Customer service improves customer retention and boosts your bottom line. Here’s how to win the customer service game:
Customer experience is surpassing price and product selection as the key brand differentiator that drives consumers’ purchasing decisions. In fact, 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better shopping experience.
In addition, an excellent customer experience is the key to retaining existing customers, increasing customer lifetime value (CLV), and boosting average order value (AOV) — all of which will help you lower cost and increase profit:
- Acquiring a new customer typically costs 6-7 times more than retaining an existing one.
- Loyal customers are likely to spend more on subsequent purchases than on their first orders.
- There’s a 60-70% chance that an existing customer will buy from you again while you only have a 5-20% chance in converting a new prospect.
Customer service is an integral part of an outstanding customer experience. A Gartner survey found that as many as 89% of the participating companies planned to compete on customer service alone.
We’d go as far as saying that any business is in the customer service business. Here’s what you can do to win big with the best customer care:
Get Everyone’s Involvement
By that, we mean every single person in your company.
Delivering outstanding customer services isn’t just the responsibility of the customer care department. Anybody who has a chance to interact with customers or provide support to those who do needs to be part of your customer service strategy:
- Buy-in from management: leadership needs to recognize the value of customer service and provide the necessary support — such as funding for software and training — for the effective implementation of customer care strategies.
- Support from all departments: your customer care team needs cooperation from other departments in order to provide prospects and customers with the assistance and information they need (e.g., technical product specs or shipping information.)
- Training for all employees: every employee should understand the value of high-quality customer care and receive basic training on how to deliver on-brand customer services.
Use Data To Improve Customer Service
Collecting and analyzing data from your customers’ interaction with your company is one of the best ways to understand their expectations.
We now have the ability to generate and capture a lot of data from different sources. Companies need to invest in technologies that’ll allow them to sift through and extract actionable insights from the information.
When you gather complaints and feedback, make sure to consider every aspect of the customer experience. Besides the actual products or services, you need to understand how workflows, processes, and logistics impact the customer experience.
Drill down to look for root causes and monitor trends to anticipate customer expectations. Share the insights with the entire company to build awareness on the importance of customer service.
Reduce Friction to Getting Customer Service
Frustrated customers aren’t happy customers — don’t make your customers jump through hoops to get assistance!
Make it easy for them to contact customer service through different channels such as email, web form, live chat, social media, or phone. Your customers should be able to find the contact information on your website quickly and easily.
Customer service doesn’t necessarily mean having to interact with an agent. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 85% of customer relationships will be managed without interaction with a human.
As consumers expect to get the information they need whenever and wherever they want it, self-service customer care will help improve customer satisfaction and gather more feedback while lowering cost.
For example, a searchable knowledge base or an FAQ section on your website helps customers get the answer they need 24/7. A robust eCommerce account management function allows them to adjust their profiles or orders whenever they want.
Deliver Omnichannel Customer Experiences
As you provide different ways for customers to get in touch with your brand, you also need to make sure that all the touchpoints are working together to deliver a seamless experience.
Customers should be able to expect the same level of interaction and responsiveness across all channels. In addition, they should be able to “pick up where they left off” if they switch channel in the middle of an interaction without having to repeat their questions or issues.
Managing a large number of customer service requests from multiple channels can be overwhelming for many companies. Here’s how to make sure that nothing falls through the crack:
- Set up systems to monitor all the channels through which you receive communication and “listen” for comments about your brand on those that you don’t use for customer interactions.
- Empower your customer service team to choose the most appropriate channels to respond to complaints and inquiries. Sometimes a communication may come in through a “low touch” channel (e.g., social media) but needs a “high touch” response (e.g., phone call.)
- Your customer service agents should select the best channel to address each customer query without losing critical information during the process.
- Use a centralized system to store all customer interaction histories. Establish a single customer view so everyone in the company can access the latest information on a customer in real-time.
- Leverage technologies, such as machine learning that allow you to not only centralize all the customer interactions but also route a large amount of traffic effectively to ensure that you’re allocating customer service resources most appropriately.
Profitable customer experience starts with great customer service
Delivering an outstanding customer experience is a combination of having the right team and leveraging state-of-the-art technologies.
Omnicus is a new generation of customer support technology that uses machine learning to allow you to not only access all the customer information and interactions in one unified interface but also route the inquiries to the most appropriate resources so you can resolve customers’ queries in the most efficient way possible.
This blog post was first published on the Omnicus blog.