For any business to grow and excel it needs to have an effective customer service strategy.
Such a strategy sets the standards of care and service that you will expect to offer to your customers and sets the requirements for meeting desired standards. These standards are not to be missed at any cost.
A great customer service strategy plays an important role in providing great customer service, building customer satisfaction and helps you retain a loyal customer base.
In this post, we explain what a customer service strategy is and why it is important for your business. Let’s get straight into it.
What is a Customer Service Strategy?
A customer service strategy is the standard and process of service and care that your business will offer to consumers along with a way to measure those standards.
A customer service strategy helps businesses with:
- Customer Satisfaction – plays a vital role in understanding your customer needs and building customer satisfaction
- Increased Loyalty – making customers happy and driving recurring business. It also helps in building and improving relationships with past, existing customers
- Delivering Consistently– setting up processes and systems for delivering consistent levels of support and service whilst continuously measuring its effectiveness
- Boosting Revenue – customers become advocates and more likely to rave about the product/service to other people
Elements of Customer Service Strategy
A brilliant customer strategy comprehensively examines the perceptions and expectations a customer has from your company when they choose to engage.
It thoroughly guides the company on how to align its customer service activities with the needs of the customers.
With a clear plan around creating a customer service plan, your business can consistently offer a highly competitive customer experience.
Now let’s quickly move onto the elements that are essential for a customer service strategy:
- Mapping Your Customer Journey
- Proactive Customer Support
- Measure Customer Satisfaction
- Ensuring Accountability
A – Mapping Your Customer Journey
A customer journey is described as a visual representation of every experience and interaction your customer will have with your business.
It narrates the story of a customer’s experience with your brand from the first point of contact – commonly known as original engagement – to the endpoint, i.e. long-term relationships.
Customer journey mapping provides an opportunity for your business to step into the customer’s shoes and see the business from their eyes.
It helps your business gain insights about the common pain and friction points that customers come across, identify what can be done to improve their experience and define what customers (both prospective and existing) require to complete a satisfied purchase.
Customer journey mapping allows you to:
- Identify where your customers interact with your business
- Focus on the needs of the customers at different stages in the buying funnel
- Make sure the customer journey is in a logical order
- Assess your sales process from an outsider’s perspective
- Identify the gaps between desired and actual customer experience
- Highlight priorities
- Channel efforts and resources to maximize the effectiveness of your customer service plan
B – Proactive Customer Support
A quick reaction to the needs of the customer plays a vital role in ensuring delightful customer experience.
In order to bridge the gap between “the good” and “the bad,” your customer service plan should be as proactive as possible in anticipating the needs of your customers.
A proactive customer service strategy will demonstrate that your customer service plan is indeed customer-focused, and always striving to deliver amazing customer experience. Afterall, delivering compelling experiences is our goal.
Rather than operating on a ticket-by-ticket system, your customer management service strategy should be robust enough to prompt your customer service team to understand the customer well enough to predict their needs proactively.
Remember: If a customer is facing an issue and needs to reach out to your support team, that means your CX team has already failed.
Anticipating pitfalls and reacting proactively helps in maximizing customer loyalty and increase the long term value of your customer, as they will continue to engage with your business instead of seeking alternatives.
C – Measure Customer Satisfaction
Companies often tend to ignore the importance of measuring customer satisfaction.
Its importance lies in its ability to highlight how loyal your customers are with your brand and what are the chances that they will become brand advocates – somebody who tells their network how great you are!
It is vital that your customer service strategy should be customer-centric. This doesn’t mean just lip service from the CEO. This means having a truly customer-first approach from bottom to top.
Ensuring excellent customer satisfaction is the only way to ensure your customers remain loyal customers.
Most customer service strategies are equipped with measures to improve customer satisfaction, whereas they should focus on understanding what customers really want, and the impact of corrective measures on customer sentiments.
If your customer service strategy fails to understand customers, your business will never know the real needs of the customer and therefore struggle to drive improvements in customer satisfaction metrics.
Measuring customer satisfaction is a crucial factor for growth in any organization; it provides insight into what works best and offers opportunities for optimization.
If you’re not measuring customer satisfaction in some shape or form it’s best to start right away.
D – Accountability
Accountability in a customer service strategy is defined as the ability to account for actions and decisions your business takes.
It is the willingness to show customers that you care about them, and an unspoken pledge to respond to queries and requests for information and help.
Let’s assume that you have the right people for the job who are determined to do their best. If however your culture lacks accountability, then there is little point.
Without accountability, your customer service team will end up making empty promises, excuses – hampering the perceived customer service.
When mentioning accountability in customer service, we mean following through with and owning customer issues, irrespective of the fact that they might be service issues out of our control.
It also means that customer service experience should be as streamlined as possible and painless.
