No company can afford dissatisfied customers. Today, a good product is no longer enough to retain customers. Above all, efficient customer service through all points in the customer lifecycle is at least as important as whatever product or service you sell.
Components of the customer experience
Customer experience matters, because a customer who has once had a positive experience is likely to become a repeat customer, make referrals and even evangelize on your behalf. But, the customer’s experience is based on more than simply polite sales people and friendly support teams.
Maintaining a successful customer experience takes a combination of the right conversations, systems, workflows and processes. These should be flexible so that they can adapt and change over time to meet all the customer’s future challenges. When these components come together in the right way, customer service improves.
So, how can companies improve customer service?
To improve customer service, companies should work on the following:
Use multiple communication channels. Classic communication channels, such as telephone, email or contact forms are no longer sufficient today. Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels should also be taken into account in order to get or stay in touch with one’s customers. A customer portal should be created so answers are at a customer’s fingertips when needed.
Encourage knowledge sharing. Knowledge sharing offers two benefits. First, it aids employee collaboration and productivity. People can share policies, troubleshooting tips, use cases – any type of information that might benefit the customer in the long-run. As an added benefit, when knowledge is made publicly available, customers have a way to help themselves, thereby getting their problem solved more quickly
Intervene early. Based on the analysis of important KPIs, such as customer satisfaction or first response time, supervisors should use available reporting tools to ensure that service quality is continuously optimized. This helps them to identify things like coverage issues, areas where additional skill building is needed, or customers that are at risk of leaving. Effective reporting gives managers the chance to act proactively.
Automate whenever possible. Why have an agent waste time typing out the same support message for the hundredth time in a day? Use templates instead. Don’t get held up waiting on approvals; instead, establish rules and let your tools guide agents through the process. Examine the tasks your agents must do and find ways to speed these up through automation.
Implement a Customer Service Solution
This is all possible when service teams use service management software. This is software in which efficient communication, clear structures and automated processes work together to streamline overall service delivery. Efficiency, time and cost savings are gained.
What counts are efficient communication, clear structures and optimized processes.
This has become even more important recently as many of us are now working in decentralized service teams. In such cases, it is crucial that communication have structure; transparency be available; knowledge be shared quickly; and processes automated. This ensures that customer needs didn’t fall through the gap when it’s difficult to speak directly with teammates.
A service management solution, such as OTRS, supports companies in handling the concerns of internal and external customers optimally and efficiently.
- Service management tools enables the automation of tickets and workflows within any area of the company that provides service.
- Templates, assignments, and complete histories help avoid errors and allow agents to complete tasks quickly. Fast access to information ensures efficiency, prompt reactions and adapted measures.
- Integrated process templates are available for standardized and frequently recurring workflows. But, individual processes can also be easily created.
It’s the Know-How That Makes It a Solution
Of course, like in your own business, it’s knowledge and experience that transform a product into a full solution. These help customers maximize their investment in a number of ways, such as:
- Providing support to ensure that the product continues to work for the customer,
- Offering quality documentation that allows customers to gain greater personal expertise,
- Consulting with customers to help them expand product usage into new areas or ways of working,
- Establishing feedback channels to ensure future-oriented needs are captured and considered, and
- Making the customer comfortable with using the product – through training, webinars, videos, or documents.
So, if you’re looking for ways to improve customer service for your business, think beyond the call center to find other areas of your business that can be leveraged to create a full solution for your customers. It’s the approach we use at OTRS Group, and our customers appreciate it.
Create the right conditions for first-class customer service, and your customers will have no reason to go elsewhere.