by Dan Ross, SVP, Commercial Sales, Salesforce

Today’s customers are more demanding than ever. They want:

  • Personalised service with recommendations just for them.
  • Mobile service, just like in all the apps they use daily.
  • Instant service. Nobody’s willing to wait on hold anymore.
  • Predictive service, so problems are solved before they’re even known.

All these things will become commonplace for customer service in the future. The problem is that customers want them now. Manual processes and disconnected systems just aren’t suitable to meet these increasing demands, and what it all boils down to is this: Your business can’t be successful without a complete tech solution.

The customer experience is more important than price.

Think for a minute about companies you particularly love — maybe Amazon, Virgin, Zappos, or any other companies — and chances are they have one thing in common: a great customer experience.

Service and support have become differentiators. Today’s customers only want to buy from companies that provide a quality “experience” or a top-notch end-to-end service.

That means the customer experience is now just as important as price — and even as important as the very product a company sells.

Effective customer service teams are actively embracing four trends to create an outstanding customer experience, bring in more revenue, and create repeat customers. Let’s take a look.

Trend 1: Set Great Expectations

Customers expect great service, so you’ve got to provide it. To do that, customer service teams have to go to where the customer is: Every channel, every touchpoint, every line of business. This ensures timely responses, but it’s also how your customer service team starts to function as a brand ambassador and additional sales channel.

Located a problem? Effective customer service teams would swoop in to provide help and recommend solutions. All this in turn, helps to create a unified front across the entire business to provide a great experience.

Trend 2: Empower Your Agents

That unified front line I mentioned? It’s only possible if agents are empowered. Help your entire organisation to collaborate and put the customer first. Empower them to go above and beyond to ensure a great experience. To do that, you’ve got to go back to the basics:

  • Training. Get everyone on the same page. Build in soft skills and empathy.
  • Technology. This is how you get productivity tools plus that 360° customer view.
  • Incentive. Why should your agents care? Give them a (tangible!) reason.

Trend 3: Share Metrics and Targets

Start-ups don’t fail due to a lack of funding; they fail due to a lack of customers. To stay on top of your business, you’ve got to share not just data and metrics, but also targets and accountability. As in, both sales and service are measured in the same categories.

For example, if your sales reps were measured by renewals or customer satisfaction scores, wouldn’t they be more helpful in customer implementations? If your support reps were measured on cross sell, wouldn’t they become more curious with customers and more collaborative with our sales team? Absolutely: High performing teams are 1.8x more likely to share goals (not just data) than under-performers.

Trend 4: Deliver Intelligent Service

Speaking of metrics, effective customer service teams are collecting, analysing, and acting on customer feedback. 79% of SMBs (small to medium sized businesses) believe it’s extremely, very, or somewhat important to their customers to work with support agents who know their service histories. So that’s what customers want, but how many companies can actually deliver? Intelligent service lets you answer questions, provide proactive solutions, and solve problems before the customer asks.

Embrace these trends with Service Cloud Essentials

Created specifically for small businesses, the new Salesforce Service Cloud Essentials helps you capitalise on these four trends and offer an amazing customer experience.

  • Get started fast and learn easily with Salesforce’s Trailhead modules
  • Help more customers in less time with powerful productivity tools
  • Scale as you grow with a complete platform
  • Deliver smarter, more intelligent service
  • Offer personalised service via console, SMS, web, chat, phone, and email
  • Use mobile solutions to connect to customers anywhere

RelatedHow Coca-Cola Aced Its Customer Service 

Article first appeared on the Salesforce Blog.

 

Lava is an authorised Salesforce Partner in Malaysia and has more than a decade of experience in cloud solutions which includes marketing automation, CRM implementation, change management, and consultation. We pride ourselves in not just being a CRM partner but in also understanding the needs of our customers and taking their business to the next level.

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