Today, as a typical consumer, when I buy a product or service my expectations are high. Get it right, and I will be a brand advocate, but get it wrong and even the smallest hiccup can turn a faultless experience into a disastrous one. It is no longer enough for organizations to target high customer satisfaction, they must provide a complete customer experience that intelligently predicts and then prevents issues occurring in the first place.
Quite the opposite happened to me recently.
When recently travelling back from the USA I realized my booking was incorrect. Instead of arriving at Charles de Gaulle Airport in the north of Paris, I would be landing in Orly Airport in the South.
I quickly contacted the airline at 2:09 AM in Europe via their Messenger service. But my response came at 11:42 AM, by which time I had already purchased another ticket! How can a worldwide service only operate within European business hours for support?
Expectations vs. Reality
The truth is we all expect a good standard of service to be available 24/7 and whether that is enabled by people or technology, we have much greater expectations than before. Subscription-based business models are now normal practice across huge swathes of the economy. From a Netflix subscription to buying a mobile phone, or even a car. The fact is these are no longer quick one-off purchases but ongoing relationships and as such the customer rightly demands more.
More efficient methods of empowering the customer are continuing to be developed and implemented. This is about unifying people, technology and process to deliver smarter and more efficient experiences.
It is vital that beyond basic customer engagement, an efficient Customer Service Management tool is put in place.
Firstly, everything must be customer-centric, this means empowering the customer and focusing on customer experience. It starts by facilitating the way the customer can request a service. It must be omni-channel, from a walk-up facility to a web-based service portal with a live chat.
Messenger, if it has an associated ChatBot, is not necessarily a bad idea. It can provide an instant automation capability to dialog with the customer. Based on AI, the ChatBot can converse with the customer and solve most common issues. A human agent should be there only for escalation, when the AI bot fails to solve a complex issue.
From my point of view, a great Service Portal should clearly present what is possible as well as being personalized to the customer to improve their user experience (UX).
To make the customer self-sufficient and achieve the prime objective to fix the issue at first contact, some features should be implemented such as:
- A knowledge base (KB) to act as a self-service online library
- A community where customers can help each other
- A ChatBot solving issues while allowing smoothly the submission of a case if it fails
Even if I am not fond of this feature, supporting the customer through email can be enough if the customer management tool can identify and solve the issue. With the help of AI technology, automatic suggestions can be provided in near real-time to quicken this process.
Providing a walk-up feature with some queue management can achieve to offer a broad omnichannel customer experience.
What are the benefits of having such a tool?
Customer retention should be a prime objective which can be directly achieved by higher customer satisfaction levels. Whether you are measuring customer satisfaction through CSAT surveys or NPS or Customer Effort Score, it does not really matter as long this is being tracked and helps you improve.
Implementing a Customer Service Management tool allows for the absorption of a high number of requests, issues, and therefore let the business grow without limits on its scalability, which would be the case if the service was solely relying on a customer support team.
By gathering real time customer data, this can be used with some AI analysis to feed into the relevant team on where they can improve the service. In addition to this, ratings on the best knowledge articles will help the customer to become self-sufficient.
Your employees do not want to be dealing with the same requests and complaints repeatedly. By using automation and making your customer self-sufficient, your employee can concentrate on more challenging issues or even change their role within the value chain.
What technology you should be using to implement efficient Customer Service Management?
Clearly, there are many choices on the market, from CRM suite (e.g. Salesforce) to product design (e.g. Jira). However, from personal experience and after many successful implementations, I recommend a ServiceNow Customer Service Management solution, as it is a great way to prioritize functional areas that really matter to you and your customers. This is most often seen where technology remains at the heart of the business. Core features such as SLA, CMDB, AI, Analytics can bring great value to the customer.
In conclusion, a great Customer Service Management tool will also increase customer perception – and perception is always key – this will enable you to provide a world class service.1. Harvard Business Review