Rethinking the Value of Customer Service
For so long, marketing and sales were considered the driving wheels for company growth since they generate leads and close deals. Seeing how far customers could be pushed before they’d cancel a service or move to a competitor was often acceptable.
But with 3 out of 4 customer experience (CX) leaders pointing to a positive correlation between customer satisfaction and business objectives, customer service is now one of the most important indicators of profitability and success—one that requires input from all frontline employees. Your clients don’t see departments and teams, they see your brand, and they expect a great experience at every interaction they have with you.
Customer Effort Score (CES)
What defines an experience as “bad” is not the experience itself but your attitude toward this experience. If a customer registers a complaint, it’s not the end of the world. Usually, the more problems are solved by customer service, the more likely it is for customer engagement to increase.
Customer Effort Score (CES) is a metric that measures how much effort a customer must put in to get an issue resolved, a request fulfilled, or a question answered. It is considered a bigger predictor of loyalty than other approaches focused primarily on surprising and delighting customers. Measuring CES can give companies tremendous insight into how to improve service and keep customer churn rates low.
Technology Unites Experiences
Customer service technology plays an equally critical role in the customer journey as sales software and marketing tools. The real connector is the human touch, so make sure you use new technology to make each experience feel more human without creating frustrations. People engage with apps, self-service checkouts, websites, but the second something goes wrong, they want to talk to someone.
We’ve compiled several essentials that every business needs to survive and thrive in today’s environment:
1. An Intuitive Agent Console
Service agents should be equipped with an intuitive, easy-to-use console that guides them to the next best action. Another essential feature is the ability to route cases to the right agent and automatically escalate inquiries based on service level agreements.
2. Robust Self-Service Tools
Self-service portals empower customers to find information quickly, without having to pick up the phone or wait for an email reply. The easier it is for customers to find relevant answers quickly, the more likely they will stick with a product or service.
3. Customer Service Analytics
Customer service analytics empower you to identify problem areas before they have a chance to become a trend and help support center managers see what’s going well and what needs to be addressed.
4. Customer Experience Intelligence
Customer support cases should not be addressed only in chronological order. AI-driven technologies, like SugarPredict, can determine your customers’ emotional tone and attitude, which empowers your employees to be more engaged when needed, provide better service, and get the support they need—as part of the seamless experience.
5. No-Touch Information Management
When an agent begins an online chat with a customer, that employee should immediately see satisfaction ratings, purchase details, and more. Pulling from this bank of data, the system should then surface the right insights within the context of current interactions.
Focusing on using technology and innovation to equip employees with the information they need to best serve consumers could help close the expectations vs. experience gap. Doing so could incentivize employees to provide a good experience, boost relevant training, and create an overall corporate culture of empowerment.
Stop thinking customer service is a cost center, and start seeing it as one of the most important indicators of profitability and success, which requires input from all frontline employees. The more consistent the experience, the better positioned the business will be to cultivate customers for life.
Investing in CX pays off with strong customer relationships, personalized digital solutions, and innovative products or services.
If you want to learn more on how you can cultivate customers for life in the era of experiences, we highly recommend these resources:
- Customer Service Essentials for CX Success – Customer experience (CX) is the lifeblood of organizational success, and it’s bringing customer service to the frontlines of battle. Download our whitepaper to learn how you can cultivate customers for life.
- Crafting the Winning Formula for Sales and Service – In this guide, we explore how building synergy between sales and service opens up the potential for exponentially better customer experiences.