1. Explain how both good and bad experiences at touch-points impact both first impressions and customer loyalty.
Currently, businesses are obsessed with improving customer satisfaction and experiences due to a strong business competition among players coupled with gratification-conscious clients. While a company may be doing everything right, for example serving customers with a smile, providing on-time delivery, and offering great quality products, a wayward touch-point like a billing mistake can for sure negate the trust earlier earned. Every business is improving customer relationships to increase turnover; therefore, anything that prevents the organization from the achievement of this goal should be avoided by all means (Rawson, Duncan, & Jones, 2013).
A bad customer experience will often result in spending less money. When consumers are satisfied, their spending habits are very high while those who are not happy with the service will spend less. If the company does not take into consideration the above factor, a brand could be driven out of business. To counter such a problem, the organization should always realize customer satisfaction levels by asking questions about the service. If responses are it is fine, it is okay, or it will work, then the chances are that the customer is not happy, hence the service needs improvement. Therefore, it means that unless rectified, the customer loyalty is lost.
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Moreover, unhappy customers often contact the service to complain, show discontentment, try to get their unpleasant experience resolved, or even return products and demand refunds. Constant negative experiences push the customer away as there will be no loyalty left.
Furthermore, when clients have positive experiences, they tell their friends, family, or even colleagues about them. When they are not happy about a product or have a bad experience, they tell others too, only that they do that more frequently. This way, the bad news spreads fast, which makes customers not loyal. Thus, the business may lose at the end.
Finally, people can only develop relationships with people and not companies. As a result, they feel connected to individuals they contact and, at the end of the day, it culminates in a great experience and good impression about the business. To facilitate this relationship to grow, front-line reps should be allowed to mingle with customers and ask them about their history.
2. Discuss how employees with both direct and indirect contact with customers are able to help with a customers end-to-end journey with that company.
An employer should hire the right people for a certain job if prosperity is to be achieved in business. The employer should not only ensure that employees have the right skills but should also have a team of self-motivated, determined, and passionate individuals (Rawson et al., 2013).
People in the customer care, help desk, or on television adverts have a mandate of creating the right image of the company to customers and potential clients (Rawson et al., 2013). The whole idea of good customer service is to ensure that consumers receive the best possible customer experience in the organization. While etiquette may have evolved over the years, basic good manners still remain and matter much to people. Customers only communicate with people in the company; thus, friendly customer service is crucial in building customer loyalty (Rawson et al., 2013). For many people, some friendly gestures and professional attributes may be just small things but they have significant effects. However, these gestures can make a huge difference when it comes to front-line customers. There are opportunities for the company to take the customer through an end-to-end journey when they come into contact with personnel either face-to-face or online. Motivation and dedication of the customer personnel team determine whether this goal is achieved or remains a vision never accomplished. To achieve end-to-end journey with the customer, the personnel should be polite and courteous enough to encourage these clients to have a conversation (Rawson et al., 2013).
When customer service employees help timely, it makes clients appreciate their efforts. It also creates a good impression about the company and encourages the customer to learn more about the organization and brand. Willingness to spend the time to help customers is much more appreciated by current gratification-conscious consumers. They value their time; therefore, any resolution should be made instantly to avoid time wasting.
In addition, the company should have considerate and thoughtful customer service team members, who are able to empathize with customers, strive to forestall their needs, and willingly resolve their shopping challenges. This attitude should not change even when the consumer is bringing in a complaint to the staffs attention.
Furthermore, using customers names during a conversation draws their attention. This conversation can be held via emails, phone calls, social media, or even in person. It reaffirms the appreciation the firm has for clients and forms a step in a long journey of building long-term loyalty and satisfaction.
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3. What is the role of the internal customer to ensure smooth touch-points within a company? What happens to the external customers experience if the touch-points are not successful?
Internal customer satisfaction has always been a basis for external customer satisfaction in any organization. A genuine customer response can be helpful in fixing matters that prevent companies from providing successful customer service delivery, products, and brands. In the recent past, people have tried to be modest in their conversations concerning received services and goods because untruthful positive feedback may cause more adverse effects than negative honest responses do. It is effective to listen to the truth no matter how unpleasant it is, as it helps to prevent failures and significant losses in terms of current or future business. Internal customers are not just ordinary clients; they have some relations or interests in the company (Rawson et al., 2013). Therefore, it means that they will always have good intentions for the organization. Thus, when internal customers have comments and suggestions, the company should take them into consideration and make necessary changes and improvements before an external customer starts complaining.
When a touch-point is not successful, it will not satisfy external customers. Nevertheless, an unsatisfied customer can not only damage the companys reputation but can equally assist in the development of the organization if the latter uses complaints to rectify the mistakes. When external customers are not satisfied, they will express their displeasure (Rawson et al., 2013). They can do this through constant calls and complaints to the customer care department or they can even return goods and demand to refund their money. Clients share an unpleasant experience even faster than a positive one, which can result in the breakup of the company. When customers are happy about a service or a product, they contribute to high revenues of the organization. If not, they spend less money or just a bare minimum. Therefore, every company should strive to ensure that consumers are satisfied and keep reminding them to always share the good experience.
Customer loyalty is proportional to the satisfaction clients receive from the services and products of the organization (Rawson et al., 2013). Thus, both effective and lack of good customer service always have a profound impact on the companys success, meaning that dissatisfaction results in the decrease of customer loyalty. Consequently, effective business leaders should understand the connection between customer satisfaction and overall success of the company or brand.
4. Describe how you would reorganize a company’s touch-points to ensure a bad customer service experience is corrected into a positive one.
The process would begin by identifying the touch-points and compiling them in a list of all instances and places where customers may come into contact with the company. Touch-points would be grouped into three categories, including before purchase, during purchase, and after purchase. For instance, before purchase touch-points would include social media, allowing clients to share a media account that the company operates, brand ratings, reviews, and testimonials among others. The use of social media would make before purchase experiences as pleasant as possible to create a positive image (Rawson et al., 2013). Tweets and Facebook comments would definitely let the organization know when its performance is poor or good. Lastly, by using ratings and comments, managers could fix any mistake that could arise.
Another way to reorganize the touch-points is by making certain that customers receive good after-sale service. For example, the company could use past negative experiences in areas like billing or packaging to build a better service delivery (Rawson et al., 2013). It could include having an effective billing system that allows clients to ask questions and receive real-time support. It may also include having follow-ups through emails or calls, operating a physical help desk, having online support, ensuring that customers are assisted with matters like parking and delivery, and having “thank you” cards.
Furthermore, the company should make sure that a system is in place to ensure that customers do not complain about a service provided by a certain staff member more than twice. Otherwise, a mistake made more than once could turn into a habit and the company cannot afford to have ill-mannered employees. Managers can interdict, reprimand, or fire workers, which could also serve as a lesson to the rest.
The last way of improvement is by having a customers mindset and noting negative experiences from their point of view. The organization should ponder at questions like whether there is a problem that needs solving and how the company can fix it. It would ensure that the management is proactive and strive towards eliminating further bad experiences. It would equally help management discover a product, process, or system that might solve the problem. Finally, the organization should look at after purchase touch-points and make suggestions on what changes are needed and how they can be implemented.