Customer service is an essential aspect of modern business. It relates to the way an organisation supports its customers – before, during and after they buy and use the products or services on offer. The ultimate aim is to ensure strong relationships with customers are created and maintained by making sure expectations are met and satisfaction levels are as high as possible.
In this day and age, customer service cannot be ignored. According to a study carried out by Microsoft, 96% of customers think that customer service plays an important role in their choice of loyalty to a brand, while it is believed that 89% of consumers are more likely to deal with a business again in the future following a positive customer service experience, according to a recent report published by Salesforce Research.
But what is involved in delivering high quality customer services, who should be involved, and what solutions are available to ensure your business’ customer service processes are as effective as possible? Keep reading to find answers to all of these questions and more.
If customer service is all about addressing the concerns and needs of your customers to ensure expectations are met, the term ‘customer service delivery’ refers to the methods, strategies and procedures a business puts in place to make sure this happens successfully. Below we explore a number of major areas that need to be focused on in order to master customer service delivery.
As we touched upon above, providing exceptional levels of customer service is a great way for a business to set itself apart from their competitors and gain a competitive edge, retaining more existing customers and attracting more new ones in the process. The process traditionally involves communicating directly with customers to answer their questions, resolving any issues they may be experiencing with a business’ product or service, and to deal with or escalate any complaints. Customer service delivery may also involve logging these communications for future reference, and analysing them to find ways to improve the way your business interacts with its customers.
Three key areas involved in customer service delivery are:
Communication, communication, communication
In the world of customer service, there is no such thing as too much communication. Customers like to be kept in the loop, so whether you are simply answering a customer’s question, sourcing a replacement product following a return or escalating a complaint following customer correspondence, keeping in regular contact with the customer in question as the situation is being resolved can make a huge difference and should be a key part of your process. Customers feel more comfortable when they know what’s going on, so regular updates via phone, email or post could be the difference between a customer choosing to do business with you again in the future or not.
Solving customer problems is nine tenths of the law when it comes to customer services. For this reason, the most successful businesses are the ones which see these problems as genuine opportunities to better their reputation, as well as their services and products, rather than simply appeasing an unsatisfied customer and moving on. This involves coming up with creative solutions to customer problems that make customers feel cared about and valued rather than simply a ticket number waiting for a meaningless or purely symbolic gesture.
Smart automated processes and systems
Business is becoming increasingly digitised, and the world of customer services is no exception to this. In this vein, aspects of customer service processes that were traditionally time-consuming and expensive are becoming more and more automated. While the positives of a human touch may outweigh the savings in terms of time and money that can be made in certain areas, many customer service tasks are now automated without any drop in the quality of services on offer.
For example, customer service delivery templates can be integrated into existing customer service processes that automatically record, log and track enquiries, before pooling relevant data into a central database for HR and IT staff to access at a later date. Similarly, digitised ticketing systems can be implemented to resolve or escalate customer service issues, reducing the amount of admin and manual data collection tasks for team members, allowing them to instead concentrate on other aspects of their roles.
Although customer service delivery is typically completed by a specific team or department within a business – made up of customer service representatives, care agents and other employees whose primary responsibility is to deal with customer issues and complaints – the truth is, every employee should be involved in customer service delivery.
This is because, in today’s customer-focused business environment, providing exceptional customer service should be ingrained into a business’ culture. This culture should come from the very top of the business, starting with the CEO and directors, and working its way down until all employees are on the same page when it comes to delivering the highest level of customer service possible. The process of creating this customer-conscious culture, and thus helping to ensure high standards of customer service, can be aided by the use of smart customer service software that all employees have access to.
Intelastel helps businesses to improve customer experience and accelerate staff efficiency with smart customer service software. From automated enquiry recording, logging and tracking to a digitised ticketing system to resolve or escalate issues, our solutions are designed to streamline operations and save costs, while also improving customer experience.
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