Having great customer service places companies at a real competitive advantage. However, managers often fail to take advantage of ways to satisfy their customers. Find out how customer managers can stop missing opportunities to improve their service and update it according to best practices of today.
1) Inform your employees of the company's purpose
One aspect of management of customer service that is often forgotten is the importance of staff engagement. When you think of your own positive experiences with customer service, did the staff assisting you seem engaged? It's likely that the answer is yes.
A manager in a company should make a point of engaging staff and the first way to do this is creating a common purpose. A common purpose is a statement of what your company wants the customer to experience, according to a Harvard Business Review article written by representatives of Disney Institute, a customer service consulting group.
A lot of times, this statement has an emotional component. Consider REI's brand statement about the excitement and adventure of the outdoors. The appeal of REI is in many ways its mission to cater to customers who are passionate about nature. The emotional message behind a business is therefore more powerful than people realise. It tells employees why they're there and what the firm stands for. Creating this sense of purpose motivates employees and makes them feel more connected to the role they play in helping customers.
2) Get to know your specific customer base
Companies that fail to devise a business model with the customer in mind are immediately recognisable. McKinsey and Company gives the example of the US taxi companies that have plummeted since Uber and Lyft came on the scene and offered customers a superior service. Uber's founders were motivated to make things easier for the customer from the get-go. As a result of creating a customer-centric service, businesses like Uber have thrived.
How managers actually understand what will make things easier for customers has significantly changed with the rise of technology in the past ten years. Analytics is absolutely necessary these days. Organisations that put their analytics to good use enjoy greater customer loyalty and achieve revenue gains of five to 10 percent and reduce costs by 15 to 25 per cent within two to three years, according to McKinsey and Company.
However, analytics alone won't cut it. There are factors like a customer's emotional response to a service that should not be underestimated, the Disney Institute representatives write. Industry stereotypes are also useful. Of course, stereotypes can sometimes be misleading, but there are certain overarching customer bases that can be identified this way.
Be attune to your customers and what they want so that your service not only looks more appealing but also leads to greater customer satisfaction .
3) Be informed of general developments in customer expectations
In addition targeting your specific customer base, a manager should also be looking at trends and developments in customer expectations in general. One major development that can't be overlooked is the growing expectation that brands interact with customers using technology.
The speed of service that customers expect has perhaps been one of the most important changes due to technology. McKinsey and Company found that three quarters of interviewed customers expect immediate service within five minutes of making online contact. Technology has also made it so customers are more apt to go with a service that has positive feedback on social media.
Lastly, the digital age has brought about the ability to create more personalised services for customers, as well. With analytics, you can already have an idea of what a customer wants based on their purchasing history, for instance.
All of this goes to show that managers should use technology to their advantage but also keep the fact that their customers are humans with wants and needs in mind.
4) View the customer journey in its entirety
Another major faux-pas that customer service managers can make is focusing too much on individual interactions. In reality, customers don't remember good moments. A recent McKinsey survey for indicated health insurance customers are 73 percent more likely to be satisfied when journeys work well rather than when there were just highlight touch points.
Customers are 73 percent more likely to be satisfied when overall journeys work well.
Managers can start creating an overall excellent customer experience by writing down the whole target customer journey, Boston Consulting Group advises. A manager should constantly be evaluating the journey and fine-tuning it to eliminate any unnecessary interactions or hold-ups for the customer. Each step that the customer takes should be understood and a manager should be working towards functions that allow for seamless delivery. However, Boston Consulting Group found that 95% of companies fail to map out the customer journey and this negatively impacts their service delivery.
If a quality auditor fails to map out the entire process, they can miss crucial yet simple ways of improving their service. Boston Consulting Group gives the example of a landing page on a company website. A manager will want to identify a need of one of their customer segments and then create a landing page that informs the customer of how the company can satisfy that need. The objective here is for the customer to get to that landing page and be informed of how the service will help them in the least number of clicks as possible.
A customer service auditor must always keep in mind that, while great moments between a customer and a representative are important, at the end of they day, customers judge a service based on the overall experience.
Develop your customer service management skills
You can learn the best methods and techniques for improving a company's customer service from Line Management Institute of Training's Diploma of Quality Auditing. We also have a Certificate IV in Leadership and Management (Quality focused) that enables you to oversee and advance the customer service operations at a business.
Contact us today to get more information on these quality auditing courses that teach you how to make a real difference in your organisation's operations.
Published by: LMIT