My last dining experience with my partner was a rather interesting one, to say the least.
It all started when we reached the restaurant for our confirmed reservations. To our shock, they said they were overbooked and couldn’t accommodate us at the moment.
Our turn eventually did arrive. We were first greeted with a complimentary starter and a physical and text message of apology note. This gesture continued after we were done with our meal and left with a text message thanking us for our patience.
This perfect example of customer service has made me and my partner regular customers of the restaurant.
Wouldn’t you want your customers to be regular buyers of your products?
A good customer service strategy does just that to help your business grow.
What Is a Customer Service Strategy?
As your business starts expanding, the number of customers will grow. These customers will eventually start interacting with your business for various services. Creating a plan to help manage and interact with your customers is vital for smooth functioning of your business . You can call this plan of action as customer service strategy.
This plan on a basic level involves identifying the most pressing needs of your customer. And setting up processes and procedures to cater to those needs and using findings from it. This will enhance your product and the services you provide.
For example, if you’re in a retail space, your customer service plan may include the following:
Providing a good retail experience with a well-informed service staff
On ground systems to ensure the service has all their queries resolved within your space
Well-managed checkout purchase systems for smoother purchasing on-site.
Alternatively, if your business is in the software space your customer plan would include the following:
Developing and maintaining a functional friendly interface
Delivering quick and accessible technical support
Prompt assistance to those who need it.
Why Is a customer service strategy important?
Good customer service can not only enhance your sales but also build your brand reputation. Let’s learn about the importance of Customer service strategy here.
A happy customer is a loyal customer
Good customer service directly reflects the amount of importance your company gives to its customers. It tells them they are valued and this in turn builds trust and goodwill. This goodwill in return sees growth in customer numbers over time
A rather wholesome example here is that of the CEO of the footwear brand Zappos. When Tony Hsieh had his initial query of the wrong shoe size sent to him rectified within no time and free of cost, he became a loyal customer of the brand and eventually their CEO. He made customer service the brand’s top priority. All this because his query was resolved swiftly.
Positive customer feedback = more customers
When these cared-for customers then start talking to close friends and family about the customer service they’ve received from your brand, they too are attracted to interact with products from your company again, adding to overall growth numbers.
Apple has always been “thinking different” even when it comes to their customer service
Alternate apple logo
The best example of this is Apple. Based on a survey by latest American Customer Satisfaction (ACSI) report. 82% of their customers were delighted with their service. Word of mouth and social media directly influenced their sales growth positioning themselves as a premium electronics manufacturer and their products a must-have commodity.
Data as a currency
The customer is the end user of your company’s product. Their interactions with customer services generate data. This data is then useful to help both improve the product and make future business decisions easier and more informed, furthering the product development cycle. Reports have hence stated that 81% of customers who have experienced a positive customer experience have made another purchase from the same company.
American express is a great example of this. They use data analytics to create predictive models of their highest spending customers. These customers are then contacted via text or phone call to help them gain more from their relationship with the card they own.
How to develop a customer service strategy?
Now that weve seen the power of a good customer service strategy, the following points will help you start your journey into developing a good and efficient customer service strategy.
Define Your Goals
To begin your journey in creating the ideal customer service experience with your company, you must first zero down on what you want your customer service strategy to address.
Defining the goals will help you develop an optimal customer service strategy for the specific needs of your organization.
It is important to remember, a customer service strategy in its most basic form is about easing your customers’ effort when it comes to interacting with your business.
The best example of this is the Disney parks and resorts where the cast members who play the various characters and other support staff members have 1 goal in mind; to make that place ‘the happiest place in the world’ which is Disney’s main motto.
A flawless customer service strategy requires a strong and well-trained team. This plays a crucial role in the success of your customer service stratergy. This team needs to be trained in important aspects like good communication skills, a deep and thorough understanding and knowledge of your product and business in general, and most importantly in the aspects of good customer service practices.
An example that comes to mind here is evryones favourate fast food joint McDonalds. Their Hamburger University is a great example of training employees on various stages of the customer service hierarchy and upskilling to be better and grow in their fields of work.
Develop processes and procedures
A well-trained team needs a well-built system to execute their training and furthermore your services. This means creating a process and developing procedures to have a sense of uniformity and transparency in achieving a prime customer service strategy.
The US-based Southwest Airlines is a good example here where they developed a “Rapid Rewards Program” for their frequent flyers. This means the more the customer engaged with them the more they got rewarded with points they could use for flight tickets, hotel stays and various other travel expenses.
The data captured by your customer service team should be collected and frequently analyzed. It helps you see your customer activity and helps you track important customer service metrics. This helps you make informed decisions on not only your customer service strategies but also your product itself. In turn, it helps you focus on areas of improvement and development for your customer service strategy and your product too.
About 67% of customers around the world state that customer service has improved around the world.
The most relevant example here is Airbnb. They take their customer feedback concerning their hotels and homestays extremely seriously. The data they receive from their booking app helps them in providing their customers the best experience while also helping their accommodation owners keep their quality of service at its peak.
Analysis and feedback from both your team and the customers, themselves help further decision-making smoother. You will begin to see ways of improving the experience by constantly tweaking and fine-tuning the customer service strategy.
These regular updates and the trends that emerge from the analysis help you always stay two steps ahead .
A study states that about 52% of customers want their ideal company to implement the feedback they provided after availing their service.
An interesting example comes from a web-based project management tool called Trello. They are extremely focused on customer feedback to keep the bug free and functional. This begins by first letting a small group of users test their latest updates before releasing them to the masses. They gather the data about said tests by conducting in-app surveys. This data is further analyzed and acted upon to make their update releases glitch-free and stable.
So, how do you measure the best customer service strategy?
Once you follow the above steps and invest in a customer service strategy for your company, how do you know it’s functioning and getting you results as planned? That’s where looking at your Key Performance Indicator (KPI) data comes in handy.
The following are some of the KPIs you’d use to measure the best customer service strategy.
CSAT or Customer Satisfaction Score.
This measures what the customer feels about your product. This is seen in action as the star ratings that pop up on your phone when you download and use a new application.
CES or Customer Effort Score.
This measures the effort a customer takes to get their problem solved. CES in its basic form is the ratings the food delivery personnel ask you to give about the whole interaction with their platform.
NPS or Net Promoter Score.
This measures the probability that your customer will recommend your brand to their peers and family. A company with good customer service tends to do well in this as their customers’ praises attract more customers.
Customer Retention tracks repeated customer interactions
It indicates a measure of customer loyalty. This is a good metric to have to see how well your product and the accompanying customer service are retaining customers.
Invest in your customer service strategy Today
The customers’ experience with your company directly influences its revenue and overall standing in the ever-competitive market. Hence, having a well-thought-out customer service strategy is vital. Developing a strategy requires knowing the customer and most importantly knowing the strengths of your own company. With this devising the perfect customer service strategy will bear fruit.
At AM2PM Support along with our team of experts are here to help you set up a customer support strategy to help your business and customers grow together.