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Customer care guidelines for sustainable organization growth

What are customer care guidelines?

These are guidelines that will inform employees of how to interact with the customers of the organization. Customers are the most important asset of the organization without which it cannot exist.

How many types of customers do you have to deal with?

There are two types of customers namely internal and external customers.

What are external customers?

External customers are people or organizations that buy goods and services from your organization to meet their needs.

What are internal customers?

These are the employees who understand and experience your organization’s culture and brand and use your technology and systems when interacting with external customers. Employees play an important role in attracting, serving, and retaining your external customers.

What are the needs of customers?

Customers come to the organization looking for products and services that will satisfy their needs.  To meet the needs of your customers you have to appreciate that you dealing with organizations that are presented by human beings. It is important therefore to understand and appreciate Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as shown in the diagram below; As you interact with the external customers you should ensure most of the above needs are dealt with better than the competition. You have to deal with motivations arising from physical and psychological needs. At the first level, the customer should be comfortable enough being with you in your physical environment. Then at the second level, your brand has to satisfy the customers in specific ways by meeting product and service requirements. In summary, the customer has to be comfortable enough being within your environment, should get the best value from the products and services, and have the assurance of the sustainability of the supply. You should let your customer be in control of the outcome.

What is the importance of external customers?

The customer is the reason why your organization exists. It exists to buy or produce goods and services and sell them to customers to make a profit.

What is the importance of internal customers?

Internal customers (the employees) are the most important asset of the organization as they ones who interact with customers and are responsible for attracting, serving, and retaining them.

Why do customers visit your organization?

Many customers visit your organization in search of goods and services that give them better value than what they are receiving from their current suppliers. You have therefore to demonstrate the value of your products and services on offer to the potential customers so that they can decide whether to move to you or remain with their current suppliers.

What is customer care?

Customer care is the assistance and advice extended by the organization to its customers both current and potential so that they can meet both their physical and psychological needs.

Guiding customer care principles

We interact with customers to attract, serve, and retain them through high-quality customer service. Our customer care service will be guided by the following principles;
  • Personalized service

The service will be tailored to each customer’s specific wants and needs.
  • Competent employees

The service will be rendered by employees who have the ability, knowledge, and skill to do so.
  • Convenience of customers

The organization should make it easy for the customers to interact with the organization using any means of their choice.
  • Proactive

You should be able to anticipate customer needs and actively reach out to the customer with a solution.

The positive attitude of employees

The employees must have a positive and professional customer care attitude that focuses on understanding and meeting both the physical and psychological needs of their customers. They have to use positive language in all their interactions with the customers.

Security check of customers

You should establish an internal point of check for customers to avoid creating an impression in their minds that they are a security risk to your organization. The security staff should warmly welcome the customers and request them to go through the security checking system to enhance their safety when they are with your organization. The checking should be gently carried and therefore after the customers should be directed to reception.

Reception area

The reception area should be creatively laid out with comfortable and well-spaced furnishings. The area should have indoor plants and a section where a visitor can pick current newspapers, magazines, and literature about the organization’s brand for reading. The organization should have a good visitor management system to avoid overcrowding at the reception.

Physical environment

The environment in the manufacturing or office building should be attractive and able to promote innovation and creativity for maximum quality production. The environment should give the customers comfort and convenience so that they stay longer if they so wish.

Warm welcome

The customers should receive a hearty and warm welcome whenever they interact with the brand. They should be made to feel at home.

Experiencing the brand

It is important to remember, the customer gets a chance to experience your brand through your organization’s culture, workplace beliefs, core values, attitudes, standards, purposes, and behaviors among others whenever interacting with you. You represent the brand through what you say and do. The customers will very much be impressed if they see all employees living the values and culture of the organization.

Customer care skills

Today’s customers’ demands are on the increase and therefore the employees must have an adequate mix of customer care skills to satisfy their needs. The following are key skills that employees who interact with customers must have;
  • Customer focused

You must put all your attention on customers to understand their needs to develop and offer them a satisfactory solution.
  • Effective and persuasive communication

The message should be well received and understood by the customers to meet their needs.
  • Appreciation

You should show appreciation for the clients sparing their time to be with you.
  • Lasting first impression

The customers should get a lasting first impression of the brand represented by the organization, employees, and products and services.
  • Good listener

Customers always want to be in control and therefore you must keenly listen to their needs without interrupting. Do not assume that you know their needs.
  • Problem-solving

You should have the skills to address and solve the customers’ needs. You should be conversant with the approach to problem-solving.
  • Compassion for customers

Customers want to deal with suppliers that will treat them with care and kindness
  • Flexibility

The environment we live in is volatile, uncertain, complex, and full of ambiguity and therefore you have to be flexible in case the customers adjust their needs and specifications.  
  • Business acumen

You must have adequate knowledge, experience, and skills to understand your customer’s key business issues and challenges.
  • Self-Control.

You should have the ability to regulate and alter your responses to avoid undesirable behaviors and also to increase your desirable behaviors.
  • Taking Responsibility

You must have the ability to regulate your emotions, thoughts, and behavior in the face of challenges. You are responsible for what you say and do when you are interacting with customers.
  • Patience

Customers may face different challenges and end up changing the earlier agreed positions. You must accept the setback without becoming annoyed with customers.
  • Product and service knowledge

You must understand your products and services so that you can explain to the customers how they can use them.
  • Time management

You must remember in business time is of the essence and therefore whatever is requested by the customer must be promptly dealt with.
  • Relationship building

You must have it in mind to build or maintain ethical relationships with customers to create opportunities that will be of mutual advantage.
  • Customer feedback

You must be ready to get customer feedback about their experiences with your company, product, or services whether positive or negative to guide you on areas to improve.