Magazine article CRM Magazine

Service Sells: Delivering a Seamless, Straightforward Customer Experience That Lives Up to Its Promises Can Help Companies Get Repeat, More Profitable Business

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Service Sells: Delivering a Seamless, Straightforward Customer Experience That Lives Up to Its Promises Can Help Companies Get Repeat, More Profitable Business

Article excerpt

Winning and keeping new business is at the top of any company's wish list. But as commoditization continues, the service-and-support factor is often the missing link to building brand loyalty and retaining profitable customers. As companies across the country prepare to celebrate this year's Customer Service Week (October 2-October 6) to recognize the significance of customer service and front-line service employees, it's important to keep in mind how exceptional customer service can boost a company's bottom line.

Siloed information and processes continue to plague customer retention and loyalty efforts, according to Lior Arussy, president of consultancy Strativity Group. He cites an example of a large, U.S.-based insurance company that didn't know why customers were defecting because of its no-questions-asked customer service policy: If a customer wanted to close an account, the company did so without garnering any information on why the customer wanted to end the relationship. But when CSRs began to ask customers why they wanted to take their business elsewhere, the insurer retained 17 percent of callers initially intent on canceling. Even so, a customer service executive was actually penalized, not receiving his bonus because it took longer to close the calls. "Companies think in silos and don't see the complete picture," Arussy says.

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The siloed approach can also widen the gap between what companies promise and what they deliver in a service experience. "The most natural sense of selling is when you fulfill your promises and you fix your problems," Arussy says. …

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