It’s no secret that a strong customer service strategy is the cornerstone of a successful business. Even if your products or services are exceptional, customer loyalty can be lost if the customer experience is tainted with one poor interaction.
A stellar customer support strategy is meant to enhance the consumer experience as they interact with your brand. Whether they’re curious about the product and have questions, are making a purchase, or need to return something, the steps to accomplish this should be easy and engaging.
But it’s not enough to simply create a strategy and let it run its course. A company must be constantly working to maintain and improve the customer experience for continued revenue growth. Let’s explore some of the most effective ways to sustain your customer service strategy.
What Is Customer Service Strategy?
A customer service strategy is a well-thought-out plan on how to handle interactions with customers. Many brands strive to offer a consistent experience throughout all channels, but it can be difficult to implement if you don’t first take a step back and think about what it means to create a winning customer support strategy — one where the customer sees the benefits and the company can scale effectively. Here are six ways companies can build and improve the customer experience without a massive reorganization.
6 Ways to Maintain a Strong Customer Service Strategy
Consumer relations are an important area in which businesses can gain a competitive advantage, improve employee and customer engagement, and, perhaps most importantly, retain loyal customers. HubSpot recently found that only a 5% increase in customer retention has the potential to increase revenue by 25-95%.
It’s incredibly important to retain customers, not only because it’s more expensive to acquire new ones, but because repeat purchases have an overwhelmingly positive impact on a business’s bottom line. Here are six ways your organization can maintain your customer service strategy to improve the consumer experience and, in turn, retention rates and sales:
1. Regularly Communicate and Engage With Customers
From surveys and reviews to VOC and other tracking methods, organizations should be constantly communicating and collecting data to determine customer satisfaction (CSAT) long after they have made a purchase. In HubSpot’s “The State of Customer Service” report, they concluded that companies with high growth are more likely to understand their customers’ thoughts and sentiments about their brand. Some of the most successful strategies included tracking customer happiness and collecting direct feedback through a satisfaction survey.
Finding this information doesn’t need to be difficult or costly, simply continue to reach out to buyers throughout the customer journey and after-sales process. Ask them to complete quick surveys and monitor reviews to make positive changes and ensure customers feel heard.
2. Close the Feedback Loop
On the topic of feedback, it’s not only important to collect it; companies must also work to acknowledge it. When a customer reaches out to explain their negative experience or writes a less-than-stellar review on social media, there’s an opportunity to improve how they view your brand. According to CMS Wire, closing the loop means a company directly responds to customer feedback, no matter if it’s positive or negative.
Continue and end the conversation by offering to make changes or ask the customer to try their brand again while providing them with a discount to reduce churn. At the same time, if a customer leaves a positive review and a brand responds with a thank you, this can increase brand loyalty and turn passive consumers into promoters. Reaching out to consumers this way is proactive customer service.
3. Create a Longstanding Program
There’s no better way to increase customer and employee engagement than by encouraging them to interact and become brand promoters. Creating long-term programs dedicated to understanding the consumer, are great opportunities to receive and study feedback and turn it into action.
Customer-facing programs, like rewards and referrals, make existing customers feel like their individual experience is important, and introduces new consumers to the product or service in an exciting way from a trustworthy friend.
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4. Invest in Self-Service Solutions
Kustomer research indicates that younger consumers have a much higher appetite for self-service and chatbots than older generations, with 77% of consumers under 25 saying that they find chatbots to be helpful. Therefore, it’s important for your organization to start investing in self-service solutions if it hasn’t already.
Self-service solutions essentially help customers help themselves. Just like how a self-checkout at the supermarket can help shoppers who are in a rush and only need to purchase a few items quickly, tools like chatbots and other automation can create a better experience for online shoppers.
They can receive answers to their questions quickly, saving both them and the organization time. As customer expectations continue to grow and businesses must do more, self-service tools help everyone have a better experience and be more efficient.
5. Use Automation to Create a Personalized Customer Experience
Maintaining your customer service experience is all about continuously improving the interactions consumers have with your brand, and a big part of that is personalization. At a high level, this means knowing their customer history and personalizing interactions to treat them like a person and not just a transaction number. As the majority of consumers continue to prefer self-service to solve simple problems, the interactions that customers have with agents will be more powerful and provide a unique opportunity to build a community of fans. In the same Kustomer study, CX professionals reported that personalized experiences will be the most important attribute in customer service by 2025.
Of course, getting to know a customer personally takes a lot of time and effort. It’s impractical to expect a customer service team to understand the intricacies of each customer, but that’s where having a unified customer data platform and automation can help. Smart chatbots with access to unified customer data can be used to a business’s advantage. While artificial intelligence of this nature isn’t a replacement of your people-savvy staff, they are an easy way to make customers feel heard and make their experience more immediate, without sacrificing personalization.
6. Improve Your Digital Customer Service
As more customers than ever make purchases online, it’s important for companies to improve their digital customer service strategy in hand with their in-person interactions. On top of utilizing automation and self-service tools that can quickly collect data and diagnose problems, digital systems must be integrated with other information stores for a seamless customer experience.
Customers require access to support in whatever medium is most convenient to them at the moment. For instance, if they are shopping on your mobile app for the first time and have trouble navigating, there should be an effortless way to contact customer service within the app, vs. having to switch devices or channels. Today’s customers expect an easy and hands-off experience, and digital tools can help businesses achieve this by providing a seamless process for resolving problems.
Strive to Improve Your Customer Service Strategy
As you work to maintain an excellent customer support strategy, you should expect to make changes to your processes along the way. As you receive customer feedback and data, you may uncover untapped opportunities to improve their experience and use their advice to the benefit of your organization.
Customer service technology can help you maintain and improve your approach to customer service. Kustomer empowers your service team to deliver an exceptional and personalized brand experience driven by unified data and customer insights.
There’s an unlimited number of opportunities to impress customers and deliver an experience beyond their expectations, and the right tools help you capitalize on them. We are always keeping up with the latest trends to provide the solutions our partners need, to create, execute and maintain an exceptional customer service strategy.
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