The aim of customer service should be clear: the customer should be satisfied to their expectations or beyond. This outcome can manifest itself in a range of ways, from multiple long-term repeat business to not posting a bad review on TripAdvisor.
Achieving this is in large part a matter of having systems in place to ensure as little as possible goes wrong, but that when it does there is an established response that ensures customers believe you did everything to help.
Developing a customer-focused organisational culture takes time, but having the right technology in place can make the task easier by supporting your team’s day-to-day operations and giving you accurate management information.
The assumption we make is that good customer service leads to repeat business or renewals, but most companies don’t actually measure that directly. Instead they use proxy measurements such as customer satisfaction, customer sentiment or Net Promoter Scores (NPS). Each metric has its own value: customer satisfaction surveys give you results focused on individual buyer experiences, for example, while NPS gives a wider aggregated picture of your business.
A comprehensive CRM system enables you to use a range of new metrics, driven by the ability to collect data in incredible detail based on actual records of customer interactions – though of course that data still needs to be interpreted with a degree of judgment.
Here are some of the basis contact centre metrics you should be using:
Technology is changing the way we talk to customers. Mobile technology allows taxi and bus companies to let customers know when transport is due, and logistics providers can provide real-time parcel tracking information. IT vendors alert their customers’ IT staff to impending issues, such as servers running out of capacity. Meanwhile, mobile platforms and social media integration offer a near real-time feedback mechanism for customers, with multiplatform support communities an increasingly important resource for customers and support agents alike.
And customers need not even be aware that they’re giving feedback. Millions of devices are equipped with mobile internet connections that can provide data on their user’s location, physical activity, patterns of data usage and more. This “Internet of Things” is an opportunity to interact with customers in completely new ways. It’s likely to be a key element in the future of customer service.
CRM systems are already becoming an ideal partner in the journey towards customer service excellence. Customers are tracked through the lifetime of their relationship with the organisation, providing you with knowledge of the customer’s journey so far and insight into the next stages of that journey. This insight enables you to schedule touch points when they will be most useful to the customer, or (in concert with marketing automation tools to know when a customer is ready for sales approaches about a new product line.