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Customer service increasingly important for company success

Many organizations fail to link reward programs to customer experience outcomes. A Forrester survey found that 75 percent of firms do not use informal rewards to highlight exemplary client-centric behavior.

A growing number of companies are turning to customer service to differentiate themselves from the competition. By creating unique experiences, businesses are hoping to build a loyal following that will make repeat purchases. 

Success in this strategy depends on having friendly and professional employees with the authority to resolve customer problems, according to Forbes. The source noted that businesses should strive to change how workers approach situations by providing them with the flexibility to complete reasonable requests without a manager's approval. The entire process is then more reflective of customer expectations, which is essential for improving satisfaction. Fast and reliable service shows clients that they are valued, which contributes to higher brand loyalty.

Employee rewards and recognition programs are effective tools for improving customer service. Each worker who successfully delivers a unique and engaging experience can be rewarded for their hard work and ingenuity. This helps highlight the importance of effective service and can build a customer-first culture.

Companies fail to link rewards to patron experiences
Unfortunately, many organizations fail to link reward programs to customer experience outcomes. A Forrester survey found that 75 percent of firms do not use informal rewards to showcase exemplary client-centric behavior. Informal rewards can be just as valuable in changing company culture as formal procedures. When a staff member exhibits the behavior that executives want to promote, he or she is singled out to provide a positive example for others. In Forrester's blog, Sam Stern, an analyst for Forrester, noted that this recognition is vital in the early stages of behavioral change.

Employee reward programs provide specific examples for all staff members about company expectations. By linking these initiatives to customer service goals, businesses are able to place patrons at the front of everything they do. This enhances client experiences and increases their satisfaction. The more that businesses are able to promote cases of outstanding service, the harder each employee will work to exceed customer expectations.

With informal recognition programs, businesses often struggle to determine the appropriate rewards. Many fall back onto cash bonuses or gift cards, but these can have a limited effect. Offering creative, non-monetary incentives such as preferred parking, flex scheduling or other perks can deliver more meaningful engagement for staff members. Another alternative to cash is a selection of merchandise such as tablets, televisions or jewelry. Giving employees the opportunity to work toward items they will use on a regular basis provides additional motivation over the course of an initiative and can keep the cost of reward programs down.

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