Customer service experience is the client’s perception or opinion of the support a company provides during and after the purchase cycle.
A well-thought-out marketing campaign helps you sell more, but a good customer experience is a magnet that will keep your clients coming back, bringing more leads. It can make or break a business and is one of the critical elements of overall customer experience and long-term retention. In this article, we’ll take a closer look and explain what customer service experience is, why it’s important, and strategies to improve it.
Definition of customer experience and service
When most people think of customer service, they imagine a room filled with agents interacting with customers or answering calls. While this may be a normal service activity, the market dynamics do not stand still. Many companies are now starting with the customer experience as the primary way to understand their target audience, both whole groups, and individual consumers. They are developing strategies to ensure a positive experience with every interaction.
Any customer experience is the sum of all interactions, called touchpoints, that a customer has with a company over time. The customer service experience considers all service activities and individual interactions by phone, in person, in-store, social media, or service center. From the moment someone is looking for or researching a particular product they want to purchase to the moment someone buys something, everything from helping find the most suitable product to instructions on how to use it to problem-solving, if any, is the responsibility of the customer service.
Firms should focus on customer service experience as a strategic priority because its scope extends far beyond a single person or department.
How does customer service experience impact your business?
The quality of customer service a company ensures determines how satisfied and loyal customers will be in the long run. It is also essential in increasing the client base and business profitability.
Here are the prominent benefits companies are sure to experience through excellent customer service:
- Building trust and relationships with clients: an exceptional customer service experience is the key to exceeding your customers’ expectations. When you make people feel valued and support them throughout the purchase journey, you set yourself up for customer satisfaction. It also creates a sense of trust in your customers as they are more associated with a brand or company that makes them feel cared for.
- Building loyal supporters: word of mouth travels faster than any advertisement, so a satisfied client will always be your best advocate. While poor customer service can lead to negative brand publicity, a happy customer will remain loyal and attract new leads.
- Building strong brand identity: companies that emphasize customer service and excellent products have an edge over their competitors. Nowadays, consumers have more variants to choose from among multiple brands or companies offering similar products or services. Such market expansion has changed how people make purchasing decisions, with customer service becoming as crucial as the quality and price of the product.
Customer service reports are a great source of information about the client’s journey, pain points, and product or service usage patterns. Taking that feedback and channeling it into product or service design can help create a more competitive offering and directly contribute to savings, revenue growth, or market-driven innovation.
How do we develop a better customer experience?
Customer service activities are focused on the helpdesk, email, social media, and self-service. In today’s era of managing multiple touchpoints, efficiency requires getting the most out of individual resources. There are several recommendations on how to make the customer experience unforgettable:
- Multichannel communication: while a company can manage customer service with a single-channel platform, this is impossible today. Gartner estimates that in 2022, 90% of companies will use social media to serve their clients. One of the best ways to manage communication across platforms is to take advantage of a shared inbox. With a shared inbox, your staff can process requests from a central platform and spend more time delivering meaningful customer experiences.
- Self-service and automation: the more time employees spend manually entering data and doing other small tasks, the less time they have to focus on clients. You can optimize several processes when automation tools are successfully integrated with your help desk platform.
- Personalization of every interaction: while scripts and templates can save a lot of time and ensure answers cover all the basics, you want to ensure your employees don’t rely entirely on them. It is essential to educate staff and help them understand how to make customers feel valued. Remembering a client’s name or referring to past messages can demonstrate that you care about them.
- Make getting help as straightforward as possible: usually, the best customer service experience is the one that agents don’t even notice. Specialists call these «boring customer service stories». It doesn’t sound very appealing, and often the agents don’t even remember that the interaction took place. But customers don’t want to jump through hoops to get noticed. In fact, 96% of hard-working customers report future disloyalty.
- Build a culture of care: ultimately, delivering a great customer experience depends on people. If your company’s employees are not interested and interested in taking care of clients, other initiatives will fail. Your clients don’t want to wait for help. Focus on reducing first response time and ensuring buyers feel like they’re being prioritized.
An excellent customer service experience depends on what you do to meet client needs and how you do it. Personalized communication, empathy, proactive solutions, and easy access to easy-to-use customer service options are all fundamental factors that allow your business to stand out from the competition.
The customer service experience remains a priority for companies looking to interact more effectively with clients. It’s an essential point of differentiation that allows companies to expand their traditional view of service to consider all the possible touchpoints a customer might have with their brand.