Providing award-winning customer service is not an easy task. Customer expectations continue to rise and businesses strive to deliver unparalleled service and support. Additional investments in personnel, processes, technology and training – are they making a difference? Not according to statistics. Forrester’s Customer Experience Index, 2012 reports that only 37 percent of brands received ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ customer experience index scores, while 64 percent of brands got a rating of ‘ok’, ‘poor’, or ‘very poor’ from their customers. And sadly only 26 percent of businesses have well-developed strategies for improving customer experience.
Providing excellent service and support directly impacts the bottom line. As customer acquisition costs continue to rise, keeping existing customers becomes more critical than ever. But, where do companies begin? How can you improve your service?
What are the five keys that businesses need to deliver superior customer service?
- Build a metrics-based plan with individual and team goals. Examples of critical metrics include call response time, first call resolution percentage, cost per call, call abandonment rate, and satisfaction rating.
- Select your team members and leaders carefully. Look for a mix of experience, energy, passion and honesty.
- Engage the team in the plan and the associated goals. Recognize and share successes throughout your organization.
- Train, educate and invest in technology. Provide the resources to help your shining stars continue to rise. Leverage today’s technology to communicate with customers according to their preferences and improve your team’s efficiency.
- Have fun! Create an environment that is supportive, collaborative and energetic.
Delivering excellence in customer service is a daunting task, but with the right people, right leadership, and right plan, it is achievable!