Singapore customer service employees would go out of their way to ensure that customers have a good experience because it is personally satisfying for them, according to a recent research by experience management software provider Qualtrics.
The research also revealed that companies could potentially improve their customer service performance by providing more feedback and recognition to customer service staff.
Mao Gen Foo, head of South-east Asia, Qualtrics (pictured), said: “Most businesses are aware by now that customer service can make or break them. It’s easy for customers to share their opinions and experiences on social media and other platforms, so news of bad service travels fast and people vote with their feet.”
About 76% of respondents said customers have a chance to provide ratings feedback about their performance, which suggests many customer service representatives want to provide good service regardless of whether anyone else is watching; they do it because it makes them feel good.
For workers that get customer reviews, 80% care a great deal or a lot about those reviews. Foo said: “These results show that, while most customer service workers will do their best to provide excellent customer service in all conditions, they still value feedback highly. Organisations that can capture and communicate that feedback can achieve a double benefit: on the one hand it demonstrates to customers that they care about their experience; on the other hand, it shows employees that their efforts have been noticed.”
The majority (62%) of survey respondents said that creating a great customer experience is in their top five priorities. For 19%, it’s their number one priority. Yet, half (50%) of their employers reward them for helping deliver a good customer experience.
Qualtrics suggests four key steps businesses can take to improve customer service:
- Reward employees who deliver good customer service
Only 50% say their employers reward them for helping deliver a good customer experience. Of customer service workers who do not go out of their way to help customers, 22% cited the reason that it does not affect their compensation, while other 22% said it was due to the lack of recognition. Understanding what makes employees tick is crucial to get the best performance from them. If companies did recognise those employees’ contribution, they could see an upswing in performance as employees will be better motivated to deliver, said Qualtrics.
- Gather feedback from customers
Almost all (98%) employees are keen to know what customers think. Getting this feedback from customers and communicating it to employees will help both groups feel that the brand is listening to them. This will not only raise employee engagement levels but it will also likely improve customer service performance.
- Foster a customer-focused organisational culture
Close to three quarters (74%) of employees feel that their company policies regularly get in the way of providing a good customer experience. The top three challenges cited were time-consuming processes and controls, security and privacy policies, and limited budget and time. To cultivate a strong customer-led culture, Qualtrics suggested organisations can consider gathering feedback from front-line employees to understand better how they can help overcome challenges when they interact with customers.
- Hire employees that are naturally customer-obsessed
The survey revealed that many customer service officers do their best work regardless of external factors. 66% would help a customer always or most of the time, even if the issue falls beyond their responsibility. Slightly more than half (55%) are willing to work outside business hours to help a customer either all the time or most of the time. Hiring people that share these values is an important step towards providing exceptional customer service.
Foo said: “With so many respondents clearly keen to provide great customer service, it’s easy to imagine the improvements businesses could achieve if they took these steps. No matter how good a business’s customer service is, it can always be better. Companies with the best customer service can outperform their competitors, which is important in an increasingly-disrupted market.”