Customer Care The first step in building a customer-centric brand

Customer Care: The first step in building a customer-centric brand

What is Customer Care?

Customer care is the help or assistance a company gives to its customers while they interact with the brand. Customer Care is concentrated on building an emotional connection with the customer. It doesn’t include the entire customer lifecycle though, but it consists of a series of interactions.

 To break it down, customer care is the act of providing and delivering professional, helpful, high-quality assistance before, during, and after the customer’s requirements are met.

Businesses should listen to their needs, answer their questions, and offer the right solution. This kind of interaction can be interpreted as an aim to win and maintain customers by giving quality service, price, and item differentiation.

Customer care is more of supportive management, where methods are pretty essential in boosting responsiveness to your client’s needs and finding techniques to support the success of commercial goals. It is to maximize the customers’ value and increase their loyalty. 

73% of customers fall in love with a brand and remain loyal because of friendly customer service reps.

Customer Care Vs. Customer Service

It may seem like simple semantics at play, but customer care and customer service have fundamental differences. You experience customer service in every store you go, through every support call you make. But what does it mean to care for the customer?

Going that extra step

Customer service is when a customer actively asks for assistance. But customer care is more of a value that a company imbibes in its staff. It is going that extra step to build an emotional connection with the customer.

It is simply showing that you, as a brand, care.

Consider a customer who stumbles upon an E-commerce website looking for a certain product. Having trouble locating the product, they turn to live-chat assistance. A customer service executive could help locate the product and guide the customer to make the purchase. The executive might even try to upsell by suggesting an add-on. The customer has everything they want, but there’s no other feedback or information that goes into the experience.

By contrast, consider a customer who is surfing your website, looking for a solution to a product-related problem. The customer’s journey is mapped to identify intent and a proactive effort is made to assist the customer if need be. An executive then links the customer to the documentation about their query and categorizes the conversation to help give feedback to the product team about the customer’s problem.

Customer care is when a business starts a conversation with the end-customer about improving their product/service and follows up about a customer’s experience.

A customer service agent’s role is more than improving the customer experience than interacting transactionally with the customer.

Customer Care Vs. Customer Experience

There is a fine line between customer care and customer experience. Customer care involves particular customer interactions. Customer care is limited to one aspect of the customer’s journey. When a business assists the customer with the help they require it’s good customer care.

Customer experience, however, is more comprehensive. It’s understanding how your customer is feeling and what they’re thinking every single time they interact with your business, from the moment they’re aware you exist. It involves every aspect of what a company has to offer, including how its customer care is rated, packaging, product and service features, reliability, ease of use, and other factors.

Customer care is reactive, whereas customer experience is proactive. When you are reactive to your customers, you’re not preventing disasters from occurring, you are simply fixing what needs to be fixed once it has taken place. When you are proactive with your customers, it’s taking the time to analyze what issues may potentially arise and stopping them from taking place before they do. With customer experience, the business’s objective is to provide customers with a better overall experience, which leads to happier customers. 

Customer care: Best Practices

Make regular customers feel special

Your customers don’t always need large gestures, but just want to know they’re appreciated. In order to keep your company top of your customer’s mind, do smaller acts for more people, instead of a few large things for a lot of people. It’s the little things that count and produce loyal customers.

Meet your customers where they’re at

While businesses can’t always physically meet customers where they’re at, omnichannel customer support options allow customers to contact the brand in the way that’s most convenient for them.

Random acts of kindness

An instance: While a customer was asking about the product during the call, the customer care agent found out that he was soon to be 50 years old. The advisor wished him and sent a happy birthday card for him. But it didn’t end there. The advisor arranged a product discount on behalf of the company. 

77% of customers would recommend a brand to a friend after having a single positive experience.

Recognizing customer emotions

Sometimes, it’s not just about an individual advisor going the extra mile for the customer, but a customer service team coming together in the best interests of the customer. Address the issue and take ownership of the problem. Most important, apologize to the customer. A good example of exceptional customer care is to acknowledge the customer’s frustration always.

Customer Care: The foundation of a brand

Treat your customer like experts

When you welcome customer feedback, you give your customers a chance to contribute to your brand. When you take it a step further and implement their feedback, you have the chance to turn your customers into real advocates. Who better to take advice from than the people who are using your products or services? Treat your customers like experts. Taking their advice can help you improve existing products and even formulate new ones.

Relationships are the core of brand loyalty

It’s easier than ever for brands to build relationships with their customers today. The dawn of social media simplified the communication process and provided brands with increased opportunities to get their messages out to their audience. One of the best ways to build relationships with your customers is to feature them on the brand’s various platforms. Something as simple as re-tweeting their stories with the product helps them feel like the relationship isn’t so one-sided, and it makes them feel like part of the brand.

78% of customers have backed out of purchase due to poor customer experience.

Establish easy routes

Brands are adopting multi-channel strategies to meet their customers where they’re at. It’s important to serve your customers wherever and whenever they need you. Ensure that the customer experience is simple for your customers, from browsing and ultimately buying, to reaching out to your company. 

Building your customer care strategy

Assess customer needs

What a customer wants today will be very different from what the customer wants a year or five years down the road. As things change, expectations and needs change also. Strive to stay on top of these moving targets.

Hire the right employees

Screen employees to ensure that they possess the disposition and skill set to help support a strong customer service environment. Skills can be taught but attitude and personality cannot.

If you hire correct, employees will have a natural ability to serve your customers well. Nevertheless, everyone can benefit from practical teaching on the brand’s approach to customer service. Employees need to know what you want them to do.

Hold people accountable

Employees should have a good understanding of how their service to the customer affects the business’s overall performance and need to be held accountable for delivering customer satisfaction goals. This is part of a complete performance management system and should be part of the cultural norm.

Wrapping up

There are many factors the brands cannot master in the marketplace, but fortunately, customer care is not one of those things. Brands with a strong customer care strategy in place and a customer-centric culture will eventually find themselves surrounded by not just customers, but fans. 

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