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.
The role of customer service has changed dramatically. In the past, many businesses viewed it as simply a cost center. Today, companies see service as a critical element of engagement – one that helps them improve customer loyalty, boost brand value, and grow business.
To that end, many are focused on improving customer service in order to meet growing demand for more personalized, responsive service.
This is how two top brands are making their service shine – and seeing real business benefits.
Doing right by customers: Improving customer service
Eczacibasi Building Products, Turkey’s largest producer and exporter of ceramic goods, responded early to the growing focus on customer service. Customers were happy with its premium VitrA Bath products – like bathroom faucets, tubs, and cabinetry – and Eczacibasi realized its service needed to meet the same high standards as its products.
But first, the company needed to rethink its view of customer service.
“In the past, our customer service operations really operated in the shadows,” says Kivanc Incekli, customer experience manager for Eczacibasi. “But we realized that our customer experience (CX) activities need to match our customers’ brand perception. Now, customer satisfaction is the first priority in our organization. We are focusing on customer service quality rather than just the ROI or other financial KPI.”
The company deployed new cloud-based customer service solutions that make it easier to understand the customer. “Since implementation, we have had almost a 70% reduction in the time needed to collect customer reactions on social media,” says Gamze Senkal, IT manager.
With this insight, Eczacibasi can meet customer demand with greater agility.
For example, the company focused on breaking down organization silos in its service organization. Now, the service team is aligned with other parts of the organization, creating a 360-degree view of each customer and enabling agents to truly improve service and the overall customer experience.
“Our customers used to say ‘I had a good customer experience, but…’ We want the experience to be all positive—no buts. We want to be known for getting it right the first time,” Senkal says.
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Better customer service → loyalty
Eczacibasi also changed the way it measures success. Most organizations assume that fewer customer service tickets mean happier customers. Instead, Eczacibasi views a larger number of tickets as an opportunity to better understand what customers want, engage with them more effectively, and improve service.
“We see those tickets as a good thing,” says Incekli. “We want them to contact us with issues so we can learn and improve our offerings.”
Another top brand uses those customer contacts to build loyalty. “Our contact center has always been very operational and cost-focused,” says Andrew Cifranic, director of the consumer connected contact center at Moen Incorporated, one of the leading North American providers of faucets and related kitchen and bathroom products.
In the last two years, however, Moen began to unlock the connection between customer service and brand loyalty.
“One of the times people are happiest with a product is when they’ve had a problem and the company helps them fix it,” he says.
“As I tell our team, we have over 5,000 opportunities a day to change someone’s mind about our brand. We get them at a low point and leave them at a high point if we do our jobs well. The CX tools we have put in place allow us to do that.”
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Driving business value with sterling service
Moen improved customer service by deploying cloud-based customer service software that’s integrated with its marketing and commerce solutions, allowing users to see a full view each customer across the platform. Now, service agents can more easily and effectively interact with consumers – whether they’re answering technical questions, addressing purchase issues, or offering discounts to loyal customers.
As the perception of the contact center as a necessary evil fades, new business strategies are emerging.
At Moen, the consumer service team, which reported to the quality organization, is now part of the marketing organization.
The move required convincing senior leadership that the call center team could play a role in highlighting the value of the brand.
Today, the team is focused on a service-first mindset. And the 360-degree view provided by the new customer service technology allows agents to do more than ever.
“Agents can see which products customers have already purchased and registered, they know whether someone already called for support, and they can target to consumers based on previous purchases,” says Angie Radjen, senior IT manager for CX at Moen. “The enterprise we’re building around these cloud tools helps us provide a better experience for customers.”
“There’s absolutely a return on investment there,” says Cifranic. “It’s hard to tie the customer service interaction back to the exact improvement on lifetime value of the customer. But we know that we can monetize service by capturing the momentum generated from a good customer service interaction.”