A customer service strategy is a thorough and comprehensive plan to handle any customer interaction that might come up. It lets you provide a consistent customer experience throughout the customer journey. A customer service strategy is different than a customer service philosophy. Implementing a great customer service strategy allows you to do more than just meet your customers’ basic needs. If you have a strong, targeted strategy, you can take things one step further to truly satisfy your customers and exceed their expectations, both in the short term and the long term.
Identity Main Customer Touchpoints
You’ll need to dive deep into the primary ways and reasons your customers interact with your business in order to create an effective customer service strategy. Here are some questions that might help start the brainstorming process:
- How often are you being contacted by your customers?
- What are the main lines of communication customers use to get in touch with you?
- What are some of the most common customer questions or requests when they contact you?
- How do you measure customer engagement?
Make sure you’re keeping the entire customer journey in mind, from start to finish, when analyzing the responses to these questions. At what time of the journey do they ask specific questions about things like billing, features, or any other aspect of your business? Create a visual customer journey map if you need to, and keep the above questions in mind when mapping it out. Knowing how and why customers are communicating with you will ultimately play a big part in developing your customer service strategy.
Set Customer Service Goals
This one is huge when it comes to developing a unique and promising customer service strategy. Think about your customer service team and the most frequent types of interactions they have with customers. With this in mind, define specific goals for your team – each one focusing on a single area. For example, measure customer satisfaction with a brief survey after each interaction, with the main goal being “increase customer satisfaction by _%”.
Even if it’s just a quick pop-up that says, “Click how many stars you’d give us,” or, “Did we resolve your problem? Yes or no.” This will allow customers who might not be prone to speak up if there’s an issue to voice their feedback more comfortably. If a customer says their issue has not been resolved or if they only give one or two stars, make sure you include a text area where they can provide specific details of their experience and any potential concerns they have (and get back to them ASAP).
It’s important to measure these survey results and analyze the feedback of each customer while keeping your goals in mind. Have a specific timeline of when you want to reach your goals. If you’re looking to receive only four- or five-star feedback or “review” responses within the next three months (or whatever timeline fits your business best), you’re going to need to get down to the bottom of where exactly in the customer journey process you could have improved your communication or services. Make sure your business’ goals are challenging enough so your customer service interactions can keep improving while also being attainable with work and targeted effort.
Define Customer Service KPI’s
KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) provide a detailed look into how well your customer service is doing – instantaneously! The main one’s you’ll want to focus on are:
- Customer satisfaction score for overall customer happiness
- First response time, to measure the time your customers are on hold
- First contact resolution, to estimate how many customers have to talk to you more than once to get a solution
- Average resolution time
- Number of issues, and how many are active or resolved
- Customer retention rate
CallHarbor’s online portal provides our users with detailed insights into many of these KPI’s, such as how long your callers are on hold for and average resolution time. If there’s a caller who has called multiple times with an unmarked resolution, you can listen to their recorded phone conversations to see if there’s a roadblock, or find out whatever it is that’s preventing the problem from being resolved. It might just be a difficult issue, or it could be a problem with the agent who answered the call. You can use these measurements to overall improve your customer service strategy. Maybe your agents need a specific amount of training before taking calls, or maybe you need to gather and analyze customer satisfaction scores on a more regular basis.
Make Sure Your Team Is Driven
Lastly, it’s essential that your customer service team is committed to the highest customer service standards possible while maintaining a positive attitude. They not only need to fully understand any type of feedback or issue that presents itself, but they need to truly want to resolve the issue so that the company can have increased success. If you provide a service or product that requires customer service interaction outside of normal business hours, make sure your team is readily available during the set times where customers are able to contact them.
If you’re like us at CallHarbor and have a 24/7 customer service team, make sure your team members have enough drive to wake up at 3am if they get a call, along with enough motivation (and energy) to get the problem solved as quickly as possibly. Employees who want to see their business succeed and have that inner drive to problem-solve (no matter what time of the day or night it is) are the ones you’ll want to have leading your customer service efforts.
A Good Customer Service Strategy Can Transform Your Business
Don Alden Adams, President of the Tract Society of Pennsylvania, says, “To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” Knowing your business’ goals, touchpoints, and KPI’s are all necessary to have a successful customer service strategy. However, it comes down to your team being resolution-focused and sincere when tackling any type of customer service issue. If you can focus on these aspects and have a stellar team intact, ready to solve whatever is thrown at them, then you’re on the route to success!