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“Customer service represents the heart of a brand in the hearts of its customers” – Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach.
Customer Service has always been about helping and supporting customers in every possible way. If done right, it can result in improved levels of customer satisfaction, and help develop a solid, long-term relationship with the customer.
So, the question is, are you delivering good customer service? Is it the reason behind your happy customers?
Well, if you honestly believe the service you deliver is not up to the mark, it’s time for a revamp. And the sooner you do it, the better. And what better time to join the bandwagon of customer-centricity than now! It is the Customer Service Week after all! It’s about time you started understanding what service really means, what importance it bears, and all the benefits awaiting you by going the extra mile for your customer!
Are you genuinely prioritizing Customer Service?
No matter how vital you perceive customer service to be, this seriousness hardly transitions from theoretical charts and reports to execution.
Why do you think there exists an unnerving gap between a brand promise and the actual service delivered? In most cases, the top management might want to do something about improving customer service. But because they do not give service as much importance as they do to marketing or sales, its true potential is never unveiled, moving it further and further down the priority list.
But, what exactly causes this demotion of customer service? Let’s take a look!
1. Treating Customer Service as a separate silo
There’s a bit of a ‘cultural plague’, when organizations look at customer service as a department unto itself.
But ultimately, every single employee in your organization, directly or indirectly, is in the customer service job. If it’s marketing, they are in the business of serving customers with attractive campaigns and advertisements. If it’s the product team, it’s their duty to provide the customer with an exquisite offering.
So, if the marketing, sales, or product teams have to serve customers, one way or the other, how can they do so without any tangible information about or insights into customers?
Here’s where customer service teams have an indispensable weapon up their sleeve – the Voice of the Customer. Being every customer’s go-to person, service agents are in constant touch with the people who use your product/service.
They’re in a position to glean valuable customer insight, and sharing this data with other teams could unearth potential customer painpoints, and also sometimes result in path breaking ideas. But for all of this to happen, you need to make customer service part of your family!
Every company is in the business of customer service first and foremost!IMPROVE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE NOW!
2. Viewing Customer Service as a cost
For the customer service department to collaborate with other teams, exchange and analyse customer data & insights, and be involved in the overall decision making process, they need to feel of sense of ownership and empowerment.
So, the next question is are you doing enough to empower the customer service department with the right tools and resources? Moreover, are you constantly gauging the motivation levels of employees working in service (ultimately, service is all about people)?
Or do you look down at customer service, paint them as the scapegoat for all the poor service you deliver?
One thing is for sure. Customer service is the FACE of your organization. How you want to treat your customers is directly reflected in the manner service teams engage with customers. So, viewing this function as a cost not only alienates the customer service department but widens the gap between the brand, as a whole, and the end consumer.
If customer service has failed a customer, it means your entire brand has failed the customer.
3. Being confident that the Customer will figure it out
Just because your business has taken time creating an FAQ section or knowledge base, doesn’t solve all customer problems. Or it doesn’t necessarily equate to job-well-done in the customer service world.
But when companies start thinking along the lines of ‘everything is already made available for the customer’ it not only makes life difficult for the customer, but customer service also bears the brunt of it.
This is the last thing you’d want – being under the assumption that your customer is going to read through every nook and corner of a knowledge base and find their Eureka moment!
It’s but a part of human nature to complain. And if we go by this report here, we’ve been doing it ever since 1750 BC! This is not going to change anytime soon. When a customer faces a roadblock, he’d rather reach you through e-mail or phone before taking his issues to social media, and this is something companies need to realize soon.
Great customer service is about being available for the customer, always!
An integral part of business growth, a central piece to the organizational puzzle of customer centricity, customer service is well and truly the heart of your customers as well as your business. But the question is can you keep this heart functioning well, alive, and healthy?