SMEs - Quality Customer Experiences Matter
In the previous blog post in this series, we presented six main benefits of working with SMEs explaining why they should be an important part of your supply chain.
Big is not always best. Smaller businesses can often present unique advantages over larger competitors. One of these areas is customer service.
Precisely because of their smaller size, SMEs can be more responsive to the unique needs and wants of different types of customer. Short command chains allow customer problems to be resolved more quickly compared to larger corporations where the gears of bureaucracy move much more slowly.
Customer experience management
The ability to respond in an agile and flexible way can give SMEs a real advantage over larger competitors. The principles of Customer Experience Management are important here.
Especially for SMEs operating in highly competitive markets characterised by customer empowerment and rising customer expectations, sustained growth in sales and profits is achieved through building strong '1-to-1' relationships with your 'Most Valuable’ and 'Most Growable' customers. The quality of the experience each customer has in dealing with your organisation is a key differentiator.
Every time a customer interacts with your organisation, they experience what it is like to deal with your people, systems, organisation and culture. Customer experiences during these interactions, especially at key ‘Moments of Truth’ (MOT), can have a major impact on future behaviour. Positive experiences will help to build customer loyalty, retention and growth. Negative experiences lead to customer defection.
Customer experiences occur across multiple 'touch points'. It is critical that these ‘touch points’ are proactively managed in ways that impact positively on future customer behaviour. Achieving consistency and quality of experience across all 'touch points' is critical.
Since our establishment in Dubai two decades ago, Arpal Gulf’s total commitment to customer service has allowed us to develop a genuine competitive edge in an increasingly crowded market.
Our daily aim is to be seen by our customers as the outstanding provider of service in our industry – to never give a customer a reason for going elsewhere. While our core products are cleaning chemicals, we fully recognise that we work in a ‘people business’. It is imperative that we forge outstanding customer relationships right from the very beginning of our engagement.
We currently provide a wide range of services to ensure that our customers use our products in the most effective and cost efficient way. We are constantly innovating in this area with additional services being launched very soon.
- Customer support in planning, installation, training, troubleshooting, maintenance and innovation. Our aim is to constantly add value to our customers’ business - we are passionate about what we do and deliver a reliable, robust and credible added value service to cleaning contracts.
- Proactive field support, which is critical to the smooth running of a client contract. Our clients do not see salesmen; they are visited by Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) who act as technical consultants, checking that equipment is working properly, that correct stocks are on site, ensuring that staff are trained in the proper and safe use of our chemicals and general troubleshooting.
- Increasingly, new technology is being used to enhance the quality of the customer experience we deliver. Launching soon, all of our CSRs will have iPads providing real time access to our ‘Cyber-Office’. This will allow all customer queries to be answered quickly and easily. Customers will be one click away from receiving a brochure, a product guidance sheet, a wall chart, MSDS sheet or training programme. The technology will also be utilised to complete real-time digital service and visit reports submitted directly to our office from customer premises. This will prove that service calls are being met, consistently on time and in-full, with the call content information being instantly verified by the customer. Productivity will increase as CSRs become more efficient and consistent in logging information. Instant assessment of any problems/issues arising will allow immediate remedial action to be taken.
- Actionable insight from data – the data generated from the above will allow accurate real-time customer service profiles to be developed allowing more preventative maintenance to take place, ensuring the smart and instant allocation of resources to those sites that need it most. Since the installation of digital technology support in our UK operation, we have reduced ad-hoc engineering call outs by over 40 per cent.
- All of the above will be supported by a fully integrated CRM system, which will optimise and streamline our approach to Customer Experience Management. The system will help our service department provide support for the operations team in a more efficient way to ensure that client contract management, service planning, customer interaction and support are delivered efficiently and effectively. It will allow us to deliver a quality customer experience and service package that is designed not only to meet but exceed customer expectations.
For SMEs wishing to succeed and grow in highly competitive Middle East markets, it is critical that innovative approaches to Customer Experience Management are adopted. While many large corporations ‘talk the talk’ in terms of customer service, SMEs have an opportunity to gain a real competitive edge by also ‘walking the walk’.
It is very difficult for a big business to replicate the intimate, one-to-one, personal relationships and mutual trust that an SME can build with its most valuable customers. Personal relationships built on loyalty and trust will always outlast any temporary benefits a larger business may bring to the table.
At Arpal Gulf, we work hard every day to show that our company mission statement of 'Where Service Matters Most’ is more than just a strapline posted on the office wall.
We should also remember that ‘happy people make happy customers’. It is critical that your approach to staff recruitment, retention and remuneration is fully aligned with and supportive of your Customer Experience Management objectives.
Do you reward your staff for delivering a superior customer experience?
Do you reward staff for building customer loyalty?
Tel: 800 4005 (Toll Free within UAE) | +971-4-880 3220