More than pricing, and even the product itself, customer service is the biggest driver of customer loyalty. Discover all you need to know about customer service in this deep dive.
Whether you’re a global enterprise or a scrappy startup, how you handle customer service and support matters. A lot. Without satisfied, happy customers, your business can’t succeed.
But as your company grows, maintaining consistently excellent service experiences can get tricky. This is where customer service management helps.
Definition: What is customer service management?
Customer service management is how a company runs its customer service operation and enable consistently great service experiences that drive customer loyalty. It includes everything from training new service reps, to optimizing support processes, to measuring service success.
Great customer service experiences can boost sales by 20% or more, but bad ones send customers packing fast. According to PwC, 32% of consumers will stop doing business with a brand after just one bad experience.
Brands need to focus on quality and consistency when it comes to service.
The impact of good customer service on a business has grown in the wake of the pandemic. Improving service boosts customer loyalty and the bottom line.
Managing high-quality customer service
And that means:
- Fast response times
- Reliable, informative solutions
- Convenient, omnichannel availability (i.e. call center, chatbots, social media, and self-service)
- Friendly and personable interactions
The goal is to make the customer’s experience as smooth + painless as possible. You’ll quickly lose them if service falls short of expectations.
So how can you deliver the kind of service that keeps customers happy and loyal? Here are the fundamentals:
- Understand your customer
- Enable your service staff
- Implement dynamic customer service solutions
- Track performance and adapt as needed
An effective customer service management strategy provides a framework for each of these elements. It’s your guidebook for delivering outstanding customer service, whether you’re a team of two or 20,000.
Examples of customer service management: Tech transformation
Technology is constantly changing how business is done – and that includes customer service.
Following are just a few examples of how technology innovations have changed the customer service game:
- Helping organizations better understand their customers via data
- Empowering service agents with AI and machine learning
- Automating digital-first processes to deliver sterling service anytime, from anywhere
Use data to understand your customers
Customer data and CRM solutions have made it easier than ever to get to know your customers on an individual level. Businesses can use customer data from across the company to build rich customer profiles. This helps align your sales, service, and other customer-facing teams, which has a huge impact on your CX.
And the profiles, complete with past purchases and interactions, give service agents valuable context. It helps them get up-to-speed quickly, and personalize the experience for each individual customer. Customers get answers right away and aren’t frustrated having to explain their situation or problem to multiple agents.
Free up your reps with AI and machine leaning
A survey by Deloitte showed that 79% of contact center leaders plan to invest in greater AI capabilities by 2023. It’s no surprise – advances in AI and machine learning, such as natural language processing, enable fast, effective, and personalized service.
These innovations don’t replace your customer service agents – they help them.
For example, chatbots and voice menus quickly resolve simple issues, or direct customers to the right place. This helps minimize customers’ dreaded hold times, and frees your people up to handle more complex service requests.
Plus, AI solutions can spot notice trends and patterns that people don’t notice. You can use them to monitor your experience data and flag potential issues so you can get ahead of them.
Deliver quality service from anywhere, anytime
We live in a digital-first, remote world right now. Thankfully, cloud solutions and automated processes allow you to deliver great customer service 24/7, from anywhere. Automated emails, chatbots, and self-service solutions provide customers with helpful resources even during your off-hours.
More and more IoT connected devices can be monitored remotely, tracking real-time information (like usage and wear). This makes on-site service schedules more accurate, saving time, energy, and money.
How to combine the strengths of man and machine to deliver great customer service.
Good service is good business
When it comes to customer service, failing to plan is planning to fail. Customers expect a lot from their service interactions, and the success of your business is riding on your ability to deliver.
Dedicated customer service management helps you stay the course. By delivering consistent, high-quality service that drives loyalty, you can grow your business for years to come.