Problem: How can you transform customer service from painful to exceptional?
Retaining customers is crucial to any business. Customer retention is just as important as acquiring new customers. However, many brands focus solely on customer acquisition, overlooking the importance of customer retention strategy and implementation. In fact, 89% of companies consider great customer service crucial to customer retention. How can you transform customer service from painful to exceptional?
“Three years ago, when I started talking about customer experience. Nobody really cared about customer service. Everybody was seeing this as an expense. It always seems like an additional overhead. And it’s not that like you just add more agents. That is a very linear function in that sense. Now that mindset is changing a little bit. Now with COVID people had to step up their customer experience. Try to almost achieve that level of experience that people could get in retail and transform that, and transport that online.”
Set Standards and KPIs for Different Aspects of Customer Experience
Pre-sale customer service is often overlooked as an unnecessary expense, but it can affect whether customers purchase and buy again. Many retailers are also starting to look at customer experience revenue as a source of revenue. In order to achieve an exceptional customer experience, extend your brand’s message throughout the entire process. Set clear metrics and goals for customer service excellence. When possible, tie revenue metrics to your customer support team’s performance.
Step #1: Improve agent efficiency by setting up systems
Customer service can be complicated. There are days when you receive dozens of support tickets. Some days, you receive tickets every hour. How do you ensure your agents are more efficient and prepared to handle different situations?
- Set up platforms for communications, sales, and e-commerce where all processes can be handled.
- Automate and create template messages that can be used for the most common issues handled daily.
- Set up your macro and micro conversations with your agents based on their experience interacting with your customers.
“Step number one is to have this place to aggregate communication and match them automatically to a customer profile so that you have all the context, available at your fingertips. On the second level of that, shorten the time to act for your agents.”
Step #2: Provide self-service options for the most basic transactions
Besides introverted clients, some want the problem solved as quickly as possible. They want to be able to figure things out on their own without having to go through the hassle of having to call just to ask about their orders. To make their experience a smooth one, here are some tips:
- Keep the effort to a minimum. When checking the status of an order, you can trim down the information to just the customer’s e-mail address to speed up the process.
- Include self-service options within the same chat or message thread.
- Simple FAQs that do not repeat information are best. Provide information that is rich and intelligent.
The main idea is to unburden agents by setting automated answers and processes to the most basic concerns like order tracking.
“Providing self-service options for customers to figure out by themselves where their order is, how to initiate the return and exchange without this early, having to go through a complicated chat, or agent that’s not sensitive to their requests. Cell service options are becoming more and more prevalent in our space that allows customers to find their tracking number automatically without talking to customer service agents with minimal effort.”
Step #3: Integrate pre-sale prompts to mimic brick and mortar store experience
With more time to dedicate to complex inquiries and pre-sales upsells, agents can provide more service to their clients. In a way, you’re enabling them to do more. Taking this approach will help you convert prospective customers more effectively than a reactive approach. How do you do that?
- Anticipate their needs at each stage of the purchase journey and structure prompts accordingly.
- Send specific alerts when a customer lands on your best-sellers, items on sale, and special collections.
- Create messages that will solve their problems or anticipate frequently asked questions.
- Identify which parts can be automated and which parts should be tailored to the customer experience.
“How we make customer service exceptional is really about transforming, those interactions, more int retail type, customer service interactions. And how do you do that? You create some prompts across the customer journey to interact with customer service. In the same way that you do when you’re walking in the retail store.”
How do you apply exceptional customer experience all throughout the buying journey?
“How do you transfer your life experiences, your company culture into principles that you can deploy across your organization and align people? I think that’s very applicable in your customer service department, as you’re trying to really embed it to be the voice of the company. Your customer service team is the voice of the company. So, we need to make sure that it’s aligned with the rest of your organization.”