Today’s customers expect nothing less than perfection from businesses, especially when it comes to customer service. A report by American Express indicated 7 out of 10 consumers say they have spent more money to do business with a company that delivers great service.
Having a reliable and effective customer service strategy can help reduce customer churn, according to a study by Harvard Business Review, it is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep an existing one. Financially, it makes more sense to invest in good customer service to retain customers than having mediocre customer service with a high customer churn rate.
Your customer service strategy is an excellent opportunity to personalize services to be consistent with the rest of the customer journey. Hyper-personalisation is much needed and achievable using new AI and CX toolkits.
In order to have a successful customer support strategy you need to ensure that you take into account these three key goals:
- Be customer focused
- Be time-efficient
- Be cost-effective
Here are 6 Steps for developing an efficient Customer Service Strategy:
1. Have a Clear Customer Experience Vision
Customer service is an integral part of customer experience, so it is imperative to have a clear vision of your customer experience to begin. One way to define customer experience vision is by creating a set of statements that can function as a guide.
If businesses have a clear set of core values that prioritize customers, those same values can be implemented into the customer experience vision.
Developing a customer experience vision is the first step to changing the way your business provides services to its customers. A customer experience vision clarifies the aspirations you have for the service you provide and why they matter to your customers.
An important thing to remember is that embedding your vision into your customer service team’s culture is vital. There is no point in having a clear vision if you are not implementing it. It is one of the most important steps while building a great customer service strategy.
2. Ensure that Customer Delight is the end goal
Customer Delight is not just a part of your customer service strategy but should also be ingrained into the core values, every team needs to participate and actively work towards enhancing customer happiness.
A customer-centric mindset across the company helps customer service teams do better at their jobs. By having smooth and easy collaboration between departments and teams, you can achieve the end goal of customer happiness.
Take for example Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer, embeds their core values into their culture and their services. An example of one such core value of theirs is delivering “Wow” moments through their service.
Another benefit of a customer-centric approach is that you can avoid a lack of interdepartmental communication, it is key to make sure your whole organization is on the same page. Information can quickly be communicated from the customer service team and other teams.
3. Understand your customers base
To deliver great customer service, you first need to understand your customers’ needs, expectations, and experiences.
To gain all this knowledge, you need to ensure there are multiple ways for customers to send you feedback. It gives you a clear idea of what you are doing right and where you need to improve more.
The key differentiating factor between businesses that know their customers and businesses who don’t, is consumer intelligence. Investing in digital customer intelligence, social listening and VOC tools can prove to be extremely beneficial, they not only provide comprehensive reports on a brands customer base but can also be used to understand market trends.
A crucial step in planning your customer service strategy is to flesh out the different types of customers who deal with your customer service team. In order for your business to really understand customer needs and wants, you need to ensure that your agents are able to connect and empathize with the situations that your customers are facing.
4. Capture Customer Feedback to set Customer Service Goals
There are a few ways a business can go about this, you can collect reviews from online platforms and social media, or you can send customers surveys that can target specific topics. With custom surveys, you can break down issues to make the questions as specific or generic as you need.
Another way to go about capturing customer feedback is by analysing the existing customer reviews online to derive issues that can be targeted with surveys. But it’s not enough to just collect all that data, it is of no use if you do not close loop feedback to implement changes – tactical and strategic.
According to a report by Microsoft , 53% of shoppers believe their feedback doesn’t go to anyone who can actually act on it.
Goals that can be set using customer feedback can be quite simple, reducing wait time, or reducing the average time it takes to resolve a problem. It could even be to expand the channels your brand is present on, to become more accessible.
5. Take Data-Driven Decisions
Rely on metrics and data from reports to develop effective solutions that will help drive results. Just like in any other field, customer service also relies on data. By relying on data you can expect to perform better financially, according to a report by Harvard Business Review, many business executives are enhancing their skills to help them integrate analytical tools as a part of their business decision-making practices.
The requirement for timely and effective decisions is eminent, that’s why relying on data is incredibly useful. If you have cold hard facts while making crucial decisions for your customer service strategy you can save time and money. This way you also reduce the room for error considerably.
Digital Insights will help businesses optimize the channel to the best of its capacity. Social Listening tools, VOC, and e-commerce analytics can help businesses collect the relevant data they require, including keeping track of what their competitors are doing.
6. Build a comprehensive Customer Service Playbook
According to a study by Salesforce, if the company’s customer service is excellent, 78% of consumers will continue to do business after a perceived mistake by the company.
Avoiding customer service issues is impossible, but equipping and empowering agents with the required information and tools can help make the process a lot more efficient and enjoyable for the customers.
Building a playbook has significant benefits, your agent has all the information they need at their fingertips, thus reducing the time spent on finding the right solution. This allows your team to increase productivity and in some cases even reduce the average time taken to resolve customer complaints.
We all know how frustrating it can be to have to repeat your issue to several agents before getting a resolution, a playbook can help you avoid this situation from rising. All your agents will be equipped with the same information, thus solving issues without transferring a customer to several different departments or agents.
As customer expectations keep rising, it is important to re-evaluate your customer service strategy frequently. Especially considering the fact that 95% of customers tell others about a bad experience and 87% share good experiences.
A Customer service strategy is unique to every organization, so it’s important to take the time needed to understand what your customers expect and what you want to achieve from your customer service.