According to a 2018 Microsoft Research Report, a vast majority of people believe that customer service plays an important role in their choice of and loyalty to a brand. Taking that a step further, a large number of people reported that they have even switched brands due to poor customer service.
Customer service is about so much more than answering a customer’s questions and solving minor issues that may arise with your products. For a business to succeed and foster a relationship with its consumer base, customer care needs to be an integral part of the organization’s business strategy. To achieve this, you need to move to where the customer is, becoming accessible across all channels.
The cause and effect are simple — great customer care means your company can sell more product, retain more customers, and appeal to non-customers on a much larger scale. The business value of implementing effective customer care methods is paramount.
A Scenario – Poor Customer Care
Imagine that you recently purchased a new appliance for your home from a reputable, multi-national brand. You’re excited about the potential, but unfortunately it has suffered a few hiccups and malfunctions. You expect, in the modern era, that you can quickly get in touch with customer service and solve your issue promptly.
Unfortunately, customer service hasn’t caught up to the rest of the world. You first try to access customer care online, either via email or a customer care center, but this company doesn’t offer that service. Then you try calling, where you wait for an eternity to actually speak to a customer service representative. You’re transferred from representative to representative, repeating your information, your issue, and your frustration, only to finally schedule service after hours on the phone.
The best they can do is to offer you an eight-hour window when a technician will arrive at your home. You have no way to know when they will be there, you don’t know who the technician is, where they are on their service route, or if they even know how to fix your issue. Two hours late, the technician knocks on your door, doesn’t seem to know how to fix your problem or doesn’t have the right part, and you will have to schedule another technician to come assess the problem.
You get right back on the phone, even more angry now, and the cycle continues.
This is the current state of many customer service branches of modern businesses. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The available technology at business’s fingertips can improve every facet of the customer care cycle – from communication, to service, to follow-up, and beyond. They just have to be ready to take the leap.
Using Technology to Improve Customer Care
The paradigm challenge for businesses is that the technology to supply great customer care is available, but organizations struggle to recognize the value of and utilize that technology. These days, the rate of change is rapidly increasing, so businesses must abandon the disjointed channel service experience they’ve been giving their clients.
To better serve your customer base, you need to provide customer service that isn’t disconnected. When customer service systems are isolated, wait and callback times are long, which leads customers to grow frustrated with your organization. Today’s consumer expects instant feedback; forcing them to jump through multiple hoops to get customer support isn’t going to cut it.
Customer service should be readily available no matter what channel the customer chooses. Translation: You need customer service in every location the client could be. Phone support, in-person help, text advice, chat bots, social media support, and email responses are all potential points of contact and require customer care support.
The advent of Machine Learning and AI is making this easier than ever before. AI technologies can be used to power chatbots, online portals, and phone centers, gathering initial information about a customer and providing it to the real-life human being they will speak to. Powered with this data, technicians and call center associates can provide more efficient and accurate service to a customer in need.
In the customer care industry, it’s all about creating a positive service experience and staying consistent across multiple channels. Because of digital transformation and technological advancement, there is a massive need for “always on” customer service and consistent treatment across all channels.
Because a larger inbound customer service requirement now exists, organizations need to support customer service representatives and agents. With a robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool, connected customer care can provide a complete view of customer relationships and interactions via a single platform. As business leaders, it is imperative to give employees the tools to deliver good service with the right information, at the right time, anywhere, and fast.
A CRM system that covers both methods of service — as well as your contact center — can create a unified service for your employees to use while resolving customer requests. Dynamics 365 for Customer Service has built-in intelligence that delivers faster, more personalized service on any platform, any channel, and enables you to learn from every customer interaction.
Proactive unified service means higher customer retention, more sales, and more appeal. You want to be where the customers are, with the right tools, at the right time.
Ready to talk about customer care in your organization? Contact us today and if you want to see connected customer service in action, check out this video for a short walk through of a day in the life of a Customer Service Representative.