Customer service management has always been an important component to building great rapport with customers. But now, more than ever, it’s critical to thriving in the New Normal. The COVID-19 pandemic shook up the business landscape in many ways. However, the rise in customer expectations and the way businesses have evolved to meet those expectations will certainly be amongst the most transformative changes.

Lockdown measures sent many traditional brick-and-mortar customers online, where they discovered a world of 24/7 shopping. Quick and easy delivery of everything from groceries to exercise bikes opened service portals where they could communicate with businesses in real-time.

Even if these same shoppers eventually moved towards e-commerce at some point, the sudden increase in digital adopters meant that there already was a sea change in customer expectations. And the role of customer service management was thrust into the spotlight.


Preparing for the future with customer service management

As we head towards the tail end of 2020, customer service management is having to adapt to new ways of doing business. From the shift towards digital experiences and contactless engagement to the upskilling of associates whose roles have suddenly changed. Trying to rise to meet these new challenges are enough to make any associate’s head spin. This is why it’s so important to have resilient customer service management in 2020.


In the New Normal, customer service managers will be the leaders, the last port of call for customers, and the champions of agents. So businesses need to get the role right. But what exactly does the role entail and what are some ways that businesses can create resilient customer service management?


Creating a strategy for improving customer service management

We’re in a climate where the customer expects more from businesses than ever before, and businesses need to adapt to meet those expectations. Providing exceptional service will help build better relationships, create brand advocates, and provide long-term value – and it all starts with the management.

When creating a strategy for making customer service management more effective, there are several things that businesses should focus on:


Increasing customer satisfaction and retention

It’s hard for businesses to thrive if they have unhappy customers and high churn rates, so one of the first priorities of customer service management is to find out where customer expectations are being met, and where improvements need to be made.


There are a variety of tools that measure customer satisfaction, including the Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSAT), Customer Engagement Score (CES), and the Net Promoter Score (NPS).


Supporting customer service agents to be their best

Support means providing agents with the tools they need to succeed in the new climate. This includes mobile devices to provide contact-free service, PPE if in a forward-facing role, and Salesforce CRM which provides a single view of the customer. Support also means making sure that the agents have the proper training and knowledge to adapt to increased expectations.

To re-skill or up-skill their agents to tackle new challenges and roles, customer service managers can create custom trailmixes on the Trailhead self-learning platform.


Highlighting the importance of product/service knowledge

Being an expert on a company’s products or services is essential for providing great service. It can also help turn customer service into a sales channel. There’s nothing wrong with being proactive; that’s what upselling is all about! And connecting customer service with Commerce Cloud and Sales Cloud will enable agents to view carts, apply discounts, and recommend products.


Driving performance improvement

The bar for customer expectations continually rises. So customer service management will need to make sure that the service team is meeting those high standards.

Management can use a variety of technologies and strategies to improve performance. This can range from training sessions and self-guided learning journeys to mentoring programmes. But it’s important to approach these teaching moments with empathy. No one wants to hear that they’re not doing their job well. Especially, when they have a whole lot of other things to be concerned about. Empathetic communication is paramount in today’s uncertain world.


Improving resolution times/efficiency

One of the easiest ways to improve the customer service experience is to improve the average time to resolution. Self-service portals can be a good way to do this. However, management will want to ensure that they’re not sending their customers down a rabbit hole of information with no clear way to contact an agent for help.

Customer service management will also want to keep an eye on resolution times to make sure that they fall in line with expectations. And quicker resolution times aren’t resulting in a drop in customer satisfaction.


The future of customer service management

Customer service management has always had the same concern at heart. It provides the service team with the support it needs to keep the customers as happy as possible. But technology and time have shaped the role in new and exciting ways.

Customer service management now functions in a world where 9-5 office hours have been replaced by 24/7 engagement. Moreover, omnichannel experiences are offering whole new ways to connect with the customer. In a post-pandemic world, it’s important to turn challenges into opportunities, and creating resilient customer service management will help put businesses on the road to success.

Learn how service leaders can empower their teams to thrive in the current moment and beyond in The Service Leader’s Guide to Resiliency.