How do the most successful businesses serve their customers?
The sudden spurt of social media and mobile devices have changed the dynamics of customer service. And the unprecedented rise of cloud and smart technologies have accelerated things further. Any customer today, expects service on every channel, whenever and wherever they are. Businesses who are successful in fulfilling this expectation are ruling the roost. For instance, if you run a survey across all spheres and drill down the results, you will find that the most successful businesses share one thing in common – world-class customer service. Period.
But how they do it?
1. Consistent customer engagement on every channel
While most businesses have dedicated call centers, there are a few handful ones that have gone beyond the call center concept. Apart from having a bunch of professionals on the phone, these businesses have incorporated other channels and delivered personalized customer service. On the surface these businesses sell products/services like a thousand others but it's their personalized customer service on all channels which stands as the number one competitive advantage.
Customers prefer these businesses because they expect to receive service from them on the channel of their choice. Not just this, they also know there will be complete consistency in the service experience as they move back and forth between channels.
For instance, if the customer starts a live chat on the web site and then decides to contact the call center - he is sure that the call center agent will identify him and know about the discussion happened with the chat agent.
This consistency is the result of robust customer engagement platforms that these businesses confess to use. No matter how many channels the customer uses while interacting, the customer-facing agents have visibility into all the interactions. Unlike the past where businesses were compelled to ask customers to repeat information every time they switched to a new channel, the customer-facing agents are now aware of all the interaction history.
Customer engagement platforms equip the customer-facing agents to know complete context about customers as they move across channels. Needless to say, this fosters to deliver a frictionless and consistent customer experience across channels. Customers get response at minimal effort and shortest time that increase their loyalty and overall satisfaction with the business.
2. 360 degree view of the customers
In the lieu to improve customer relationships, most businesses have invested on department-specific customer management applications. This has trapped these businesses into a siloed landscape.
For instance, there is no single common view of the customers. Every department has a different customer view and interaction history. And this has adversely affected the customer service management.
Resolving any customer query requires customer-facing agents to access multiple systems, get an idea of the interactions happened at different touchpoints of the journey, join the dots together, understand the present context and finally resolve the problem. This is tremendously time-consuming and often results into inconsistent customer service experience because of data discrepancy across multiple databases.
To obtain a single source of truth about customers, top shot businesses have removed the siloed landscape and invested in a comprehensive customer engagement
platform. As evident from the name, this platform pulls customer interactions from all channels and orchestrates them in a single repository.
The biggest payoff - Customer-facing agents just have to look into one centralized platform to access customer history and insights. Be it sales, marketing or customer service agents – all are empowered with the same information. They are able to engage with the customers on all levels in an effortless and quick manner and deliver consistent and contextual service that helps build deeper customer relationships and drive higher satisfaction, loyalty, and revenue.
3. Out-and-out employee support
A change in customer approach does not always find takers initially. This is the reason that many businesses grapple to realize ROI out of their customer service program and customer service software. To ensure that the new customer service approach gains 100% user adoption, customer service leaders have strategized on winning the full support of their customer-facing agents. They have pumped up their staff right from the beginning, with questions like -
How many would want to spend maximum time of the day, hearing and resolving customer complaints?
Surely, not even one have raised the hand up and this has been the perfect pitch for the businesses to introduce their new stance in customer service. Instead of bombarding their staff with omnichannel customer service strategies, they have taken the effort to explain the trend of consistent and contextual customer service and how important it is to the organization.
Some businesses have prepared fancy reward schemes and regularly gift employees with bonuses/perks who go above and beyond to exceed customers’ expectations. This has got the whole team excited and has created a great culture of customer service.
4. In-depth understanding of the customer experience
Businesses ruling as customer service leaders in the industry have excelled because unlike others, they have not framed their customer service strategies on mere assumptions. Instead they have embraced an analytical approach. They have rigorously worked with their team and still continue to do so on timely intervals. These sessions are intended to evaluate the customer’s experience as they move across marketing, sales and service. Doing this helps these businesses to identify opportunities/loopholes at each touchpoint and create systems to provide a flawless experience throughout the customer journey.
For instance, if a few of these companies have introduced mobile self-service option – it is due to the fact that customer experience analytics have been monitored around the clock and it is been observed that customers demand support through mobile application.
So to sum it up, all the steps taken up by these businesses for a smoother customer experience have not been done in haste but are supported by appealing facts and insights. And this is precisely what has kept these businesses way ahead in the game!
All the best performing businesses have risen from the dust. None claim of a perfect customer service, right from day one. What does this mean?
You too can add your name in the list, provided you take all the required actions. And now that you know what the necessary steps are – do not delay any further and act now.
Invest in a robust customer engagement platform, pump up your employees and regularly analyze your customers' journey. In no days time you will find yourself build an environment that stimulates frictionless customer service experience spanning all channels.
Patricia is a full-time CRM consultant at ConvergeHub and part-time blogger. She has earned herself quite a fame as a specialist and a market expert in small business CRM software platforms. In the last five years, she has worked with various entrepreneurs to help them move their businesses to cloud. Her expertise lies in offering cloud based...