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When people think of J.D. Power, they often think “car ratings,” but J.D. Power is a global market research firm that serves many different industries from health care to travel to financial services.

Specifically, J.D. Power helps companies measure customer service through their Certified Contact Center Program℠. Since great customer service has always been our top priority, we invited them to take a look at our customer experience, and—more importantly — tell us how we’re doing.

When J.D. Power comes to evaluate your customer contact center, you expect the process to be thorough and extensive. You also expect that you are going to learn a lot about your customers, what your company is doing right, and where you can improve.

As Doug O’Dwyer, a Swift employee who helped coordinate with J.D. Power noted, “We weren’t creating anything. We were essentially holding up the mirror for J.D. Power to see what we were already doing.”

So, what did J.D. Power see? After reviewing countless calls, conducting in-depth surveys, performing onsite audits at both of our locations, and meeting with our front line agents, managers, and senior executives, J.D. Power concluded that we ranked in the top 20% across all of the industries that they evaluate.

For us at Swift Capital, it’s a great honor to be one of 17 companies certified in 2016 for having outstanding customer service in the live phone channel.*

We learned a few things along the way and hope they can be helpful to you in your business:

1. Customer service is not limited to interactions with customers.

There are many elements of a business that feed into the customer experience. “Customer experience is not just the processes and procedures of the customer facing roles, but also how we train, communicate, and listen to the voice of our employees and the voice of our customers,” explained Mark Devlin, a customer service executive here at Swift Capital.

Keeping employees tapped into business goals and ensuring that they have easy access to managers, both contribute to the ability to provide excellent customer service.

Through research in contact centers across many industries, J.D. Power has found that top performing companies have a free flow of information back and forth between management and employees.

2. An outside assessment can help you see things clearly.

“It’s easy to think that you’re doing all of the right things, but to have a third party come in and confirm it or point out where you’ve missed the mark is incredibly helpful,” Doug explained.

The closer you are to a product or a process, it can be hard to see it clearly. Using a third party to assess the work you do is a way to get valuable feedback.

There might be certain aspects of your business that you think are great, but asking for an outside evaluation may give you information that you would have otherwise missed.

3. Feedback helps define priorities.

Taking the time to look closely at your customer experience, where you exceed expectations and where you fall short, sends a clear message that providing excellent customer service is a top priority for your business.

“Working with J.D. Power communicated to our whole team how seriously we take listening to our customers. And while our front line staff were eager to achieve certification, knowing that customer service is something that our management values was important for them,” Doug shared.

Plus, customer feedback is a valuable tool that can help focus and set priorities for the short and long term.

4. Build trust and credibility with customers.

There is a reason that businesses seek out awards and certifications. Having experts vouch for your business promotes trust and credibility with customers.

Customers like to know that a business is trustworthy and has a good reputation. Having a well-recognized certification is one of many ways that a business can build trust with customers.

Customer reviews and testimonials can also go a long way to building customer trust and credibility. For a small business that might have limited resources for seeking out awards and certifications, reviews and testimonials are a good place to start.

5. Don’t forget to share your news.

When you win an award or certification, no matter how big or small, make sure you get the word out. From updating signage and collateral to getting the word out to your local press, when your business receives recognition, make sure you spread the word.

If there’s a local event attached to your award, attend if you can. Share the news with your followers on social media. Anything you can do to promote your achievement will help bring visibility to your business.

When you earn an award, you have every reason to be proud ─ make sure you capitalize on the opportunity while it’s fresh.

Find awards that are relevant to your business.

Interested in throwing your hat in the ring for an award or certification? Start nearby in your town or region and keep an eye out for announcements from the following types of organizations.

  • “Best of” lists
  • Local magazines and newspapers
  • Chamber of Commerce or other business association
  • Trade and industry publications

If you feel like going bigger, the SBA, SCORE, and The Stevies recognize small businesses on a national level. Applications range from basic information to video submissions.

Thank you and congratulations to our Swift Capital team members for their recent achievement. We are very proud of our team who dedicates their time to helping our customers grow their business.

*J.D. Power 2016 Certified Contact Center Program℠ recognition is based on successful completion of an audit and exceeding a customer satisfaction benchmark through a survey of recent servicing interactions. For more information, visit www.jdpower.com/ccc.

Our mission at Swift Capital is to unleash the potential of every small business by providing them with fair and convenient access to working capital. We harness data and technology alongside personalized human expertise to see the true potential in every business. Did you like this post? Tell us what you’d like to see on our blog. Email us at [email protected]

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