This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post my colleague, Boaz Amidor, shares four techniques that have striking, measurable results when it comes to the efficiency of the Customer Support Program of companies providing online and mobile customer support. It is no doubt that excellent customer support is crucial to success. – Shep […]
This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post my colleague, Boaz Amidor, shares four techniques that have striking, measurable results when it comes to the efficiency of the Customer Support Program of companies providing online and mobile customer support. It is no doubt that excellent customer support is crucial to success. – Shep Hyken
Not a word about Pokémon Go hysteria from this point on.
But nonetheless the world has gone online and some of the online world has invaded our physical reality using augmented reality. While effects and gadgets have changed music dramatically over the past decade, at the end of the day some things remain very much the same as they have for generations—you still need a catchy hook and a good performance.
Customer support is just like this. Although there have been substantial technological advances and correspondingly transformed expectations, the heart of Customer Service Management is a lot like it used to be, even for companies that sell software or platform as a service, like Salesforce, Airbnb, PayPal, Infusionsoft, and WalkMe.
Be that as it may, you can always adjust the building blocks of your method to better reflect the trends of the Customer Service world. The following four techniques have striking, measurable results when it comes to the efficiency of the Customer Support Program of companies providing online and mobile customer support.
This will draw from insights by Michael Maoz, a research vice president at Gartner Research, Shep Hyken, author and editor of this blog, and Help Scout.
Secure Commitment from Leadership
In a Gartner analysis of the guiding principles of CRM, Michael Maoz writes that a complete and viable customer service strategy requires leadership at the top to not merely implicitly approve of customer-facing strategies, but to actively promote them through the investment of substantial resources as well as through leadership.
It is critical to bring the whole company in line with the same unified goal when it comes to customer service—to embed service excellence in all departments – product, marketing, sales, training, etc.
In a related vein, the editor of this blog Shep Hyken comments on the part of the executive in a holistic CS strategy, observing that “If you’re unsure, as the owner, what direction your business should take, it will rub off onto your employees.”
Plot Out Customer Journeys
Another crucial part of remodeling your customer service core is to begin using a customer journey map if you have not already incorporated it into your workflow. Customer Journey Maps are an invaluable tool for visualization of the disparate backgrounds and desires of your clients, and for a sense of how to better reach out to your customers as they travel through the different sectors of your company.
It is crucial to plot out at least a couple of distinct customer profiles, as they may have wildly divergent backgrounds and different progressions through the company.
To make a whole customer journey map, Maoz recommends analyzing the “life moments, human factors and psychology behind the experience”, determining which departments handle help requests and questions, and concerning oneself with the client’s preferences for contact.
Furthermore, customer journey mapping is a good opportunity to search for potential holes in the service chain. When a department is not doing its share, it has negative effects on the entire customer experience.
Actively Solicit Customer Feedback
Obviously, refining your customer support strategy isn’t just something you do on the inside. If your goal is to discover what your customers want, it’s a good idea to ask your customers. According to recent research published at Help Scout, the main thing getting between companies and customer feedback is the perception from customers that their feedback is not valued: “Forty-three percent of those surveyed stated that they don’t complain/leave feedback because they don’t think that the business cares…Of those same customers, 81 percent said they would be willing to leave feedback if they knew they would get a fast response!”
Help Scout has found some research that suggests the main roadblock to getting customer feedback is the feeling from the customer that it’s not wanted, writing that in a recent survey “Forty-three percent of those surveyed stated that they don’t complain/leave feedback because they don’t think that the business cares…Of those same customers, 81 percent said they would be willing to leave feedback if they knew they would get a fast response!”
Help Scout believes that something as easy as a fast “We’ll get back to you!” response to customers can result in more feedback. A personal email can have a big effect: if you can get a customer to reply to a personal email account when signing up for your website, you can expect to participate in some revealing, in-depth conversations—customers are more open in personal, non-public channels.
Continuously Measure Performance and Perfect Feedback Loop
Perhaps the most critical part of measuring the health of your CS strategy is to use both internal and customer-facing performance metrics. On a regular basis, do your customer service employees completely resolve customers’ issues? Do they go so far as to proactively reach out to customers before issues even come up?
With strong fundamentals, your company can erect skyscrapers. If you’re building on a swamp, you’ll have trouble making it to a few stories. It’s the executive’s responsibility to make sure it’s stone below you as opposed to quicksand.
Now that you’ve mastered the basics, identify technologies that can take your customer support strategy to the next level with technologies like Zendesk, WalkMe and Chatbots that can help lower the volume of support requests coming in, increase self-service adoption and cut support costs.
Boaz Amidor, Head of Corporate and Marketing Communications at WalkMe™ – The Enterprise Class Guidance and Engagement Platform, that instantly simplifies the online user experience.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes Article: Nine Ways To Get Customer Feedback
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