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The New Year is upon us, and there’s no doubt that many are actively considering what lengths they will go to be a better person in the coming months. And whilst New Year’s resolutions are generally a more personal endeavour, they’re certainly worthwhile for businesses as well. But resolving to be a so-called ‘better business’ isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Before we go any further, let’s take a moment to consider what a few of the most common personal resolutions are for the New Year. According to Time magazine, these are the ten New Year’s Resolutions that are most likely to be broken:

  • Lose Weight and Get Fit
  • Quit Smoking
  • Learn Something New
  • Eat Healthier and Diet
  • Get Out of Debt and Save Money
  • Spend More Time with Family
  • Travel to New Places
  • Be Less Stressed
  • Volunteer
  • Drink Less

All of the above are personal resolutions, but some of them are more easily adapted into a business context than others. For example, ‘volunteer’ equates to ‘CSR’ work; ‘learn something new’ is essentially the same as human-resource development programmes; and ‘travel to new places’ is similar to expanding a regional network.

But at their core, most New Year’s resolutions are about acting like, looking like and feeling like a better person.To that end, any resolutions for your business will take the same cues. In short, they’re about resolving to act, feel and look like a better business.

Along those lines, any serious resolutions for your company are going to have to do with the way it treats the other people, organisations and entities that it comes in contact with. This starts with strong customer-service and customer-experience initiatives, but could also extend to include community outreach programmes, partnerships and a host of other entities.

With all of the above in mind, we’re going to look at a few key ways in which your business could resolve to be a better company in 2016. As you’ll see, resolving to be a better business – and, particularly, to offer better customer service – is probably a bit easier than resolving to be a better person.

– Be consistent
As we forge into the New Year, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on just how consistent your customers’ experience is. Here are a few questions that are worth asking:

  • Do your customers receive the same level of service every time they place an order?
  • Are a set of protocol in place to determine how each customer-related situation is to be approached?
  • Is each and every incoming phone call treated with the same level of urgency and importance?

Inconsistency erodes confidence. It creates uncertainty. Consistency, on the other hand, makes everyone feel warmer and more comfortable. By resolving to create a more consistent customer experience across all points of contact, you’ll be setting up your company to reap the rewards of stronger customer loyalty.

One way to accomplish this is by ensuring that every incoming phone call is treated with the same level of urgency. Our telephone answering services can assist in this area. And there are countless other ways to ensure that you’re offering your clients and customers a more consistent experience.

– Personalise your services
Another great way to enhance your customers’ experience with your service is to make a point of being more personal in your client and customer interactions. We live in an age in which people prefer texting to talking – an age in which ‘chatting’ is as likely to mean communicating through a messenger app as it does actually speaking in person.

Given the recent drop-off in personal interaction that people experience on a daily basis, many are left longing for a bit of good, old-fashioned human experience – even if they don’t realise it.

Your business can help to satisfy this longing by seeing to it that your customer service representatives are carefully vetted, well-trained and all-in-all well-suited to the task. This is something we take very seriously at Netcall Solutions; and all of our frontline call-handling and message-taking representatives are great at making callers feel warm and comfortable on the phone.

– Tap into social media
The truth is that some companies leverage social media to its fullest, whilst others practically ignore its existence. Both are extreme situations, but the fact remains that it’s almost always better for your business to err on the side of overusing social media. After all, posting one too many updates a week on your company’s social media page is not nearly as bad as having no idea of what your customers are saying about you on the same platform.

Social media offers your company a very candid look at how it is perceived by the general public. It offers a much better response rate than old-fashioned comment cards or general surveys, and it’s almost certain that the sentiments you encounter are genuine (if a bit snarky in some cases).

But making the most of your company’s social media channels is about more than soliciting and analysing feedback. It also offers you the chance to engage with customers and strengthen relationships.

– Be ready to scale
It’s worth noting that, as you implement better customer service strategies, your company is likely to start seeing a more robust response. This inevitably leads to greater logistical stresses and potential lapses – especially during peak periods. Unfortunately, these lapses can also work against those same customer-service strategies that brought them about.

Ensuring that business growth doesn’t lead to weaker customer service is really only a matter of scalability. Perform your due diligence to ensure that you’re ready to meet demand as it increases. This could be as simple as making sure that there’s always someone standing by to cover the phones when calls come in, or it could have to do with more complicated logistical considerations. In any event, ensuring that you’re ready to meet increased demand is essential in turning a new surge into a reliable base of repeat customers.