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Use reward programs to create customer champions

Employee reward and recognition programs can help firms develop a more customer-centric culture.

Social media is giving customers a voice, but companies aren't listening. Bulldog Reporter cites a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit that states only 56 percent of organizations clearly understand their audience.

The source points out that many businesses lack consumer champions – employees within organizations who are dedicated to listening to patrons and directing efforts to fix their problems. Employee reward and recognition programs can help firms develop a more customer-centric culture that encourages all workers to develop solutions that give consumers a more engaging and worthwhile experience. These kinds of interactions help improve understanding of audiences' needs.

The call center is an ideal place for these initiatives to take hold and generate results. This is particularly true in contact centers that handle social media communications. Business 2 Community estimates that 80 percent of the actionable social media posts that companies receive are related to service issues. These complaints are an opportunity for firms to improve their reputations and build loyalty by showing a willingness to listen.

Reward programs can encourage employees to answer posts quickly. A fast response shows consumers that organizations are committed to resolving problems. Once the conversation is joined, companies need to offer a solution. Empowering employees to address common situations will keep patrons happy, but these workers should also be encouraged to find long-term solutions. By recognizing staff members who have undertaken efforts to improve services, companies can reinforce a customer-first culture and create the consumer advocates they need.

The study by the Economist Intelligence Unit notes that 60 percent of organizations consider themselves to be customer-centric, but just half of respondents stated their companies had a clear understanding of customers'  needs. Developing consumer champions will help businesses gain the insights and comprehension needed to deliver exceptional service and build brand loyalty.

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