Many companies are still struggling to achieve a single view of the customer as Customers are walking into stores, placing orders online, calling companies when they have a difficult problem, self-serving and interacting with firms via the web and social media.
The challenge for firms is to integrate all of these conversations into one system, integrate that with order and account history as well as equipping staff with the right tools, training and authority to be able to deal with every and any customer problem or question that comes their way.
Many companies want to be customer-centric, but few actually plan or provide for that. They are challenged by viewing customer service as a purely reactive exercise.
For most companies, the biggest customer service challenge today is meeting diverse customer expectations in public on diverse channels – email, live chat, telephone, face-to-face, and social media.
Companies like Safaricom and KPLC have raised the bar in terms of what customers expect especially on social media, and there are an increasing number of tools and technologies that businesses can use to improve their support. As much as you can call their support center and fail to talk to an agent, you can also use their social media platforms as they operate on a 24/7 basis.
Too many companies focus myopically on the infrastructure and technology to support voice of the customer (VOC), customer experience (CX), and enterprise feedback management (EFM) and neglect their greatest customer experience asset and feedback source: competent, customer-focused, and engaged employees who are both capable and inspired to consistently provide superior customer service.
A majority of companies employ capable workers who possess adequate job knowledge and demonstrate sufficient job skill. These employees know WHAT to do and HOW to do it.
Where most companies fail (and where the consistency of customer service quality routinely breaks down) is they stop there, assuming that employees are now equipped to consistently provide exceptional customer service.
How can they overcome this challenge?
Instead of just being given something to work ON (duties and tasks), employees must be given something to work TOWARD (purpose).
The result is a workforce that is not only capable of providing superior customer service, but inspired to do so consistently.
Respond to customers in a timely manner. Late responses tell customers you don’t care.
Create irresistible customer experience moments – positive and easy. The easier and more positive you make it for customers, the greater your success.
If you think far back in history, interactions with customers were local, one-to-one, and face-to-face, advances in travel brought diverse customers to businesses and companies then had to meet more diverse expectations. Telephone introduced the challenge of understanding people without seeing them.
Email brought the challenge of understanding emotions and communicating well with no tone of voice.
Now with social media, companies face all those challenges with the extra pressure of doing it in front of the world.
Providing great customer service means never letting a customer down, and according to these experts it’s more important than ever. Great service is what today’s customers expect, and it’s the key to building lasting relationships that will help grow your business.