It's National Customer Service Week, And You Are in the Age of the Customer
By Sabine Winterkamp, Senior Director of Marketing EMEA
At times, customer service can be a tough industry to be in. An agent can potentially listen to complaints all day, while acting calm and understanding.
Big e-commerce companies, such as Amazon, have raised the bar for customer service expectations. Everyone else is playing catch-up to keep up with these expectations. And when you are a representative on the other side it can be tough to handle a positive customer service situation if you aren't given the right tools to succeed.
Today's customers are always on, across multiple devices, creating higher expectations than ever before. They want to interact with businesses on their own terms - when and how they want, no matter where they are. We are in the age of the customer!
So, you may be asking yourself these questions:
- What do businesses need to do to keep up with these ever-changing customer expectations?
- How can customer service be a key differentiator that drives customer loyalty?
Well, there is not just one single answer to these questions. There is a full strategy that needs to be in synch with both customer expectations and business goals in order to be successful.
Businesses need to rethink their customer service strategy and adopt more interaction channels to meet their customer where they are. Additionally, companies need to ensure that they provide a seamless cross-channel customer service. This means that no matter which interaction or how many different channels a customer is using, the history of that customer needs to be seamless. This is the only way for a customer service agent to have all information the customer provided across channels to continue the interaction at the right point while delivering great service.
Today, we are living in a highly competitive and saturated market - no matter the industry. Just one bad experience can cost a business that customer, and winning this customer back is almost impossible, so failure is not an option.
While good customer service increases customer loyalty and satisfaction, satisfied customers are more willing to recommend and continue working with that business. But only one good customer interaction does not make the customer service a good experience. This is an ongoing process throughout the whole customer lifecycle. Providing a positive, seamless, and consistent customer experience every time and across all channels is essential to satisfying customers, ultimately driving successful business outcomes.