Connected business benefits include happier customers and happier employees – that's the philosophy of intelligent customer service.
When a customer contacts you, you’re getting a rare chance to speak directly to the most important person in your business. It doesn’t have to be via a call center. Any interaction with a customer, from an in-store visit to live chat, offers the chance to perform customer service magic.
These channels aren’t separate entities. Customers buy online and collect at the store. In-store customers expect staff to understand a brand’s digital offers.
Customer service is at the heart of these experiences. It connects every part of the customer’s experience to the organization, from the in-store staff to the back office.
A unified system creates opportunities at every step in the customer journey and allows those opportunities to be realized. Some are transactional, some are experiential, but all can and should offer extra value to both the customer and the brand. After all, it’s meant to be a mutually beneficial relationship.
in service agent efficiency.
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A connected enterprise makes for in-store customer service magic
Let’s imagine a customer – we’ll call them Jane – goes to their favorite furniture store. They need a side table for a party they’re hosting this weekend, but are also in a browsing mood. When they enter the store, a complex, behind-the-scenes process is set in motion that will take Jane from a causal browser to a satisfied customer.
A store staffer Jeff greets Jane and asks if there’s anything they’re looking for. Jane has the store’s app and has enabled geolocation, so their profile is loaded onto Jeff’s device, who can see Jane recently bought their three-seater leather sofa and has been looking at side tables via the app. Recognizing Jane as a repeat customer, the system generates a one-off discount coupon.
That gives Jeff the opportunity to suggest a side table that goes with the sofa, with a personalized discount, which Jane loves and buys right away. Jeff orders the table from the warehouse with next-day delivery and sterling assembly service.
As this happens, a service case is created, allowing Jane to track the shipment and alerting Jeff when it arrives so he can follow up.
Jane is thrilled with the customer service: it’s quick, effortless, and results in a feeling of being personally cared for.
Based on a CRM system that provides a complete view of Jane’s relationship with the brand, the salesperson has provided the perfect customer experience.
Conjuring happiness from imperfection
It’s all going great, but when the warehouse picks up the table, it’s damaged – and it’s the last one. Looks like the customer service magic is gone, but the warehouse has back up.
The stock picker flags the issue, and because it’s the last table, it gets escalated to the manager, who orders another from the distributor. It will be a day late, so the system automatically notifies Jeff of the problem, and he uses Jane’s preferred method of communication (text) to contact them, and the table will still arrive before the weekend.
The retailer’s unified customer experience solution has created an opportunity to keep a happy customer happy.
They could have waited for the distributer to get more stock, which would have been less effort, but would have let down a loyal customer. Instead, Jane’s table turns up on time for the party.
Find out the top common customer service mistakes and how to avoid them to deliver top-notch service that drives loyalty + revenue.
When things go wrong, make things right
Imagine the table had been delayed by a week. The retailer has a marketing campaign planned to promote a new lamp from the same collection, but asking people to buy more things when they haven’t received their order isn’t a great tactic.
So the service case automatically removes Jane from the campaign until it receives confirmation that the table has arrived and the customer is happy with it. If Jane wasn’t satisfied, the brand could consider offering a coupon for the lamp to make up for the delay.
Moments like this are inflection points, where a positive or negative change could take place. A brand could either damage the relationship with its customers, or use these points to strengthen the relationship.
Those moments can happen during a single call to a contact or call center. A customer calls with a problem – they may even be angry. Fix their problem and you’ll hopefully be left with a satisfied customer who’s happier than they were when they called.
You’ve built a level of trust with them, and that presents a chance to ask a related question: perhaps about a survey or if they’d be interested in a promotion. By using the customer data platform, you could offer something tailored to their interests.
Delivering the stellar service that protects a brand, increases customer lifetime value, and supports new business models requires a new approach.
Bringing it altogether for service magic
Be careful though – you think it’s a good time to ask but the customer may not, so anything that approaches an upsell has to fit the moment. Back to Jane’s table and when they find out the table will be delayed by a day. This isn’t the time to upsell, which a unified system will be aware of.
This unified system takes customer service beyond logging complaints and looking at purchase histories. Jane’s experience was good because the employees had access to every part of the company that interacts with Jane, from in-store geolocation to customer data, to inventory.
Delivering great CX that makes customers feel valued will drive loyalty that fuels the business for years to come.
The future of customer service, today.
(So you can keep your customers tomorrow.)
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