We’ll let you in on a secret: The keys to becoming a customer service leader

As a consumer, it’s easy to spot good customer service when you see it. But as customer demands for service continue to grow, companies often struggle to deliver service that matches expectations. So what exactly are the keys to great customer service? What separates the leaders from the laggards? We’re pulling back the curtain and revealing the strategies that customer service leaders often use in order to enhance their customer communications.
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By learning from customer service leaders, companies can facilitate more effective customer communications.

We all know how good customer service looks. That thoughtful touch. The extra mile. Added efficiency. And effortless interactions. But what specifically distinguishes the customer service leaders from the laggards? What do the leaders do differently? And how can other companies replicate the success model to achieve better customer service results?

The industries which consistently receive high customer service scores may surprise you. Supermarkets, fast food, banking and retail are all at the top of the list.

What do those industries have in common? And why do they hold the key to the treasure chest of customer service secrets? Across these leading industries for customer service, clear patterns emerge in how these industries help customers accomplish their goals and build an experience to admire.

Here are their secrets to success.

  • Self-service options. Not only do customers increasingly prefer self-service options (especially Millennials), automated self-service also saves businesses resources. Customer service leaders provide valuable tools which allow customers to solve their own problems and find their own answers, such as self-checkout lines, ATMs, drive-thru lanes, mobile apps, information kiosks, and downloadable coupons.
  • User control. Effective customer service allows the customer to be in the driver’s seat. Let your customers do what they want to do, when they want to do it, how they want to do it and then store those decisions as future preferences.
  • Personalization. Everyone likes to feel special. Whether it’s a store employee who knows you by name or a barista who remembers your last order, customers enjoy that personal, individualized treatment. Companies with successful customer service often use recommendation engines to help tailor the experience by predicting your next action based on previous interactions and uncovered behavioral patterns.
  • Relevant choices. You know the feeling – you go into the department store looking for shoes, then the salesperson spends 30 minutes trying to sell you a watch. Being presented with irrelevant, unwanted options is frustrating. When you have a goal in mind, what can help you make the right choice is critical information and a list of available options. Companies that offer great customer service cut out what’s unnecessary, and only present you with the choices relevant to your current situation.
  • Multichannel support. Customers don’t rely on one communication channel alone. They use phone, email, text, web, and mobile apps (sometimes simultaneously). Companies need to leverage an encompassing view of customers, across all channels and contact points, and must consider face-to-face, inbound, and outbound interactions. 

These patterns aren’t unique to the supermarket, fast food, retail or banking industries. These principles can be applied and implemented in any industry in order to achieve superior customer service success.

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The Millennialization of Customer Service

Customer service professionals are concerned about the impact the Millennial generation will have on their organizations. Read our whitepaper to learn about the risks and opportunities in the myth of generational preferences.

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Eduardo Olvera

About Eduardo Olvera

Eduardo Olvera is a Senior UI Manager & Global Discipline Leader at Nuance Communications. His work on many international English, Spanish and French voice user interfaces for such industry leading corporations as US Airways, Wells Fargo, Ford, Walgreens, Telefonica Movistar, Bank of America, Fidelity, US Bank, Geico, Vanguard, Samsung, Virgin, MetroPCS, Sprint, and Sempra, give him a deep understanding of the user and business challenges of mobile, multilingual and multimodal application design, development and implementation.