Every company needs customer-service employees on the front line to assist customers. But the reality is that we depend on our customer-service staff to do so much more than just help customers. We rely on them to be the face and voice of our business, to take the heat when things go wrong, and to make us look good. The question many top execs fail to ask themselves is whether or not their customer-service reps are actually doing that—are they making the company look good?
Failing to ask that simple question is a costly mistake that can have any number of immediate and long-term consequences.
The value of your company's reputation
The way current and prospective customers perceive your business has a tremendous impact on your success—and your bottom line. The better your reputation is, the better your potential will be to grow sales, attract the best talent, and retain customers.
What do your customers think of your company?
If you don’t already know what your customers (and non-customers) think of you, it’s time to find out. A company’s reputation is essential to its survival—and since reputation is an ever-changing variable, getting to know what reputation your company holds in the public eye should be a high, and ongoing, priority. Your reputation can shift in the blink of an eye, but before you can improve the way people think about you, you must first understand what formed their opinions.
There are plenty of tools at your disposal to find out what people are saying about you, the most common being online reviews and comments on social media. You could also gain important intel by going the old-fashioned route and holding focus groups or hiring people to "mystery shop" your business.
The impact of your customer-service representatives on your reputation
With no shortage of options for most products and services, customer service may be what sets you apart from the competition. More than ever, people are willing to spend more money to work with companies that provide superior customer care. In fact, customers are often willing to overlook certain shortcomings if they believe they will be well taken care of.
How enhanced customer-service training can improve your reputation
No one is perfect. And that means there’s always room for improvement when it comes to the quality of the service you provide to your customers. Remember, times change, and so, too, will your customers’ wants and needs. So even if you’re providing "the best" service today, that may no longer be the case in six months.
The best way to keep your current and future customers happy is to invest in ongoing customer-service training. Up-to-date relevant training will help you maintain your standard of excellence—and maybe even teach your staff a few new tricks of the trade. The more you invest in training your team, the stronger they will be, and the better your reputation will be, too.