What are the qualities of great customer service?
There are three main constituent parts that allow a business to achieve great customer service:
- It should be proactive
- It should be personalized
- It should help in understanding the customer journey across multiple channels
Let’s look into each of these qualities.
A – Customer Service Should be Proactive
Proactive Customer Support is all about identifying and resolving problems your customers come across before they transform into bigger problems.
And that too, as quickly as possible.
A great customer service strategy is always proactive and is considered important for the following reasons;
- It helps in increasing customer loyalty – a study conducted by Enkata reached a conclusion that making your customer service proactive helps in increasing customer retention by 3% to 5%. Nice! 👍
- It Decreases Support Calls – a proactive customer service helps in identifying and resolving them as soon as they arise, which helps in reducing the number of tickets you receive👌
- It Controls Communication – people tend to share their experiences about the brand online via social media or using any other medium. If you happen to be proactive, you’ll be able to contribute to conversations and engage with customers to promote your business in the most favorable light.
B – Customer Service Should be Personalized
Personalized customer care goes beyond satisfying the needs of the customers.
It involves directly addressing a customer on the actual pain point they are in and provides them with a reason besides your product or service to patron your brand.
Personalized customer care represents the difference between customers completing a transaction, then forgetting about your brand, and becoming a loyal customer (life-long).
C – Customer Service Should Help in Understanding Customer Journey
Your customer service strategy should be devised in a manner to help your business;
- Comprehend the hurdles that customers go through in their journey across multiple channels.
- Help you understand how customers engage with your business with a customer journey map
- Designed to help customers navigate through each part of their journey with you
This would help your business tap into the untapped potential for gaining a better understanding of your customer behavior, and turn that information into new initiatives to better serve your customers.
The Importance of Customer Service Strategy
Consumers need more control in terms of purchasing decisions which indicate that their purchases might be done in different methods – based on whichever suits them best.
In order to provide maximum benefit, you need to have a customer service strategy that can help the company in saving time and also allow a better customer experience which ultimately leads to better customer retention and customer satisfaction.
If executed well, the customer service strategy can guarantee repeat purchases, which are ultimately essential for any business.
A customer service strategy is important for the following reasons:
- Customer Retention
- Customer Loyalty
- Low Cost of Customer Service
- Positive Word of Mouth
A – Customer Retention
With a proactive customer service strategy, you will always stay ahead of your competitors.
A crafted service strategy allows more options for customers to reach you, which ultimately makes their experience better.
If customers are not getting the right information or can’t find the right medium to make a purchase or get support, they will inevitably have a bad experience.
With a customer service strategy, customers are prioritized which allows for better customer retention as they feel valued and cared for.
Ultimately, retained customers help businesses grow as they become more loyal, return more frequently, spend more and refer their networks.
B – Increased Customer Loyalty
A customer service strategy plan should take into account the perquisites of having loyal customers and work hard to achieve it.
It ensures relevant personalization across all communication channels, which helps to:
- Ensure customer loyalty and reduce churn rate, which is ultimately the goal of all companies
- Understand the personal preferences of customers across all available channels
When customers are satisfied with the service they receive in the purchasing process, customer loyalty will surely increase.
Understanding the changing needs of customers and providing a level of service accordingly is very important in order to attain high customer lifetime value.
C – Lower Cost of Customer Service
Self-service is the new customer service these days.
Customers want to resolve issues through their own effort as opposed to customer service.
In order to make it happen, you should provide all the relevant information through FAQs, a Knowledgebase and other product/service information documents or help videos.
This strategy provides customers with more convenience and an overall better customer experience.
The result is higher customer satisfaction and a significant reduction in the cost of an overburdened customer service department.
D – Positive Word of Mouth
Information that we share on a daily basis with each other is a form of publicity that costs nothing. Besides, many of the behemoth businesses we love and admire today grew on word of mouth marketing.
When customers enjoy a company’s service, they cannot help but tell others about it and the chain continues – as long as you provide consistently exceptional experiences to each new customer.
Similarly, bad word of mouth can be fatal for your company’s image since customers now have many channels to vent across and information travels faster and on multiple platforms.
A clear customer service strategy will cater to every need of your customers and helps to improve customer satisfaction. This ultimately leads to a positive word of mouth multiplier which can drive substantial business growth.
There you have it. Treating your business with a well-crafted customer service strategy will not only allow you to propel it towards success, but will also enable you to cultivate more profitable, satisfied and sustainable customer relationships.
You should always track, measure and optimize your strategy to find out what works best for you and your customers. Take feedback on board and tweak regularly, implementing learnings as you go.
We hope by now, you have a better idea of the importance of a customer service strategy for your business.
Is there anything that we failed to cover? Let us know in the comments.