A great customer experience can make the difference between a business flourishing and failing.
When customers have a positive interaction with a company, almost all (94%) say it increases the chances of them purchasing again. In other words, great experiences lead to increased revenue. And while there are a few ingredients to delivering a standout experience, two stand above the rest – consistency and visibility.
Chris Mills, Head of Customer Success, EMEA, Slack, says that consistent offering boosts loyalty, while inconsistencies drive customers away. Unfortunately, this is where many businesses struggle. Three-fifths of consumers say that it usually feels like they’re communicating with separate departments rather than one company, when they contact service teams.
Alongside tackling those consistency issues, businesses also need to build a 360-degree view of the customer. That’s because too often issues can slip through the radar unreported and unnoticed. With clarity on how they’re faring against expectations, businesses can both deliver a service that has customers coming back for more, and proactively identify any issues they need to solve.
Conversely, if they fail to get each of these elements right, the company is likely to see a rising tide of ‘silent switchers’ – those customers who have quietly and quickly ditched a business for a competitor due to a bad incident, without the company even realising what’s gone wrong.
Of course, all of this is easier said than done – so, here are a few tips on how to get customer service right and create an antidote for the scourge of silent switching.
Building a connected, consistent team
If internal teams, like sales and customer support, are disconnected, the customer will realise. It might be that they keep having to repeat themselves each time they’ve called, or that they receive conflicting answers to the same question. This makes the organisation look unprofessional, leading to a lack of confidence and frustrations for the client. In short, it puts customers on track to become silent switchers.
To best serve customers consistently, it’s important that cross-functional departments can easily share knowledge, or search for existing knowledge, across the whole organisation. For a customer support team, that might mean they can quickly look up a solution for an issue that’s plagued a previous customer and share it with a new one, discover the latest updates on a service from the product team or connect with sales to pass on details if someone wants to renew a contract.
Enabling that interdepartmental knowledge sharing requires a single platform that connects and engages everyone in the business. If a sales team is communicating via email, service agents are siloed away on a standalone customer-support tool and product development teams are chatting live in an office, it’s impossible to deliver a consistent customer experience – because the teams themselves have inconsistent processes.
Instead, with everyone united around one productivity platform that houses all communications and collaboration, they can easily search for and share the answers they need. What’s more, they can connect and engage with other departments not just through messages, but with instant audio or video calls, asynchronous video clips and more – so it’s always simple to connect with coworkers from one central platform.
All of this helps build the level of consistency that customers demand – and will enable businesses to nurture relationships with customers that boost loyalty and reduce the risk of switching.
Creating a 360-degree view of the customer
While keeping internal teams connected is key to delivering a consistent approach to individual customers, it’s also important to have a bird’s eye view of those experiences on the whole. Without clarity on customer feedback, whether that’s through Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) or other metrics, businesses are flying blind. Delivering a meaningful experience for clients is an ongoing process – which means taking learnings and continuously evolving the service on offer.
By gathering insights and data through automations and integrations, and measuring the success (or shortcomings) of customer interactions, any issues can be caught early. They can then be dealt with swiftly – before leading to a customer ditching and switching.
For example, by automatically sharing feedback surveys through a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform to gather findings, a team might spot that customer experiences have dropped after a new product launched. Further investigations unearth a bug, or poor user instructions – and they can then take action to rework or fix it.
Crucially, though, this kind of data analysis doesn’t have to add additional admin work to support or sales teams. At the fast-growing fintech company, Revolut, for example, the sales team has been able to minimise the time spent on processes and admin by integrating their CRM from Salesforce so that it automatically captures customer activity and shares it in the platform where they are collaborating.
Not only does using automation like this accelerate work for the team at Revolut, it means they always have access to the latest information they need to better serve customers, while freeing up their time to focus on high-value work – like connecting with clients and closing deals.
Marrying consistency and visibility in one productivity platform
In a highly competitive world, customer loyalty is hard won and easily lost. Being able to present a united front, keeping internal teams connected and gathering the insights needed to understand customer experiences are all key to keeping customers on side.
Uniting teams in a productivity platform that’s integrated with critical apps like a CRM achieves this. It brings consistency to departments by unifying collaboration and communication, and puts customer challenges under the microscope – revealing pain points before they snowball.
While this will require embracing a new approach, businesses need to make a call: to either switch how they work today, or see their customers switching to competitors tomorrow.