Is Customer Service Sinking Your Company?
Updated: Feb 8, 2022
The Customer Experience (CX) is impacted by the interactions a customer has with a company, its brand, product, value to price ratio, sales experience, and service delivery. Customer Service is the predominant customer-facing organization in most companies after the sale of the product or service is made. How well your customer service group performs has a significant impact on how your customers perceive your brand.
The customer perception
A customer’s perception of your service is your reality. At best, good customer service is a competitive advantage and enhances your brand. At worst, bad customer service can result in your customer looking to your competitors for their next purchase and damaging your brand through negative word of mouth. In most circumstances, providing good customer service is a net neutral; customers expect it.
What customers are looking for
What customers are looking for from customer service (all channels) is product or service information, pricing and delivery information, to place, cancel, expedite, or return an order, or a quick resolution to an issue. In many companies there are multiple channels a customer can take to get this done including a call center, AI based customer support, web self-service, web chat service and email. The customer expectation is that regardless of which customer service channel they take, the information they are trying to obtain or the issue they are trying to resolve will be handled quickly and with as little effort on their part as possible.
Regardless of which customer service channel a customer takes, the experience should produce the same result; a happy, satisfied, and loyal customer.
In a customer service situation, your brand is first and foremost measured by customer effort (CE). This metric is both time and emotion based. How many times have you had issues with your phone, internet or cable provider and walked away totally frustrated and fuming about how terrible their service is? The customer emotional response to a customer service event should not be underestimated. It is a key component of the customer experience and to their perception of your brand. How a customer perceives they are treated is as or more important than how quickly their issue is resolved. This includes their experiences with the various customer service channels whether they are with a live person, AI, chat, email or web self-service.
Regardless of which customer service channel a customer takes, the experience should produce the same result; a happy, satisfied, and loyal customer. Customer service channels should be seamless and not disparate entities. Customer channel switching and abandonment to get information or solve issues leads to an increase in customer effort, frustration, and issue resolution time. Customer service channels and groups must be a collaboration, working together to produce a positive customer experience outcome.
Common goals, objectives, metrics, and incentives
When a customer service team has multiple, supporting groups such as a call center, technical support, field service, training group, and applications support, it is mission critical that all these groups communicate and share common goals and objectives. Common metrics and incentives that encourage a quick, effective, and positive resolution to a customer’s issue or question better enables service groups to work as a team. The customer service team’s goals and objectives should align with the company’s overall goals and objectives, ensuring a cohesive customer experience regardless of which team the customer is interacting with.
Patrick Sandefur is the Founder and Managing Director of Bass Harbor Group / Customer Experience Solutions. His 30+ year career in Customer Service, Sales, Marketing, Product Management and Business Development has given him a unique perspective of what customers want and expect when interacting with a brand.
Read more from Patrick Sandefur by clicking on recent posts below.