Shaping the customer service experience

Improved customer service experience can be approached from two angles – business process changes or technology choices (or some combination of the two). I’d like to share some key trends shaping the business processes related to customer service today:

  • Take an “outside-in” approach: a growing number of businesses are realizing the importance of having a greater explicit customer interaction when designing new service processes. Service executives need to be asking themselves: “What is the customer’s experience as they consume the service?”
  • Traditional customer service tools have been “field based” or even “task based” – service executives need to move to more “intent driven” systems for customer service agents to use. Agents need to be empowered with a system that shows them a customer’s real context – their last interaction with your company, overall background, current sales deals, customer satisfaction. Give your agents a 360 degree view of the customer and things will inevitably improve.
  • Home service workers are a great way to improve response times, attain localized support teams for your global products or services and reduce operating costs. Although this does raise some unique challenges, it is definitely worth exploring.
  • Fear of taking responsibility: for customers, for change, for measurements. Few organizations want to empower a single person to change processes – especially with so many other variables in play. On the other hand, few service executives want to “stick their neck out” for fear of getting it cut off by upper management. Customer service executives need to take responsibility and ensure that their customer’s expectations are fully met.

Don’t forget: the customer’s experience needs to match your brand’s promise. If you’re in a competitive market (aren’t we all), customer service can be the differentiator between you and your competition.

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