Today’s customers are more demanding than ever. They want:
- Personalized service with recommendations just for them.
- Mobile service, just like in all the apps they use daily.
- Instant service. Nobody’s willing to wait on hold anymore.
- Predictive service, so problems are solved before they’re even known.
All these things will become commonplace for customer service in the future… The problem is customers want them now. Manual processes and disconnected systems just aren’t suitable to meet the increasing demands, and what this all boils down to is this: Your business can’t be successful without a complete tech solution.
The customer experience is more important than price.
Think for a minute about companies you particularly love — maybe Amazon, Virgin, Zappos, or any number of other companies — and chances are they have one thing in common: a great customer experience. Service and support have become differentiators, and today’s customers only want to buy from companies that provide a quality “experience,” or top-notch service from end-to-end. That means the customer experience is now just as important as price — and even as important as the very product a company sells.
Savvy customer service teams are actively embracing four trends to create an outstanding customer experience, bring in more revenue, and create repeat business. Let’s take a look.
Trend 1: Set great expectations.
Customers expect great service, so you’ve got to provide it. To do that, customer service teams have to go to where the customer is: Every channel, every touchpoint, every line of business. This ensures timely responses, but it’s also how your customer service team starts to function as a brand ambassador and additional sales channel. Locate a problem? Swoop in to provide help and recommend solutions. All this, in turn, helps to create a unified front across entire business to provide a great experience.
Trend 2: Empower your agents.
That unified front line I mentioned? It’s only possible if agents are empowered. Help your entire organization to collaborate and put the customer first. Empower them to go above and beyond to ensure a great experience. To do that, you’ve got to go back to the basics:
- Training. Get everyone on the same page, plus build soft skills and empathy.
- Technology. This is how you get productivity tools + that 360° customer view.
- Incentive. Why should your agents care? Give them a (tangible!) reason.
Trend 3: Share metrics and targets.
Startups don’t fail due to lack of funding; they fail due to lack of customers. To stay on top of your business, you’ve got to share not just data and metrics, but also targets and accountability. As in: both sales and service are measured in the same categories. For example, if your sales reps were measured by renewals or customer satisfaction scores, wouldn’t they be more helpful in customer implementations? If your support reps were measured on cross sell, wouldn’t they become more curious with customers and more collaborative with our sales team? Absolutely: High performing teams are 1.8x more likely to share goals (not just data) than underperformers.
Trend 4: Deliver intelligent service.
Speaking of metrics, top customer service teams are collecting, analyzing, and acting on customer feedback. 79% of SMBs believe it’s extremely, very, or somewhat important to their customers to work with support agents who know their service histories (see the 2nd Annual SMB Trends Report for more). So that’s what customers want, but how many companies can actually deliver? Intelligent service lets you answer questions, provide proactive solutions, and solve problems before the customer asks.
Embrace these trends with Service Cloud Essentials
Created specifically for small businesses, the new Salesforce Service Cloud Essentials helps you capitalize on these four trends and offer an amazing customer experience.
- Get started fast and learn easily with free Trailhead modules
- Help more customers in less time with powerful productivity tools
- Scale as you grow with a complete platform
- Deliver smarter, more intelligent service
- Offer personalized service via console, SMS, web, chat, phone, and email
- Use mobile solutions to connect to customers anywhere
Republished by permission. Original here.
More in: Customer Satisfaction
Amen to empowering agents. I can’t count the number of times a representative came across as disengaged and it frustrated me to no end. Even if you can’t fix it, explain to me how you’re going to put me in touch with the person who can or how you’re going to compensate me for not getting it fixed (doesn’t have to be monetary either).