How to enhance your customer service strategy

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024

By Rob Mead, below, Head of Strategic Marketing, Gnatta

A good customer service strategy provides a sturdy backbone for the success of any customer-facing business. But why exactly is the plan you run with so important?

While striving towards KPIs and focusing on the hard data, it can be far too easy to lose sight of what really matters – the customer experience. Of course, any business with customers will need to look at their statistics and figures and try to work out things like retention rates, satisfaction scores, and response times. But it’s also vital that businesses step back and re-evaluate their customer journey now and then to check that it’s fit for purpose.

One of the most powerful tools for boosting your customer service strategy is customer reviews. By ensuring you encourage customers to leave meaningful reviews, your team can learn and grow in response to actual customer feedback – whether it be positive or negative.

When encouraging customers to leave substantial reviews, you’ll need to create an easier, streamlined process. Automation is a great tool for achieving this since you can create pop-ups and send out follow-up emails without putting extra strain on your employees. Automation will create a consistent flow of feedback across all elements of the customer journey. From these, you can gain a solid understanding of what your customers think about your business.

Your review process should also be as easy and straightforward as possible for your customers to engage with. A long-winded and arduous process isn’t likely to go down well, even if they start off with good things to say. Keep requests short and avoid anything requiring your customers to sign into an account to keep things as simple as possible. In return, the quantity and quality of your reviews should skyrocket.

Incentivising feedback is another way to increase the volume you receive since customers are far more likely to share their thoughts and opinions if there’s something in it for them. From freebies to discounts – think about what they might want in exchange for their time and effort. Furthermore, this could improve customer satisfaction scores since you’re delivering more positive interactions.

From a well-rounded customer reviews process, businesses can gain a wealth of information about customer expectations and how well these are currently being met. For example, if customers seem to have negative opinions about product pages or costs, it could be worth carrying out further market research to find out how these issues could be resolved. Positive reviews can also be reflected on and used since you can boost your strengths and better understand where things are going well in the customer journey.

The more you know about your customers and what they want and expect from your customer service, the better you’ll be at delivering up to their standards. Because of this, reviews and KPIs will often go hand-in-hand to help customer service teams build the perfect strategy. For example, if your first contact resolution is low and customers are complaining about issues not being resolved quickly in their feedback, this knowledge can allow your team to come up with a suitable solution. In this case, it could be worth implementing technology such as chatbots and interactive voice response or increasing the importance you place on providing quality interactions.

The way you choose to resolve issues will depend entirely on the customer service budget and your customer base. Those that might not be as tech-savvy might appreciate a bigger emphasis placed on call centres and more traditional-style customer service techniques, while other customers might require a more sophisticated multi-channel approach. Your team will be fully aware of the unique nuances within your customer base better than anyone because they will interact with them the most, so be sure to utilise this. Of course, the budget will come into play in some capacity. But it’s worth remembering that a better strategy could lead to greater business profits and cover the cost of any additional expenses you might need to expand your customer service.

All the customer interactions provided by a business should be high quality, thorough, and easy to understand. Often, this part of your strategy begins with the people you hire to be in your customer service team. Positivity, experience, and enthusiasm are some of the main qualities to look out for when building your team since they will oversee the delivery of your strategy. A great team can accomplish more, so ensure you bear this in mind during the hiring process.

Your complete customer service strategy can be complicated to create because there are so many things to address within it. From the personal touches to the level of interaction offered throughout a purchase – it can be difficult to think of everything. But don’t let this put you off. An omnichannel approach can help ease the strain by allowing for the customisation of channels and support. If you handle more customer emails than calls, then this can be addressed with live chat services and response forms, for example. Services like ours are designed to create tailor-made customer service that works for you and your customers, whatever your requirements and budget. The tools available can help boost KPIs and improve feedback, which ultimately means that your strategy can come to life and work as intended.

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024