4 Pillars to Customer Service Strategy to Deliver Extraordinary Customer Service (Part 2)
Though there was once a belief that improving overall customer experience rates should be left to the marketing department while the store focused solely on operations a merge of ideas and overall operations stands at the forefront of today’s most successful businesses. Companies wanting to deliver extraordinary customer service are learning much about just how important the right customer service strategy is to their bottom line. Studies show that high customer satisfaction rates can increase revenues anywhere from 10 – 15 percent. Add to this the fact that it can also lower overall service costs and increase employee engagement and it is easy to see why a merged focus on customer experience is essential today.
Successful businesses today must be willing to see that there are many benefits to a correct overall definition of the customer experience. They must also be willing to use the correct approaches and tools to manage it. By becoming familiar with the pillars of customer service strategy, companies can more easily cross the separate-but-equal boundaries of days gone by and step into a new model as they watch revenues increase and costs fall.
Look at the Big Picture
When correctly describing a successful customer experience strategy, one must be willing to look at the big picture – the picture that goes beyond customer satisfaction. Instead, it is the picture of every single interaction a customer has with said company. Today delivering extraordinary customer service tends to include consideration of online interactions, phone calls, online chats, print and online advertising and customer service interactions. When just starting this type of change, it may seem overwhelming, but studies show that the effort often works to retain current customers and attract new ones.
Use The Right Tools
As with many things in life, knowledge can be useless without the right tools. So, what are the right tools for enhancing the overall customer experience? Well-known tools such as customer data, journey maps and analytics are valuable, but frequently limit a company’s ability to look at the big picture. The ultra-focus on numbers leads to ignorance about how customers view the values and attributes that are unique to a company. This disconnect between company or brand identity and the customer experience can be a costly one.
One tool that can help redesign the way companies think about and deliver extraordinary customer service and increase overall customer satisfaction is known as an architecture. It is much like the architecture that would be used to build a home – the basics of the home drawn out on paper so that all involved int eh building process can see how their own segment fits into the whole.
The Right Architecture
In the previous blog, we covered the 4 basic pillars to customer service strategy. Learning and using these pillars will help companies cross that old-school boundary and begin to offer extraordinary service instead of mid-range customer satisfaction rates. In this post, we offer two bonus pillars or two pieces of important architecture that will help even the most basic customer service strategy.
Segmentation – Business vs. Customer
Breaking up or segmenting your business into separate units with the intent of offering better customer service can help all involved to more easily identify customer needs as well as changes that need to be made in current business models. By naming and separating all of the ways a customer might interact with the company, each part can be studied and refined.
Taking time to segment customer needs, desires and values is another way to see more clearly. By doing this, companies may be able to learn what is more important to a customer, price, entertainment or convenience. At this point, a company is willing to admit that each and every customer is different, as are their needs. By considering the unique needs, inventory and drivers of each segment, businesses are able to provide deliver extraordinary customer service and increase overall customer satisfaction.
Another pillar that must be used in this architecture is that of servant-focused leadership. Recent studies have shown that this type of leader can not only motivate, they can inspire employees across the organization engage in the type of behaviors they have modeled. This pillar increases satisfaction for both customers and employees.
Commitment to improving customer service with the goal of being able to deliver extraordinary customer service may seem overwhelming but can be accomplished more easily when companies are willing to implement the 4 pillars of customer service and build an effective architecture for success.
This blog was first published on LinkedIn