Customer Experience aka CX and Customer Service have enough of sobering stats to consider for business growth . Here are two of our favorites:
In 2017, more than 54 percent of the consumers in the USA had greater expectations for customer service compared to prior years; the expectation of the consumers jumped to 66 percent for consumers aged from 18 to 34 years old – Microsoft
It takes a minimum of 12 positive experiences to make up for just one unresolved negative experience – Ruby Newell-Legner
On a more optimistic note:
It was observed in a study done across 20 industries a modest boost in CX would help increase the revenue of a typical $1 dollar business, on average to $775 million over the next forthcoming three years – ROI of Customer Experience
Just a 5 percent boost in the retention of the customers can lead to a 25-100 percent increase in profits for your brand (whether it be through referrals, up-sells or repurchases) – The Loyalty Effect
Hence reading through these stats it is amply clear that customer expectations are high, and so the requirement for delivering quality customer service and product experiences leads to larger business growth.It takes a minimum of 12 positive experiences to make up for just one unresolved negative experience - Ruby Newell-Legner Click To Tweet
Now as problems will always occur and it is hard to avoid the inevitable, whereby consumers will reach out to customer service, nevertheless, while many business leaders believe that just quality service to the customers will suffice but in reality, it is not good enough to simply just answer phone calls or respond to emails and chats quickly.
Therefore in this article let us consider how your business can focus on making an impact in 2020, by resolving to deliver great CX and customer service by diving deeper and collaborating with teams outside the customer service department to address the underlying reasons for the problems that customers face with brands.
Working across departments
It has been observed times and again that it is common for departments to operate in their own silos, without connecting with others.
Now, while this is indeed truly unfortunate, the isolation of especially ‘customer service’ is detrimental for businesses.
This is because, beyond serving as a voice of the company and a friendly face, customer service in any organization brings additional value to the company. By acting as the ear and eyes into the customer base, customer service can offer extremely valuable insights and eye-openers into the problems that customers are experiencing.
For example, products arriving with unclear instruction manuals, broken or missing parts, billing issues and more- all in a day’s work.
The issue is that these problems all originate (an can also be resolved) outside of customer service. Therefore, to address them properly it requires help from another team, and this is the very reason why customer service must create and maintain strong connections with other departments within the organization where those real solutions can be resolved easily.
With solid working relationship along with a shared purpose to raise the bar on Customer Service and Customer Experience, customer service can work in tandem with other teams to do more than just simply provide a workaround, and can address the core problem to resolve their customer-facing issues.
Discovering the root cause
Even though it is necessary to satisfy the consumers of your offering(s) with a sensible resolution in a timely manner, however when brands limit their responses to just repeating one-time answers they most often miss the opportunity to deliver permanent solutions to their customers since the fundamental cause underlying the problem continues to exist.
For example, the issues faced by customer service which have been cited earlier mostly comes as a broken process that originates somewhere outside of customer service in the company.
Like issues with products are results of problems of the quality control team in engineering or manufacturing departments of an organization. Similarly, billing issues happens when finance makes a mistake.
Well, it is true that customer service can provide the necessary details as to how the problem impacts the customers or how widespread is the issue, however, they just cannot provide the change required to stop the issue from recurring for the affected customer as well all the future customers, since the real solution to the problem lies elsewhere, and customer service must, therefore, work with other teams to identify the root cause.
Hence, once the root cause has been located, customer service can continue to work with the appropriate team to develop a solution to the issue.
Now, problems can arrive in diverse orders of magnitude, and so customer service and the team in question in your organization must work collaboratively on the best solution and thereafter if the issue affects all the customers a business process change might be necessary since if cent percent of the customers are affected by a specific problem, it neither portray a quality image of the brand nor can service teams carry on servicing all customers with the same issue over a prolonged period of time.
However, if the issue is of a lower priority or only a small group of customers is affected with a lower CX impact, other opinions can be accommodated whereby it might be more lucrative to provide a workaround touching a not so large subset of your consumers rather than totally recall a product or service for its issues.
For example, if the involved customer segment is small, and you buy CRM as a business growth technology for streamlining your business process and workflow, alternatives like using a knowledge base for automated self-service can be utilized to deliver adequate solutions to problems that are smaller in magnitude.
Maintaining visibility and accountability
When the customer service team and any other team in your company agrees to a process change or a workaround, the team owing the solution to the issue goes to work, even though the customer service’s job does not end here, as with the other team working on the solution, customer service still is required to know when the solution will be ready and deliverable to the customers of your brand.
It is only immaculate workflow that can make this possible, and so part of any customer service platform like an all-in-one easy to use CRM solution not only provides full visibility but also total accountability and also a timeline from issue identification till solution delivery. So that once the required repair is ready the customer service team can notify presently affected customers. Hence being spared from taking supplementary calls, chat, and emails on the same issue.
Improving customer service and CX jointly
When customer service in any organization operates in a silo, the status quo is maintained and nothing improves at the end.
This implies that in such an environment, even though the service might be satisfactory, but more importantly the CX does not get any better.
World-class Customer Service and Customer Experience can only be catered as a team when the customer service connected to the length and breadth of the entire organization. Since by doing this customer service can triage the issues, work cooperatively with other teams in the company to raise the complains, identify the real cause, discuss and agree on a solution and thereafter use workflow to monitor the resolution through to its conclusion.
This is because by dealing with the root cause, not only the existing customers of any brand benefits from receiving a permanent fix but it also ensures that future customers are never bothered by the same problem which ultimately improves CX and even helps the customer service be nullifying the need to address the same issue once more in row.