The investment required for such systems can generally be proportional to the investment made by your customers, however providing excellent customer service is an investment – and the more you put in, the more you get out. Finally, the more interaction you allow with customers – the greater their sense of “ownership” – which equals more sales and positive recommendations to others.
With this is mind, we will now summarise a variety of methods you can use to support your customers, with the goal of each method to satisfy customer needs and maintain sales growth.
– Contact centre and online support systems. Offering a direct channel of support to your customers is paramount, especially for more complex or specialised products. An unhappy, confused customer can be converted to a happy, satisfied customer very quickly if their questions, feedback and problems can be handled in a timely, friendly and live manner.
This can be achieved with a contact centre staffed by employees trained in customer service and every facet of the product they represent. By extension, the requirement to interact with customers electronically via email and social media is also relevant due to the popularity of these methods.
– Ongoing design modifications, improvements and unit cost reduction. Over time feedback will be received by customers, and all those involved internally with the product, and possibly external regulators. This feedback is valuable as it can help reduce problems, introduce incremental features for existing designs, maintain standards compliance, and also reduce manufacturing and servicing costs.
Just as software can be updated over time, a product design can possibly be altered with minimal changes at the design and manufacturing stage. By implementing constant improvements you can maintain internal and external customer satisfaction with your product. Furthermore, by advising existing and potential customers of these improvements, they understand that you are invested in your product past the initial purchase date and will feel more confident with your organisation.
– Product life cycle management. For products with a finite life cycle, offering more up to date versions of the product is also considered to be great customer services. Savvy customers realise that some things just don’t last forever (case in point – smart phones) and they are happy to update their purchases over time. If they are happy with the product, and loyal to the brand – they will expect you to keep up and meet their needs in the future.
Life cycle management is the opposite of leaving a product “as is” after manufacturing. Instead, your team receives feedback from customers, manufacturing, regulatory agencies and other relevant parties to improve the product. This can also involve market research as if you were starting over, however you instead create a product “road map” – planning the future for the product.
Furthermore if there are enough tangible reasons to replace the product with a complete new version, succession planning needs to be conducted. This involves the design process for a new, replacement product superior to the original that takes into account the needs of customers and other stakeholders – yet maintaining (if necessary) compatibility with the outdated version.
As you can see, there’s more customer service than simply sales and delivery. Successful organisations engage with all stakeholders to increase their business success. However if this concept seems foreign to you, or you’re not sure how to implement a successful customer service system – it pays to consult with a team who can provide them, matching your requirements, budget and desired outcomes. Here at the LX Group we have a wide variety of experience in the entire product design process from initial concept – through to manufacturing, sales, support and onwards.
So contact us today for a confidential discussion about your ideas and how we can help bring them to life – click here to contact us, or telephone 1800 810 124.