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Customer Service Tips Based on Industry Research

Based on a survey of more than 2,600 customer service and business leaders worldwide, the second annual “State of Service” report examines how service teams are responding to elevated customer demands. Customer experience has become the dividing line between companies that are pulling ahead of the competition and those falling behind. Here’s a quick overview of findings from our research to keep in mind as tips for your customer service team:; Far from its traditional perception as a reactionary arm of the business, service is emerging as a way for companies to differentiate and improve their customers’ experiences. Customers themselves say their brand loyalty is swayed by the quality of service they receive. How are customer service teams globally adapting to meet new expectations? Read on for more customer service tips.

Customer Service Tip #1: Lead Customer Experience Initiatives

Our research finds that many customer service teams say they’re leading customer experience initiatives across their business. Delivering an exceptional customer experience requires a unified front across the entire company. In this new dynamic, service teams not only respond to customers’ requests, but increasingly function as additional sales channels and brand ambassadors. More than two-thirds (68%) of service teams say they are leading customer experience initiatives across the business.

While all business units must align on a customer experience approach, many customer service teams say they’re leading the charge. Viewed by performance level, this trend is even more evident; top teams are twice as likely as underperformers to lead cross-departmental customer experience initiatives.

state of customer support

Customer Service Tip #2: Boost Investments in Agent Success

Leading service teams are equipped not only with the right technology and tools at their disposal — they’re set up for success with training and a single view of the customer. High-performing service teams are nearly twice as likely (1.8x) as underperformers to have comprehensive, up-to-date, and easily accessible views of customer and product information.

For service teams inundated with high case volumes across numerous channels, delivering personalised, proactive service in every interaction is an added challenge — and one that has teams looking to technology for assistance. From 2015 to 2016, the share of service teams providing mobile apps for their agents’ use has increased by 192%. Service analytics has likewise experienced a significant uptick in use, rising 166%.

state of customer support report by Salesforce

Customer Service Tip #3: Keep an Eye on Emerging Success Metrics

Service is transitioning away from its position as a necessary cost centre. In today's customer-centric business landscape, service's role has been elevated to one of an additional growth engine that generates new sales opportunities and improved brand experiences. Seventy percent of service teams say their strategic vision over the last 12–18 months has become more focused on creating deeper customer relationships.

Customer service teams expect a big increase in newer key performance indicators (KPIs) like customer effort score and social promoter score. Service KPIs with the highest anticipated growth can be categorised as emerging customer experience metrics. These include social promoter and customer effort scores (i.e., how much effort does a customer exert to resolve his or her issue).

anticipated high growth key

Customer Service Tip #4: Use Smart Tech to Master New Ways of Connecting

While using technology to be more human in service interactions may sound counterintuitive, that’s exactly the direction that forward-thinking teams are headed. To meet evolving customer expectations, service teams are doubling down on their use of smart tech. High performers are 3.9x more likely than underperformers to say predictive intelligence will have a transformational impact on their customer service by 2020.

From artificial intelligence to predictive intelligence, emerging smart technologies are being put to greater use by high performers. Top teams are 2.2x more likely than underperformers to excel at implementing predictive intelligence.

intelligence capabilities

For more customer service tips based on global industry research, download the second annual “State of Service” report.

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