Customer service makes a difference. So much so, that most leaders believe the customer experience will make or break the business.
That begs the question: Is service at the heart of your business?
It should be, considering Walker researchers found that the customer experience will be what helps one brand stand out – and make customers buy from and stick with a company – within two years. The experience will be more important than price and product.
If the customer experience is at the forefront of business success, companies will want to center more people and resources around service.
“Delivering true service excellence often means not just giving an answer but taking action in a timely manner,” says Georg Glantschnig, GM at SAP Service Cloud /SAP Customer Experience. “Consumers expect the most logical solution in the quickest period of time, and they won’t forget the brands who make their lives easier and better.”
Make the commitment
Here are four ways to keep customers at the heart of the business, according to the experts at SAP:
- Understand the voice of your customers. Most companies get informal feedback and do formal surveys to capture the voice of the customer. That’s great, but more importantly, you want to understand what they say. Customer experience leaders want to gather customer data, put it in a reader-friendly format that everyone – and especially front-line service pros – can access so they can make decisions based on customers’ most current needs.
- Empower, train and motivate frontline service pros. While everyone in the organization should be at least somewhat customer-focused, the people who work with customers daily need to be excited and rewarded to do it. “We tend to remember extreme ends of the spectrum when engaging with brands – when things go particularly well or not,” says Glantschnig. “Resolving customer concerns quickly starts with training agents and utilizing technologies to advocate for the customer. In turn, customer advocacy generates customer loyalty.”
- Make sure all touch points are customer-centric. Ensure that all self-service options are easy to navigate and offer an easy way out to switch over to a service pro. Then “customer service representatives (can be) proactive, not reactive,” says Glantschnig. “Instead of just handling negative inquiries, representatives can provide positive value throughout the customer journey – such as offering a recommendation based on customers’ prior purchases and preferences.”
- Be present end-to-end. Always look for opportunities to make customers’ lives easier. If they ask one question, answer it and the potential next (which you can recognize from experience). If you see they’re due for maintenance soon, and they contact you for another issue, ask if they want to schedule (and save them from a future contact).