Investing in Customer Service Brings the Best ROI
Some companies consider customer service as a necessary evil, forced because of either a problem in the production system or from the inabilities of the consumer. These companies believe that a perfect world would not need customer care. But smart businesses know that a customer service department is an investment in marketing, brand loyalty, and future sales.
Measuring The Immeasurable
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a customer-focused plan that is developed to engage consumers, enhance consumer data flow, and optimize profitability. Customer service, social media, and mobile buying apps fall under the CRM umbrella, since they improve customer experience. One of the criticisms of CRM is that most companies do not know how to measure its return on investment.
Researchers out of the University of Hertfordshire in the U.K. recommend using a combination of a joint balanced scorecard (JBS) with value driver analysis. The JBS is a way of quantifying intangible assets like brand reputation and consumer loyalty. Every business owner knows in his gut that the properties are of huge importance so the JBS ranks their components in such a way as to make them measurable. From there, value drivers are overlaid so that any customer management activity has a testable significance. Using these parameters, a company has the means to test customer care effectiveness and ROI.
A Department for That
Some businesses need to have a devoted customer service department. For many, this department sets the tone of the organization. According to Temkin rankings, Amazon, Starbucks, and Costco are three large companies that rank in the Top 10 of great customer service. Amazon’s existence depends on having good customer service. For them, measuring ROI is linearly related to its customer’s shopping experience and to net profit. Cyber Monday is a ROI-based measure.
Use a system like Zipwire to make everything about the customer’s shopping experience positive. By integrating a cloud-based system for an omni-channel marketing platform it takes customer service and places it at the center of the consumer to business interaction. The customer care department is the place where consumers interact with your company, making it the interface to your customers purchasing happiness. It places the customer at the center of any retail business.
Customer Care Everywhere
At the proceedings of the Water Environment Federation, author Rob McElroy illustrates the problems with failing to train every employee in customer service. McElroy points out that a hypothetical utility company can spend millions on improving water quality and the customers would not know about it. Conversely, the company could just hit the minimum safety requirements and the customer’s impressions would be the same. He recommends training all of your staff with customer service skills.
Most companies have an established training plan that includes mandatory educational units and quality assurance education. Adding customer service training to the curriculum is a cost effective way of using every employee as a value driver for omni-channel marketing. Instead of making one department responsible for customer happiness, use training to spread the duty. This is what Starbucks did and it put them in the Top 10 best customer service companies.
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