Mr. Satish Roy is a results-oriented professional with proven success of 14 years in the BPO Industry. He is currently associated with Mpokket as Head – Operations. He has experience in Operations Management & Capacity Planning, Strategic Business Planning & Execution, Complex Change Management, Integrated Front, Middle and Back Office Operations, Transition Management & Quality Assurance and Training & Development.
In the digital age, brands and marketers must remember this is also the era of empowered customers. With consumers having more information at hand, it raises the bar in meeting their expectations.
As a result, companies must ensure they have the finest service team that anticipates and caters to varied consumers and varying requests. Customer service teams now need to drive better customer engagement for greater consumer satisfaction.
To make happy customers a reality, however, companies must first focus on their internal teams that engage with consumers. Therefore, enterprises must undertake a series of steps to create an excellent customer service team. Here are some among the many important measures:
Deploying an omni-channel approach: Since customers use a variety of mediums to interact, it’s imperative to engage them through the channels they are using. Besides making it more convenient, it offers customers a sense of comfort. When they communicate via a familiar channel, the chances of miscommunication are minimized, ensuring an optimal service experience.
But this is easier said than done because there are multiple channels to track, including social media, review sites and community forums. Employees should be provided specific tools to link or connect with diverse platforms for overseeing everything from one point. This can be achieved with knowledge management software that funnels incoming consumer communiqués for service teams to access from a centralized location. It also ascertains that emails or other messages are never missed as teams are notified instantly when new inquiries arise. Employees will also know the source of the query and how soon they need to respond.
Promoting CLTV: Service teams must recognise the significance of Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV). This denotes the present value of future cash flows ascribed to customers during their entire relationship with a company. A larger lifetime value will be much greater than the cost of winning new customers. Naturally, repeat customers hold more lifetime value than one-time buyers.
Factors to optimize lifetime value include increasing transactions for every sale (via cross-selling), upselling, driving the sales of more costly products, incentivizing frequent transactions and promoting long-term business relationships.
Safeguarding brand reputation: In the Internet era, millions of users can check news articles, online reviews and social media pages regularly. Consequently, brand reputations can be built or broken speedily. Customer service teams should be aware of how this environment can be leveraged in favour of the company through proper brand management. To retain relevance and competitiveness while creating loyal customers, the service team should be trained on making a company’s brand identify resonate with the target audiences’ core values.
Focusing on customer retention: Retaining customers is much cheaper than acquiring new ones. So service teams should be trained in ensuring higher customer satisfaction for greater retention. Apart from turning customers into repeat buyers, it prevents them from going to competitors. As per Harvard Business Review, it costs anywhere between five and 25 times more to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones. Among others, retention benefits comprise cost savings, positive word-of-mouth marketing (such customers speak about the brand with family and friends) and healthier bottom-lines since a 5% rise in retention rates can augment revenues between 25% and 95%. Staff can enhance retention by offering swift support, personalized interactions, responding to customer feedback and incentivizing loyalty.
Communicating clearly with customers: Thanks to the internet and social media handles, it’s easy for customers to place bad experiences out in the open. Conversely, it makes it easier to communicate with them and learn about their service issues and product problems. As and when a customer complains online or gets in touch on phone, communicate clearly about how and when their problem will be resolved. The sooner the better.
Avoiding escalations: If a customer complains, it means he/she is upset about something, including the brand. Therefore, it’s essential to go to the root cause of the issue and make certain the problem is identified speedily and the resolution done in equally quick time. A complete resolution the first time around is necessary so the problem doesn’t recur, making the customer call again.
Hiring people with the right mindsets: Companies may do all of the above and more. Yet things may unravel if the customer-facing teams lack the calibre and qualities to treat customers with patience, empathy and respect, to mention a few characteristics of a fine servicing team. When it comes to hiring, B2C brands must always make certain there are no cost-cutting measures in on-boarding the best talent that possesses customer-centric attributes.
Experience, the proper mindsets and periodic skills training will be required so that customer care and service deliveries are top-notch. The staff also needs to be trained about how to manage crises without losing their patience or cool.
More than 80% of consumers abandon brands due to poor service. In offering good service, a positive attitude pays dividends. In 40% of cases, customers seek more personal service. Whenever possible, adding a personal touch is crucial to demonstrating a service team knows the consumer.
Finally, listening is key for excellent customer service since it boosts the chances of efficiently resolving the customer’s core concerns. Active listening also helps servicing teams respond appropriately to customer concerns in the first instance. Once brands and employees learn to make the buck stop with them and drive rapid resolutions, it means they have one of the finest servicing teams in town.