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A changing relationship economy has placed a premium on customer service, and organisations need to ensure their processes remain personal and responsive if they are to meet evolving expectations. It’s not an exhaustive list, but here are six things every business should consider when evaluating their service strategies.

1. Focus on service

Whether it’s a normal day in the office or you’re firefighting a crisis, it’s important to remember that excellent service drives business. As a result, placing the customer first should always be a priority, even when you’re handling a seemingly unrelated issue.

2. Manage expectations

This is particularly important in the insurance industry, where customers often make use of a company’s service at a time of distress, but the same applies to all sectors. Being straightforward with customers, making it clear what you are going to deliver, how you are going to communicate and how you are going to keep your promises, should help you manage customer expectations and ensure you deliver on-point service.

3. Respond to customers’ emotions

Quantitative metrics have their place, but emotional factors sometimes play a bigger role in customer satisfaction. The availability of technology and social media is making emotional intelligence increasingly critical in determining how and when services should be delivered. Sharing new processes or product designs with customer focus groups, or via social streams, will ensure your business is sensitive to possible reactions.

4. Be flexible

In a world where customer expectations are constantly evolving, organisations need to be open to change and employ flexible service strategies. A versatile approach can help improve customer satisfaction ratings and drive new business through customer recommendations.

5. Look to other sectors

Customers’ shifting expectations have produced a fundamental shift of mindset over the last few years, and it’s no longer enough to compare your business with others in the same sector. Benchmarking across multiple industries gives a better reflection of customer expectations.

6. Share a common goal

Ultimately, a single, customer-oriented vision across the business is key. This means everyone, from post room workers to senior directors, needs to know where your organisation is going and how you are going to get there.

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