Customer experience (CX) must be one of the most popular catchphrases being used by businesses today. Companies are embracing the idea and investing in creating a strong customer experience, which includes good customer service. Current research from Forrester and Gartner argues that this will be the biggest differentiator companies will compete on in the next few years, ahead of price or quality.
Customer experience is the total journey of a customer’s interactions with a brand. So, what do customers want when they interact with your company?
CUSTOMERS WANT CONVENIENCE
I recently read Shep Hyken’s latest book “The Convenience Revolution” in which he asks the key question, “how easy are you to do business with?” Shep highlights six key principles that if implemented correctly, makes it easier for your customer to engage with you. The principles are: Reducing friction, Improving Self service, Using Technology, Offering Subscription, Improving Delivery and Ensuring Access.
One of the key touchpoints in customer experience and the touch point with the biggest potential to create friction is customer service. Research from Gartner shows that customers will do more business with the companies that are easiest to work with; they may even pay more.
CUSTOMER SERVICE IS AN ESSENTIAL COMPONENT OF CX
Customer service (sometimes referred to as customer support) exists to resolve issues or problems customers may have with a company’s product or service. Customer service could be helping a customer choose before they buy, but it most often comes after the sale has been made. Assisting customers on how to best use the product/service, troubleshooting any issues, and ensuring their problems are solved as effortlessly as possible; and when it works well, delivering its part in a great experience.
Customer service has a high potential for friction, with one-third of consumers saying they will consider switching companies after just one instance of bad customer service. These numbers are nothing to scoff at, and it can be frustrating for you and your company to have all your hard work on your relationship with this customer undone by one poor customer service experience. On the flip side, after having a positive experience with a company, 77% of customers would recommend it to a friend.
REDUCING THE FRICTION
To build a frictionless, robust, scalable customer service that delivers convenience for your customer, you need to ensure that:
- You solidify self-help and self-service offerings with the focus on knowledge
- Embrace the next wave of AI technologies, from natural language processing to deep learning
- Strike a balance between technology and the human touch
- Use outsourcing as an integrated part of your customer support, because of the benefits delivered
Outsourcing your customer service to an expert can help you deliver that frictionless customer service that supports your customer experience. Outsourcers have an immense pool of customer service and customer experience talent backed by their know-how, their systems, and their processes, which you can take advantage of.
Partnering with the right outsourcer can also allow you to:
- Have coverage around the clock
- Not be bound by geographical limits
- Deliver service even during natural disasters in your area
- Provide support in your customer’s language
- Set up and solidify self-service options with the focus on knowledge
- Hire qualified people to answer customer questions quickly and accurately
- Save money as you take advantage of the Gig economy and utilize remote workers
Customer experience must be more than just a buzzword—it should be at the heart of everything a company does. By delivering excellent customer service as an important part of your customer experience, your brand can meet or exceed expectations and delight your customers. Deciding to outsource will allow you to have the scalable team and technology to provide world class customer service while you focus on other key areas of your business.
If you have any questions about delivering customer service that supports your customer experience, feel free to reach out.
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