In this digital age, your customers are accustomed to increasingly diverse options to interact with you and provide feedback. According to Forrester’s 2012 Customer Experience Index, over two thirds of the brands surveyed scored between “ok” and “very poor” in customer experience. In this recovering economy, when you are forced to streamline your operations and reduce costs on most fronts, how do you keep up with these increasing levels of service expectations?
Consolidate your customer service systems and processes
Like most companies, you probably have multiple systems to manage your customer service processes. Often, these systems are based on different technologies and remain in silos. If you haven’t done it already, invest in a CRM system that would combine all these systems together.
Review your existing customer service process and find out the weak links. Where are the bottlenecks? Are your customers dropping off at a certain point in your process? Which steps in the process are taking the most time and manual interventions? Use your CRM system to streamline and implement an efficient customer service process that is followed by all your of departments.
Utilize multiple customer service channels
Today’s customers expect a fast response and expect it from multiple service channels. Effective service channels include customer portals, mobile apps, knowledge bases, interactive FAQs, social media, web chat, and email. Social and mobile channels are increasingly becoming the preferred channel of choice for customers to interact with businesses.
A flexible set of access methods helps your customers find information based on their preference. In a successful customer centric strategy, different service channels work seamlessly with each other and yet provide quality and relevant information that can be easily accessed.
Provide a self-service experience
It usually takes more time, money, and hard work to get new customers, and it’s important to hold on to the customers you already have. An easy-to-use, 24×7 self-service portal will offer convenience, timely and relevant information, and overall a better experience for your customers. Customers can view what they need at their own pace including order history, tickets, payments, answers to questions, etc.
Use analytics to measure customer loyalty and behavior and gather feedback from integrated surveys. A self-service solution can increase your transparency and maintain your customer’s trust.
Empower all your departments
Make sure all of your departments see the same customer information and history. For example, if your customer calls your support number to ask about an open order, do not transfer the line to your billing department. Make sure all customer information – address, contacts, notes, emails, support tickets, quotes, purchase orders, and invoices are available in one place for easy reference.
Use an up-to-date knowledge base to provide your support staff easy access to answers, which are consistent for everyone.
Allow easy escalations within your company
Provide a clear line of escalation within your service departments that goes all the way to a senior executive. Make the escalation path and contact information readily available to your customers.
Set up automatic escalations and red flags in your CRM system. For example, set up an escalation to automatically notify your support manager if a critical issue remains unresolved over a certain amount of time.
Make it easy for customers to provide feedback
Make it easy for your customers to provide feedback. Invest in a Voice of Customer (VoC) program and make rating and feedback collection a part of all your support channels. Setup a closed loop feedback process that ensures that every feedback receives your attention.