Customer Service is The Art: Are You Shaping Yours?
‘Hi Paolo, can I tell you about the problem that I had with @namebrand? I’ve reached them via email, phone, and Messenger but they just let me down’.
I receive such notes from many frustrated customers. Some of them are peers, others are clients. Guess what they all have in common? They’re looking for good advice to finally get their issue fixed because they’ve run out of patience. When a customer reaches such a negative emotional climax, the damage is already done. Nevertheless, it’s up to smart brands taking ownership of the issue, and fixing to retain the customer.
The Organizational Gap
From a company standpoint, Digital Customer Service is becoming the norm for more and more organizations delivering support across different channels (e.g., email, social media, live chat and/or instant messaging apps). Last week I read an interesting report: ‘The State of Digital Customer Experience’ by Simpler & Media CMS Wire. They asked 325 executives working in various industries why it is essential to deliver great digital customer experiences. Here are the main drivers that they’ve indicated:
This is good news. But the story goes on…
The executives were also asked to explain the main challenges or hurdles they are facing. As you can see below, the top three issues in red are internal communication and cooperation related. ↓
Infographic: The State of Digital Customer Experience.
For me, the first two issues are intertwined because in siloed organizations sharing resources or data between departments is far from welcome. The third one (limited budget) is the natural consequence. It shows that only a few areas of their organizations are convinced that Digital Customer Service / Experience is a business driver.
Related: you can read the full report in my LinkedIn Group >>
Overcoming the Hurdles
Now I can imagine the pragmatic question you’re about to ask me:
‘Alright, so where do I start from to overcome these challenges?’
First off, I suggest you ask yourself the right questions. Then link them to the three main pillars of Digital Customer Service in order to shape your own strategy. Here’s an example below:
- Technology – WHAT platform can help me integrate digital support channels and improve cross-functional communication?
- People – WHO shall I engage to spread customer service culture throughout the entire organization?
- Processes – HOW can I improve customer journeys in order to deliver excellent, seamless customer experiences?
If you want to dive into each of these topics I suggest that you read my related article.
After setting up your goals and consolidating your pillars, you’ll be able to design your product(s) or service(s). Burger King just did it announcing their new, monthly coffee subscription program. Thanks to this smart strategy they promote their coffee (product) and, at the same time, encourage their customers to use their app (the tool). Shep Hyken has recently described this case study in his Forbes article.
Over To You
Customer service is the art of building and nurturing relationships and it’s the gasoline for your up & cross-selling activities. It has become the essence of business because taking care of each conversation is paramount to retaining and attracting customers in the long run.
So start shaping YOUR ART today.
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