If you’re a business owner or responsible for the larger strategy at a company then two things probably come to mind when you think of “customer service”. There’s the business side of you that imagines KPI’s, customer satisfaction and success agents, resolutions, and any other number of things that intersect between your business and your customers. Then there’s the day-to-day side of you that can immediately conjure up the most recent experience you had with customer service at a business you interacted with. Was that experience good? Was it bad? In the span of a single interaction (or missed interaction) you could’ve gone from curious customer to never-again customer.
That’s why we are here: To talk about customer service, how it impacts your business, and how the most successful companies are putting it all together.
Overview: What Is Customer Service?
Customer service is every interaction you have with potential, current, and former customers. It is the desire to make the customer’s experience as easy and enjoyable as possible. Businesses today have big shoes to fill — in some way or another, businesses interact with their customers 24/7. Buyers also have unlimited options and short attention spans. If the answer they seek is not immediately available, they will go back to Google to continue their personal quest to buy.
Average time someone spends on a website is 10-20 seconds (Chartbeat)
In short, quality customer service is one of the key factors generating revenue in today’s competitive landscape.
Why is Customer Service Essential for the Success of Your Business?
In a highly competitive market (AKA red ocean market), there are hundreds of similar products or services that a customer can choose from. Yes, every business has their own “differentiator” but is it that different?
Will the customer take the time to find your differentiator?
Some will, some won’t. Let’s take utilities like your gas company or telephone provider, for example. At the end of the day the product or service each company provides is virtually the same – meaning the customer is less likely to invest the time to find the unique selling features of one company to the next.
When is it time to reevaluate your customer service strategy?
Customer service trends throughout 2019-2021 demonstrate that flexibility and ease are paramount to customer satisfaction. If you’re not using the most popular tools your customers expect it might be time to take a look at your customer service strategy.
Multiple Customer Service Channels: Life is About Choice
Nearly every trend report for 2020-2021 shows that the more customer service channels a business offers, the more likely they are a top performer. Top performing companies invest in giving their customers absolute freedom for how to engage.
Proactive Customer Service: Start the Conversation First
Businesses are realizing more and more that people make up their minds quickly. If a potential customer is not immediately engaged by your website or fails to find the answer they’re looking for, they will leave.
Traditionally, marketing would be responsible for attracting and engaging visitors. Nowadays, marketing, sales, and customer service all perform better when they work together. By reaching out to your customer as soon as they visit your site, you can make sure they find what they are looking for as soon as possible. The quicker the resolution, the better. Missed interactions are missed opportunities with your most engaged customers.
Long Wait Times: Why Make Customers Wait?
A disgruntled or dissatisfied customer is bad for business. Why make it worse with long wait times?
Every company is different. Some may rely on email, text message, in-person, or automated responses — the key factor is to use the right channels for your customers to minimize wait times as much as possible.
A long wait time turns an excited purchase into a bad experience.
Data: Actionable Insights = Improvement
How can you know what to improve if you don’t know what’s happening?
The best businesses leverage their resources to find actionable insights. If we focus on the right data, we can make sure the improvements we’ve implemented are having a real, positive impact on our businesses. To generate actionable insights, we first have to have the capability to track what’s actually happening — and where we can improve.
Competition: Everyone’s Focused on Customer Service
To remain competitive we have to keep a watchful eye on what the competition is doing. At the very least we should take the time to evaluate the impact of what they’re doing and honestly consider the potential within the context of your business – it gives smaller businesses a leg up against the large organizations. They spend the money and time to research, you get to benefit without the investment.
How To Get More Information
If you’ve gotten to this section and you’re thinking “maybe I do have a gap in my customer service” then get in touch or send us an email directly firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to hear about what’s happening at your company, talk through any questions you have about customer service models, and figure out how we can advise a path forward to achieve your goals.