3 areas of Customer Service that should always be considered when striving to be the best.
Posted on Monday, April 3, 2017 by Kathryn Emerson — No comments
Eurobase prides itself on being an organisation that provides a reliable, mindful and personal approach to business. This includes our products and services alike.
As we joined the Customer Happiness Tour with Freshdesk in June at Chelsea FC, it was clear to see that simply providing a satisfying customer experience is no longer enough. Organisations need to be thinking outside of the box and stretching their expectations to create the ‘Wow!’ customer service experience which can be a real differentiator in today’s marketplace.
Ask yourself – does your organisation provide a ‘satisfying’ customer experience? And are you happy with that?
Striving to give more as an organisation should come from the things that you probably already know. From time to time these things can get forgotten, pushed to one side or not seen as a priority as long as the service that you are providing isn’t a bad one.
This event brought to the forefront of our minds three key areas to consider to ensure that you are providing a ‘Wow!’ customer service experience and how you can continue to do so.
1 – Listen to the customer. I know, this seems like a simple and obvious place to start but knowing what your customers need is essential. Customer feedback is vital for business development, product roadmaps and ensuring that your customers are seeing the developments that they have suggested. Without this feedback, product development is limited to what you think customers need and could see your products not meeting the requirements of your customers and falling behind the competition.
Great customer service is not a ‘one size fits all’ activity. Nowadays, people use a wide mix of communication methods in the course of a normal day. Providing your customers with omni-channel support so they can give you their feedback whenever and wherever is just as important as acting on what it is that they tell you. Providing a variety of platforms which allow your customers to contact you at their convenience will encourage greater engagement, but you need to ensure those sources are integrated so you can keep your processes efficient, effective and secure.
2 – You can’t force good customer service. You need an empowered customer service workforce. By employing the right people, giving them a sense of value and the right tools, your ‘wow’ customer service can come from the heart. Hire good people. Let them do their jobs. Expect and tolerate mistakes. Recognise, reward and encourage those behaviours which bring out the right customer service outcomes for your organisation. Aim to anticipate your customers’ needs, but never tell them what they are thinking. Be honest. Be passionate. Be ambitious. Be caring. Be dependable. Invest in your people because they make the difference. The CW EDC Team posted a great piece on LinkedIn last year that relates directly to this “CFO to CEO: What if we invest in people and they leave? CEO replies to CFO: What if we don’t and they stay?”. Happy staff = Happy customers.
3 – Make things as easy as possible. Ensuring that customers can access the support team with ease is part of customer service as a whole. Ownership and control of the information being provided needs to be part of your customer service ethos. Automation is great in a controlled context and support and escalation processes are key to supporting your customers in the right way. Treat an SLA as a minimum requirement and aim to exceed it, with effective support and escalation processes in place to ensure issues are addressed. Consideration of hierarchical support needs is very valuable: initial automated response, to ensure your customer knows they have been listened to; appropriate agent reviews, for personalised case by case responses and 1st, 2nd and 3rdline escalations, for when a query cannot be handled in a straight forward manner. Following on from this, customer satisfaction surveys and metrics both provide a great resource to ensure that you can continue to provide great customer service (or improve it if it is falling behind a little). Providing a community forum or user group enables your organisation to benefit from your clients’ discussions. Creating easy access allows your customers to freely share their experiences and needs of your product and you get to use your customers’ expert opinions to influence the development of your product roadmaps. Customers will often buy into a company that make them part of the product development process. It gives them comfort that they’ll get what they want or need from a partnership and not just being treated as a customer!
Quite often, the standard of your customer support is a key differentiator between you and your competitors and can influence whether or not you win the deal. Be the organisation that provides the product AND the great customer experience. In this day and age, where technology is so prominent and expectations are high, be ahead of the game. Allow your customers to share their views, good or bad, and provide you with feedback. Employ empathetic, patient, truthful and engaging staff and encourage and reward them for doing the right thing. And by default you should be able to provide ‘wow’ customer experience which your customers will remember.