This post was contributed by Ashley Scorpio, Vice President of Partnerships at Hawke Media
Creating and maintaining a customer-centric culture is critical to building a successful brand and business. By supporting and empowering the customer service team, a culture of service prioritizes making customers happy which in turn drives sales, morale, and the overall brand.
We could all take a page out of the late Tony Hsieh’s book, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, who championed brand building through customer service: “Over the years, the number one driver of our growth at Zappos has been repeat customers and word of mouth. Our philosophy has been to take most of the money we would have spent on paid advertising and invest it into customer service and the customer experience instead, letting our customers do the marketing for us through word of mouth.”
It’s important to realize that “great customer service doesn’t happen in a vacuum,” explains Salesforce. “It involves every aspect of your company and depends on every employee, whether they directly interact with your customers or not.”
So, how can organizations of any size upgrade their customer experience? Let’s have a look at a few ways this all-important function can get a refresh.
Anticipate Customer Needs & Questions
While much of the customer experience has become self-service — customers prefer to do their own research and answer their own questions first — the ability to provide this self-service feature can form a significant part of your company’s overall customer experience. Unfortunately, there’s often a disconnect. Sales, marketing, product development, and other teams work so hard at creating the first impression in order to encourage a sale, but the first impression when a customer reaches out with a question or comment might be the opposite experience: confusing, or even silent.
When a prospective customer cannot find answers, or the answers are unsatisfactory, they will either make contact and demand an explanation or abandon the buyer journey altogether.
Leverage Automation Where Appropriate
In addition to the idea of self-service, brands need to lean on automation — but only where appropriate. Just as there are limitations with Interactive voice response (IVR) phone systems, there might be limitations with automation, as certain customers have more complex questions that automation cannot handle.
Additionally, especially in our post-pandemic world, some customers yearn for a one-to-one connection, something that IVR or chatbot automation cannot deliver. Choose a customer-experience partner like Gladly, which can provide a full suite of omnichannel customer contact options and advise you on how to best deliver them.
Post-Purchase Journey: Beyond the Basics
Yay, the customer made a purchase! The post-purchase journey should be more than simply email confirmations about the sale and when the product has shipped.
Study past customer interactions post-sale to determine the right mix of follow-up communication. Perhaps invitations to join and follow social media accounts, or participate in special, exclusive online events, could be a way to keep the conversation alive. Make sure that these are not simply thinly veiled upselling schemes. They should be ways to enhance the overall buying experience with your company — and provide something enticing to the customer.
Calls for empathy to truly understand customers and their needs are nothing new. Today’s customer-experience platforms allow you to find the right mix of personal, bulk, automated, live, and digital experience channels so you can engage with your customers on the right platform at the right time with the right message.
“When service is one of your company’s core values and a ‘must-do’ for every employee,” notes Salesforce, “everyone understands its importance.”
Want to learn more about upgrading your business? Hawke Media is an award-winning digital marketing consultancy and full-service agency founded on the idea that every modern business needs a CMO-level expert to lead digital marketing efforts. Our comprehensive à la carte menu of services and month-to-month contracts mean you get only what you need, when you need it. Get a free consultation here.
Salesforce – How to Improve Customer Service