What does the future of customer service look like?
Customer expectations are continuing to climb, making it increasingly challenging for businesses to set themselves apart from their competition. At the same time, markets are also becoming more crowded, so businesses can no longer differentiate their brand on price and product alone. Against this backdrop, customer experience has become the most vital brand differentiator.
Customer service teams are relied on to represent the absolute best of a brand, so for this reason they play an important role in delivering the experiences that customers expect. But to meet this objective, they first need to have:
- a clear understanding of customer behaviour and preferences
- the right technology for collecting and disseminating this information
- an organisational culture that is willing to reimagine the way that service is delivered
When these three components are combined, leading brands use their customer service to convert their customers into brand ambassadors. The value of these brands skyrockets as their structural efforts are bolstered by the organic effects of engaged and excited customers.
It comes as no surprise that Microsoft’s 2018 Global State of Customer Service report reveals that 95% of customers rate customer service as the most important factor in their choice of brands and ongoing brand loyalty. The flipside of this is also illustrated by the 61% of customers who have switched brands due to poor customer service.
So, how do we avoid needlessly losing our best customers, and how do we turn them into our broader marketing team as brand advocates? The answer lies in understanding how every channel and every interaction is equally important.
Customer service teams are the personification of your brand
As mentioned above, your customer service teams are expected to be the very best of your brand. Many customers may not ever need to interact with these vital personnel, but when they do, your customer service teams need to see every interaction as an opportunity to turn potentially negative experiences into the types of experiences that create long term brand champions.
Customers want you to remember them, and they hate to feel forgotten
We know that customers increasingly favour those brands that recognise them and their individual needs. They also expect to have a two-way conversation with brands so they can be sure that a brand is listening, and that the brand is taking what they say seriously. Customers also hate having to repeat their preferences or explain problems to customer service teams. Having a 360 degree view of all of your customer’s interactions, and making this instantly available to customer service teams is the optimal way to ensure that customers feel memorable and valued.
Customer expectations are the same across every channel
In today’s omnichannel world, customer service expectations are rising across every channel they use to interact with your business. Regardless of whether they’re in-store, online, or on a mobile app, they expect timely and high quality service from your brand. True alignment between every channel, and the application of smart tools such as video chat and AI-chatbots are enabling businesses to provide the required level of service and support, no matter which channel your customer chooses – every channel should be seen as equal in customer service terms.
Achieving all of the above requires your customer facing channels to be truly integrated on a nex-generation CRM platform. Legacy CRM and outdated technology is the first barrier your business should be looking to get rid of if you want to be a market-leading brand. Once you’ve digitally transformed your customer service environment, you can follow through with the knowledge sharing and customer-centric culture that will set your business apart.
About the author:
As the CEO and Chief Architect at Adita Technologies, my team and I work to understand our clients’ critical business processes and strategy so that we can develop a digital transformation roadmap towards implementing intelligent ERP, CRM and Marketing Automation within their business. If you’d like to discuss how your business can take the next big step in your digital transformation in order to discover a new competitive advantage, please feel free to get in touch with me via +61 405 981 679 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.