Customer service is a rapidly growing industry. It is an essential department that is common across every business. Popular businesses like Amazon, IKEA, Trader’s Joe, Wisita and more, have only one thing in common i.e., exceptional customer service. It is the art of customer service that had led these brands to the top of the chart.
Isolated events alone do not determine excellent service. Instead, it is the nature of putting the customer first, without overworking your agents is what creates consistency. This can be complimented with workforce management, essential tools and humble leadership.
That being said, businesses often do not understand the distinction between customer service and customer support. Without the clarity, it is always easy to overlook details which make all the difference.
I. Difference between Customer Service and Customer Support
It is important to know the key difference between these two to master the art of customer service. These two different verticals, however, have one goal and that is customer satisfaction.
Customer service defines the catering and help offered to a customer, before, during or post purchase of your product or service. In other words, this is more than just resolving issue. Here, the brand must engage, educate and elevate the customer in their purchase journey.
Customer support defines the problem solving service offered to a customer after the purchase of your product or service. Here, it all comes down to focusing on offering help to customers with utmost convenience.
II. Key Components to Stay Ahead In Customer Service:
The customer service trends keep evolving with rapid changes in customer needs. The key to mastering the art of customer service, is to keep up with these trends. As a business, you must constantly improvise your customer service strategy for best results.
- Conversational AI:
It’s 2021, and if your business doesn’t have live chat on website with automation on it, you spending way more money for lesser returns. Needless to say, chatbots are more efficient and functional around the clock, as opposed to live agents. Immediate responses and account relevant prompts to a customer, can enable engagement leading to satisfaction.
- Video Chat:
Video chat is one of the ideal form of offering support. It’s a wonder, that we didn’t focus on this one before. Amidst this pandemic, video chat is the essential asset to customer service ecosystem. From KYC for customer onboarding, to detailed product demonstration, video chat is now at the core of customer service.
Video chat can be leveraged to engage with customers on multiple levels, like from product showcasing, problem solving, onboarding, engagement and more. It is also a brilliant and efficient way for allowing the differently abled to seek customer service.
One cannot master the art of customer service if their channels are disjointed. In such cases, customers are often required to repeat their information and their problems or they stick to one channel even at their inconvenience. An omnichannel strategy ensures that you do not face these problems.
With omnichannel, the customer’s conversational journey is captured and is remembered across platforms. Whenever a customer connects on any given channel, the agent will always have context or information of the customer journey, to engage in a better way. When coupled with chatbots, omnichannel can lead to high-speed, effortless customer service.
The millennial customer prefers to search online, scout through your website, check available virtual information before calling the business. This means the modern customer prefers being self-sufficient.
Keeping that in mind, surrounding your customer service with multiple self-service options is a brilliant idea. This includes a well-segmented knowledge-bases with product instructions or company policies in it, or automated live chat option where the bot will resolve their query.
III. The Ideal Customer Service Team:
Building the ideal customer service team is essential to master the art of customer service. Putting together a sustainable team that is financially efficient is the goal. There are few key factors to keep in mind when assembling your crew, and they are as follows:
- Define Excellent Customer Service In Your Industry:
The first step is to identify what is the industry standard for customer service. This will vary across industries. The standard for medical industry is different from e-commerce. The only common factor is customer satisfaction. So ask yourself the following:
- What is the industry standard?
- What is the customer journey and where can you provide aid?
- What is your competitors level of service?
- What is your budget for customer service?
- Which channels will you need to invest in?
- Hire The Right People:
Without much to discuss here, all I will say is to hire the right people. This means, people who have the skills you require them to have. The most important of them is the willingness to serve the customer and make them happy. Others skills will include language proficiency, tech literacy, humility and politeness, good listening skills and tenacity to work under pressure. It is important that your HR recruits flexible people as they are the frontline of your company. This will also allow you to avoid agent shrinkage.
- Invest In The Right Tools:
Customer service is incomplete without the right tools. Even with the best skilled agents, you won’t achieve much if you do not compliment them with the right gear. Here is a list of tools you must invest in, to at least deliver an optimum level of service.
- Live Chat Software
- Helpdesk Software
- AI-powered Conversational Bots
- Knowledge Base Tool
- Cloud Contact Centre
- Social Media Management Tools
- Advanced IVR Software
Or get all these bundled in Omnichannel software.
There are other essential tools that will improve and enhance your performance. For more insights into contact centre software, find it here.
- Choose The Right Metrics:
Lastly, you have to measure your performance. Apart from meeting your KPIs, there are some set metrics that exist to mark the satisfaction levels of your customers. Here are some popular measuring parameters to understand the standard of your customer service:
- CSAT Score:
Customer Satisfaction score only gauges the satisfaction levels of a customer. On a scale of 1-5 the customer will determine, how satisfied they are after the service. CSAT is a primary metric to analyze the quality of your service.
- Net Promoter Score:
Net Promoter Score or NPS determines the emotion a customer feels towards your brand and service. It denotes how likely a customer is going to recommend your product to a friend.
- Customer Effort Score:
Customer Effort score identifies the amount of trouble the customer has to go through to avail customer service from the company. This is an essential metric to understand how seamless is your customer experience.
Running a customer service team is not easy especially when you have to satisfy hundreds of customer, daily. However, it is an art that can be mastered. The art of customer service involves thorough customer journey mapping, and aiding them at all pain points. This makes customer service more proactive in nature.
One important thing which organization should do is to recognize the customer service team contribution and hail them in similar way that they cheer the successful sales person or the R&D person who got the patent!
The art of customer service should keep customer at the center of all the business decisions and this philosophy should be driven from the top. We at C-Zentrix offer a wide range of software for customer service. Consult us to find out, what works best for you.