I often meet with clients who want to kill two birds with one stone; reduce customer service costs, whilst also increasing customer satisfaction. Many technology-centric CRM programs of the past did not share these aims. They attempted to design solutions inside-out from the company’s perspective, rather than from the customer’s perspective. In many cases these programs tried to control the customer; for example defining the channels that the organisation made available for customer service requests. In a drive to reduce customer service costs, expensive human interactions were blocked from the customer by customer service numbers hidden away on a little known web page, multi-level IVRs, voice self-service solutions, chat-bots and lists of online FAQs. In the main these solutions were designed to benefit the company, keeping customers away from call centre agents and therefore reducing costs but not necessarily improving customer satisfaction.
Service dominant logic aims to broaden the traditional goods-dominant logic, placing service provision rather than goods as the basis for economic exchange. With a service dominant mindset the customer is always a co-creator of value therefore we design from the customer’s perspective recognising that value is created through usage not at the point of transaction. With a service dominant mindset the tactics above are far more likely to be able to deliver the dual aims of reduced service costs and increased customer satisfaction.