As the new year has just started - it's a great opportunity to think about the year ahead and see if we have our priorities right. Is your company ready to rock customer service in 2019? Are your customers your top priority? As the global competition tightens and customer experience and customer satisfaction become key drivers for many businesses, every company should put the following topics on their strategic to-do lists. If you fail to deliver on these - don't say you weren't warned.
1. Meet the growing expectations.
This one is true every year: your customers expect more and more. Not just in 2019, but every single year. Your customers have endless choices to choose from AND they increasingly compare you to all other services they are using, not just to your competitors:
“The last best experience anyone has anywhere,” writes IBM’s user experience expert Paul Papas, “becomes the minimum expectation for the experience they want everywhere.”
Providing your customers with great customer service is a factor that can - and will! - significantly improve your competitive advantage. So, understand that whatever you did in 2017, and in 2018, to improve your customer service is probably not enough anymore. It might seem daunting, but the bottom line is: it’s a losing battle to fight against this change of growing expectations. Instead, companies looking to win over the loyalty of their customers will embrace this change, adapt and find solutions to up their game. Year after year.
2. Be convenient.
This should be a no-brainer, but is often forgotten: to really get ahead your competition, simply be easy to do business with!
Time is the new gold and when it comes to customer service, companies need to be available to their customers 24/7. This can be achieved through adding more customer service staff, extending business hours, adding in-person locations or - just automating your easy, repetitive customer service functions to a virtual agent.
3. Take your digital transformation seriously.
Digital transformation and the digitalisation of business is of course nothing new.
The buzzwords have been around for years and some 89% of companies have adopted a digital-first business strategy, or have plans in place to do so. Especially in the customer service industry, the boom of the digital channels has been a real game changer and the customers absolutely love it: they can increasingly use their native channels, they are less dependent on business hours (customers have jobs too, you know) and an email is still faster than a letter!
It’s of course a challenging task for any organisation: implementing a digital-first strategy is a company-wide initiative. However here comes the real catch: in Germany, only 25% of ALL companies have invested money into their digital transformation.
Almost every company has a digital strategy, but only 25% are willing to put any money in it.
So, have you provided your customer service with the right tools to adopt this new strategy, do you know what you want to achieve? How will the staff interact with your customers in the new, digital-first environment? Can the strategy come reality?
So to recap, if you really want to reap the benefits of these huge opportunities and new strategic initiatives, you - and the other decision makers in your company - have to take it seriously.
So, there you have it - the recipe for rocking customer service in 2019 and keeping your competitive advantage. Hand on your heart: Is your customer service as good as it can be? The new year hast just started - maybe it's time to make some changes.