ICS Post Event Blog

Round up of the Institute of Customer Service Annual Conference-March, 2018

ICS Post Event Blog
We’d like to thank everyone who came to see us at the Institute of Customer Service Annual Conference on Tuesday 6th March – it was fantastic to speak to so many businesses about the issues that are important to them, and how we can help them to continue to provide excellence in the feld of customer service. As one of the largest customer communications companies in the UK, it’s vital that Paragon are able to stay ahead of the curve and appreciate the landscape in which our customers operate, and from the conversations we’ve had over the last couple of days, a number of key issues have emerged.
Business Agility
Businesses which can adapt quickly to market changes, internally and externally, and respond equally quickly to their customers’ demands, will find themselves at an advantage to their competitors. In the increasingly complex and competitive business world in which we operate, taking a strategic wrong-turn can be disastrous for a company. Therefore, it is imperative that we are continually aware of the changing dynamics of the markets in which we do business, and are making sure that we are in a position to react quickly and dynamically when things go wrong. 
PR Consultant Tom Clive has spoken of the need for businesses to develop a “customer obsession” if they want to avoid the pitfalls which have damaged less responsive companies in the recent past. This is crucial in making a business agile because the better we know our customers, the quicker we are able to adapt to their desires and requirements.
High quality customer service helps to retain customers and creates loyalty. Often, this comes down to businesses offering their customers an experience that surprises and delights them, and exceeds their expectations at a reasonable cost. That’s why data management, analytics and insight-driven marketing are becoming increasingly important to companies which want to stay agile.


Response Communications – Being Prepared For When It Goes Wrong

There are a number of different reasons why a business would need to communicate rapidly with its customers, which would differ from sector to sector. But the one which generates the most headlines,  negative publicity and is sector agnostic – is a data breach. Such breaches can affect anything from an individual to large numbers of customers depending on the size of the organisation concerned but what is common is that they cause stress and concern. Consequently, having a suitable, detailed and rapid response strategy – prepared in advance – is fundamentally important for a modern business.
The creation of pre-prepared, multi-channel communications templates, ready to be deployed to customers with a tailored message in the event of a risk event, will save both time and costs to your business and reputation. Knowing in advance the channels by which your customers would like to receive communications is also important, whether that be SMS messages, emails, print communications or even a mix of all three. Working with communications specialists at Paragon can give our clients and their customers the reassurance that both legal requirements and customer expectations can be met, quickly and effectively.
Businesses often only have one shot at communicating with their customers when things go wrong, before they fall into an information vacuum and business’ reputations suffer damage. An experienced rapid response provider can help organisations plan which actions to take, create templates which can be swiftly edited when required, and then trigger the delivery of all customer communications.
Employee Engagement
Another crucial aspect of keeping your customers satisfied is employee engagement. If you can ensure your workforce is connected to your customers, they will not only be more informed of their expectations and requirements, but they will also be more inclined to go the extra mile for your customers to create exceptional results.
We know that increased employee engagement has been shown to produce better productivity, sales, profits and most importantly – for our ICS attendees – a better customer experience. It also correlates with decreased employee churn and preservation of corporate knowledge which leads to a stable and sustainable workforce. If you can generate an emotional commitment which your employees feel towards your company, they will in turn expend greater energy in keeping your customers satisfied.
A study conducted by Washington State University determined that customer satisfaction is directly linked to employee satisfaction, and that financial success is directly linked to customer happiness. Furthermore, employee behaviour and attitude is one of the most significant drivers of customer satisfaction, which will have a noticeable effect on a company’s bottom line. Strategies by which a business engenders feelings of loyalty among their staff can have a direct impact on keeping their customers well-served and their subsequent loyalty and stickiness.
Paragon Customer Communications Best Use of Customer Insight Award
We were delighted to present Virgin Money with the Institute of Customer Service Award for Best Use of Customer Insight. The award was open to any organisation that successfully used customer insight in an innovative way to gain a competitive advantage, and Virgin’s excellent use of a well-executed Voice of Client survey laid the foundations for their success this year. Congratulations to everyone involved!
If you would like any more information about Paragon Customer Communications, please contact us via hello@paragon-cc.co.uk.

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