“The purpose of business is to create and keep customers.”
—Peter Drucker, The Practice of Management (1954).
Businesses should function in service of customers, arranging products and operations around customer needs. That should be the core element of any business strategy.
Businesses should articulate their customer service vision.
All businesses communicate the vision and mission that drives their function and operations. A mature businesses articulates a customer service vision as part of its business strategy. This must be communicated to every member of the workforce and never compromised. It should be displayed strategically so it’s frequently seen by the workforce. After all, customers are the reason you are in business, and your business is the reason you have employees.
Why has CX gained importance now?
Earlier, businesses measured customer satisfaction, delight, or success based on direct interactions with customers. Today, technology measures every interaction customers have with a business. The data tells the customer experience story, as much as social media does, leaving businesses no choice but to put the customer at the heart of their operations. This accounts for the concerted effort to create better experiences for the customer.
Has the focus on CX impacted customer needs and expectations?
To start with, customers’ expectations are fluid and their perceived needs are changing by the minute. Customers expect better service. It is no longer good enough to be best in your class when your service delivery is being compared to the best in every other class. To keep pace you need to create a system to collect feedback at every stage of the customer journey. This is the only way to find out how customers feel about their experience with your business. Once you know how they feel, you can discover what they need and respond with the changes they need and expect.
Good customer service is the way to better CX.
Customer service teams are ideally placed to optimize change. You only need to empower them so they can be more involved with CX. Don’t restrict them to managing tickets, or measure their function in terms of throughput times and issue resolutions alone. Include them in your customer experience management efforts because they can add value. With the experience of listening to customers, understanding their issues, and offering solutions on a daily basis, they can empathize with them. Customer service teams know what steps to take to find resolution but often lack the authority to follow through. Remember it can be hard to dance when your feet are bound.
4 big things good customer service can do for you:
1. Optimize content.
Your customer service team knows your potential leads and active customers better than any other team. Right from the moment visitors to your website write in with queries, your customer service teams are at the forefront of CX. They then become the your customers’ point of interaction with the company from the minute they come on board. Sure your marketing and sales teams do swing into action and work their magic, but that’s just for a short time. Your customer service team knows your customer and buyer personas best, making them invaluable when it comes to optimizing contentand maximizing conversions.
2. Generate revenue
Customer service is not just a reactive process that kicks in when a customer has a query or an issue. It’s much more. With the information your support agents have about how customers use your product, they are ideally placed to assist, inform,and advise them on future purchases. This is why when it comes to managing customer retention, lifetime value, and referrals, your customer service team is really in control. This breaks the myth about customer service not being a revenue generating process of business.
Your customer service team is committed to one focus: your customers. By aligning with customers and understanding their needs, your customer service team can help customers prepare for and meet their commitments. This way support agents can help customers achieve success, meet targets, and reach milestones in their own business and with their customers. When the simple act of good customer service increases your cusotmers’ revenue, it compounds your brand value.
4. Reduce churn
Most sales and marketing teams become aware of customer churn when accounts or billing inform them that a customer has canceled and moved on. Meanwhile their customer service teams probably knew it was coming because they are the first to know how your customers feel. They sense impatience, frustrations, displeasure, and disappointment and can predict churn with candor that is hard for product development, marketing, and sales to digest. Pay attention to your customer service team when they say a customer’s relationship with your business is losing vitality. Sit down to learn from them how you can align your teams to prevent churn.
A decade ago businesses viewed customers very differently. They saw them as a means to a robust bottom line and little else. But all that has changed. There is a lot more than profits and turnover at stake, now that revenue and growth is so closely tied to the customer experience. This accounts for the changing perceptions about customer service, community management, and the degree of involvement it takes to build better CX.
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