variety of products and exceptional customer service. Being a customer-oriented company, it always keeps on updating with latest technologies to provide world class shopping experience and easy access to different products as per customers’ requirements.

     Amazon offers a fast-shipping facility with one-day or two days delivery for its prime members making it easier for them to receive products in no time.

     Apart from delivery, it’s also flexible with return and replacement policies. Customers can easily return the products in case they are not satisfied. Such an easy process makes customers feel comfortable and more willing to purchase from Amazon.

     Amazon uses sophisticated algorithms to recommend products to its customers based on their browsing and purchase history. This helps customers to discover new products that they might be interested in, and it also makes it easier for them to find products that they need.

     Overall Amazon’s customer-oriented approach has made it everyone’s favorite. Understanding customer needs and walking the extra mile to fulfil those has helped the company to build a strong and loyal customer base.

     

    Key Takeaways:

    If you want to succeed in the long run, adopting a customer centric approach is the key. Here are major points to keep in mind:

    • Understand what your customers want. Satisfying their requirements will help you to increase sales conversions and build a loyal customer base.
    • Customer centric approach should be followed by each and every team member of the company.
    • Customer orientation is to synchronize your business objectives with the needs and preferences of your customers.
    • Customer orientation prioritizes the needs of the customers which is different from sales orientation.
    • To instill a customer-oriented mindset within your organization, you can arrange regular training sessions to improve the inner skills of your team members.

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    Suvashree Bhattacharya
    AUTHOR’S BIO

    Suvashree Bhattacharya is a researcher, blogger, and author in the domain of customer experience, omnichannel communication, and conversational AI. Serving as a content marketing strategist at REVE Chat, she develops contextual and interesting content for customers from different industries and segments like customer service, customer satisfaction, engagement, messaging platforms, etc. Passionate about writing and designing, she pours her heart out in writeups that are detailed, interesting, engaging, and more importantly cater to the requirements of the targeted audience. Her interests include reading, painting, and traveling.

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