How to link up customer service and CX

SimonJohnson
General Manager UKI
Freshworks
Blogger
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Customer experience (CX) is attracting a lot of attention from marketers. CX involves understanding how customers make decisions around products, how they look at your service, and how they want to be supported over time. So how should marketing and service teams collaborate around CX?

Marketers tend to focus on customer acquisition and how CX design can improve this. When something goes wrong, customer service desk teams have to step in and fix the problem. However, service desk goals are set without CX in mind.

Traditionally, many service desk teams have been run to deal with problems as efficiently as possible. The emphasis has been on throughput, processes and minimising the amount of time per each call, email or request. While these teams have implemented strong service programmes and met their objectives, the metrics that they are working towards are not necessarily synonymous with great customer experience.

This gap can affect CX planning at the very point where it should matter the most – when someone has a problem and needs help. An efficient but emotionally cold service interaction could harm a previously positive experience; worse, it could affect the wider brand perception if that experience goes badly or does not sync up with expectations.

So how can you improve your approach to CX and service? Here are three pointers:

1.  Understand what the service desk is measured on, and whether those goals are still relevant

For many companies, service desks are often treated as cost overheads that have to be cut back as much as possible. Alternatively, they may be based on outsourced services that have to meet a cost and service level agreement. While this may make financial sense for companies that solely target efficiency, it doesn’t put customer experience at the heart of your brand.

Look at how you measure success in CX and ensure that your service desk metrics match up. Rather than simply looking at the number of tickets dealt with, start measuring customer satisfaction (CSAT) on interactions instead. Tracking Net Promoter Scores for customers that have had issues is also a good way to compare CX and service.

2. See if you have brand advocates in your service desk team.

Your service desk probably contains people that know your brand better than you do, based on the conversations that they are having with customers every day. Collecting insights from them – whether it’s as simple as asking them for anecdotes, or using data on their ticket volumes and how they are categorised – can point out simple ways to improve CX further.

Not only can this provide evidence for new features or use cases for your products, it can also help you find people that are passionate about what you provide.

3. Look at the tools you use.

It’s an old adage that a poor workman blames his tools. However, providing the right tools in context can help turn a good service team into a great one. For CX, being able to track interactions with customers over time and over multiple channels should be viewed as essential. However, if teams are using multiple products to manage different channels, or not making the most of their existing toolsets, then it may be time to reconsider.

Marketers see CX as a way to create an advantage for their brands. Helping service teams concentrate on providing good support experiences is going to be ever more important as customers pick and choose who they deal with. By collaborating with the service desk, marketers can make a much bigger CX impact.

About SimonJohnson

Simon Johnson of ITSM SaaS provider Freshdesk

My role at Freshworks as General Manager UKI is to manage the company's operations, including strategy building, developing our own high impact sales and support teams, and managing our performance. 

Freshworks provides IT Service Management, Help Desk and Customer Relationship Management products. Currently, Freshworks helps over 120,000 companies worldwide deliver customer support and IT Service Management via email, phone, chat, web, social media and mobile apps.

Outside work, I take great pride in my kids and support Everton FC.

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