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Four top tips to boost your customer service

by LLB Reporter
31st Aug 23 11:51 am

In the face of growing pressure brought on by the pandemic and ongoing supply chain issues, organisations large and small are overlooking one crucial element which could help turn their businesses around.

Luke Smoothy, Founder and Director of London-based manufacturing brand Get It Made, urges companies to put customer service at the heart of their business strategy to get it right.

During these difficult times when parts availability remains patchy and lead times stretch out, businesses are under the cosh, placing the supplier-customer relationship under scrutiny. It’s now an altogether different ball game from yesteryear, as the economic climate attempts to steady itself. While many businesses fight for terra firma, there are ways in which they can assert some control and in fact, seize as a golden opportunity by focusing on a key area which is often erroneously forgotten, at worst woefully neglected – that of customer service.

The bottom line is, customer service in any sector must no longer be viewed as a value add-on but a necessity. Embracing a more customer-centric approach might sound obvious and a no-brainer, but it never ceases to surprise just how many businesses, particularly while trying to fight for survival and develop an ‘all hands on deck’ mindset, have lost sight of this – unintentionality or otherwise. Because ultimately, as simple as it may seem, delivering personalised service does help companies increase customer retention and win new business. This is backed by findings which reveal 52% of manufacturing executives find it increasingly difficult to compete based on product quality alone, while a huge 86% believe that customer service can now be a key differentiator.

Emerging changes and trends in customer behaviours are being driven by the events of the past few years, so that customers now demand more. By going back to the drawing board (it’s not as difficult as it may first appear) and adapting a more customer service-oriented approach, businesses can slowly gain back control. It can be achieved through the adoption of a much-needed real shift in business strategy that puts customer service first, for both products and services, to ease customer pain points and boost business value, in turn helping to impact the bottom line. Here are five simple ways how:

  • Think small, think sustainable

We’ve found many benefits to being an independent business, and one upside is forging our own path, one free of aggressive growth plans. Success isn’t always about fervently focusing on achieving growth at all costs. We’re a small business and proud of it, it gives us a unique value proposition with clients.

Our large competitors are all much larger, seeking tens if not, hundreds of millions of pounds of investment. To achieve the scale they need to make it worthwhile for investors, means they need to automate and to some extent dehumanise the level of service. Not something clients want when spending many thousands of pounds on components to achieve their world-changing innovation. We have found that by delivering a personal service, one that builds long-term trust and relationships, has been key to our growth. Businesses need to be fully committed to service as a value centre that improves customer relationships while driving sustainable growth.

  • Adopt a lean mentality

By developing a ‘lean mentality’ throughout your business, owners and decision makers must identify what activities and resources add value to customers and what do not. Then look to eliminate non-value adding activities whilst boosting value-add activities. What features of your product or service delight your customers? What do they not care about? You can then use this to harness a mentality that focuses on offering excellent, responsive customer service, offering the right information, at the right time.

  • Practice the rule of 1s and 3s

If you’re looking for a simple rule that will help you develop a long-term strategy for your business, I would highly recommend the rule of 1s and 3s. Simply put, companies need to reinvent their external and internal processes for milestones of 3 and 10. For example, when your customer base expands from 10 customers to 30 customers, you will likely need to change the way you interact with your customers. Similarly, when 30 customers become 100 customers, again businesses need to reinvent their operations. However, successful companies don’t attempt to make these changes overnight, rather they continually work towards the next milestone as part of a long-term strategy.

  • Utilise micro-automation

In order to truly scale and grow a business, companies need to increase revenue without scaling costs. How? One way we have done this is through the use of micro-automation. Rather than expending thousands of pounds on custom software systems, we have used the power of the No Code Movement and automate repetitive tasks using tools such as Zapier. Tools such as this can be deployed faster, at lower cost and using non-invasive methods to deliver greater efficiencies. This has replaced the need for more employees which eats into profits. Micro-automations are one reason why we’ve been able to grow to be a multi-million-pound business, whilst only hiring three additional staff.

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