Customer service is a quickly growing topic of interest, both in organizations and more broadly in our society. Don’t believe me? Take a look at Google Trends graph from today showing the growth in search around the term.
Still don’t believe me? Check out the media run this story got about poor customer service recently.
Looking at these two points, it’s clear that interest in customer service is growing, but how do we take that and turn customer service in to a competitive advantage for your organization?
Here are a few steps you can follow to make that happen:
1. Sell the dream
Turning your company’s customer service into a competitive advantage is as much about convincing your team that you can do it then any goals being set or tactics implemented. There has to be a fundamental belief by everyone in the organization that 1) customer service really matters that much to your team and 2) we can, and will, turn it into a competitive advantage. That doesn’t just happen by accident, but instead is a deliberate undertaking (almost always coming from an executive) to instill that vision and belief.
2. Set goals and definitions
Selling the dream of outstanding customer service isn’t just aone-timee event, but rather something you will do every day for the lifespan of your company. However, at some point you’ll have to start establish how your company defines customer service and what goals are expected to be hit.
Consider these goals:
- What is going to be your service level agreement? Remember, the faster you can get someone to an answer, the happier they will be with you.
- What channels will you support, and does the SLA change by channel? Phone and email should be a bare bones minimum, but other channels like live chat and social are becoming more and more expected by customers.
- How will you delight customers? This can be defined and measured a number of different ways, but the important piece thing to consider is how you can monitor it for improvements.
After defining what that service looks like for your team, it, like most things, all comes down to execution. This means a few things for your organization:
- Equipping your team with the tools necessary to meet and exceed the expectations of your customers.
- Enabling your team with the knowledge they need to answer questions/concerns competently (we can help here).
- Create reporting and dashboards that foster accountability to the goals that have been put in place.
Have any examples of how you are turning customer service into a competitive advantage? Let us know in the comments below!