In plenty a company, customer service is the only tangible contact (or touchpoint) a customer has with a company. A lot of customers spend an awful lot of money (hundreds or even thousands of euros a year) with a company. On top of that, for a lot of companies, customer service is their (only) differentiator from competitors. That’s why customer service is so important; companies that listen to their customers, carefully study market trends and take customer service at heart, get out of their way to exceed customer expectations, drive repeat business and boost brand recommendations. These types of companies evolve from customer service to customer activation.
If your company would also like to evolve from a customer-servicing to a customer-activated company, I would like to share the following 10 tips on how to make the move successfully.
1. One size doesn’t fit all
Depending on the setting, you might have to choose between measuring your Customer Effort Score (more transactional) and Net Promoter Score (more relational). Though both CES and NPS as well as Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) have a distinct stated impact on increased spending and purchasing, you should choose wisely or combine.
2. In the heat of the moment
Customers interact on their customer journey with your company, your brand(s) or your product(s) via a diverse set of touchpoints. In order to enhance the customer experience, strengthen the customer relationships and stand out from competitors in the marketplace, an action management system based on critical incidences is essential. At InSites Consulting we have developed a fully automated closed feedback loop that can be integrated in your customer experience tracking.
3. Renovate your customer experience programs
Customer feedback needs to be collected at the right moment (in the heat of the moment), using the right measures (NPS, CES or CSAT), should contain at least one open comment and should last a maximum of five minutes.
Tweetaway: Renovate your #customerexperience programs insit.es/1CAFoUx by @dUSSE_ via @InSites #mrx #customerservice
4. Brand identification and consistency are key
Clients will evaluate you alongside a number of interactions. On each of these touchpoints, the service should be consistent with the corporate customer service level and should allow clients to identify with the brand at each single occasion.
5. Mobile! Mobile! Mobile!
Mobile is hot and will become the main channel through which customers will interact with your brand. Customer service should also be ready to communicate and follow up on these mobile customer experiences.
6. Customer reviews are king
The most influential element driving purchase decisions today is word of mouth, both online and offline. Not only would consumers pay more to receive a superior customer service, they would also base their purchase decisions on customer experiences of relevant peers.
7. Use the right channel
Service contact centers should evolve into customer relationship centers. Customers will still want to get in touch by phone, but expect a brand to be contactable by e-mail and social media. They expect companies to be available on each of these channels and expect a consistent customer service as well.
8. Smash your silos
Do not limit customer service to the customer service department: all departments should be able to offer a consistent customer service. This might require a cultural shift, but inspiring and empowering your employees on all levels is a minimum requirement.
9. The best service is still no service
Really? Well, not really, actually. The best service is self-service. The self-service industry is booming, so your clients must first of all be able to solve a problem themselves.
Tweetaway: The best #customerservice is #selfservice… insit.es/1CAFoUx by @dUSSE_ via @InSites #mrx #newmr
10. Every company needs a Chief Consumer Officer
If more than half of the above tips have been embedded in your company, then your company is on its way to becoming a customer-activated company. But if you want to fully move from customer service to customer activation, your company needs a Chief Consumer Officer who is responsible for the total relationship of your organization with its customers and who has his seat in the board of directors.
Should you like to hear more about how your organization can evolve from a customer-servicing to a customer-activating or -activated organization, or should you like to hear more about our trends in customer experience, feel free to reach out.
Myself and Eefje Battel (Senior Research Consultant at InSites Consulting) presented the above tips at VOKA’s Business Club International Customer Service. Our contribution was followed by an interactive debate between the different participants on their business experiences.