Customer service as a business strategy


Research by Salesforce shows once more that an increasing number of companies view customer service as the crucial factor for creating a positive customer experience. The report in question describes four elements that can add value to the customer experience. One of these elements is a strategic vision: making customer service part of a business strategy aimed at achieving growth will result in many more (sales) opportunities than when service is considered a cost item. In addition, good customer service can serve as a breeding ground for brand awareness.

Service = loyalty

In this research, consumers indicate that their loyalty to a brand is largely influenced by the quality of the service that they receive. In other words: customers remain loyal to you when you invest in high-quality customer service.

How do you put this vision into practice?

1. Give customer service staff attention and freedom

According to the report, the best performing service departments are almost twice as likely to give their employees decision-making freedom in order to provide customers with personalized service compared to the worst performing departments. Strict rules and well-defined arrangements would seem necessary to ensure a consistent and high-quality customer contact. However, this turns out not to be true in practice. It is much more important to increase the skills and knowledge of the employees through proper training and to enable them to grow to a higher level through personal attention. This gives customer service staff the tools to independently make the right choices during each customer contact. This freedom ensures that customer service employees have more fun in their work and are being motivated to improve themselves. Obviously this process starts with hiring the right people. In this regard, skills are of great value, but the willingness and ability to learn and to function independently are at least as important.

2. Use smart technology

Another prerequisite for giving freedom to the customer service staff is the use of smart technology. The employee must be able to bring up the right information in a simple way. Smart technology ensures that customer service employees don’t have to learn everything by heart, but have an immediate overview. An example of this is that customers are being ‘recognized’ by the system and that the customer service employee immediately has insight into any previous contacts and arrangements with the contact in question. At ContactCare we have developed such a system ourselves, which is called MyCare. In combination with Nixxis and Slack, this software ensures that staff always have access to the information that they need.

3. Create synergy within the organization

The report ‘State of Service’ emphasizes the importance of intense collaboration between service departments on the one hand and sales and marketing departments on the other. Over two thirds of respondents indicate that they use business-wide initiatives when it comes to the customer experience. This means, among other things, understanding each other’s working methods and supporting each other’s activities. It ensures that the various departments do not become separate islands, but that the company is collectively working on the customer experience. One way to achieve this is through offering transparency by the service department. A first step that can be taken in this

regard is to ensure that all conversations that have been conducted by first-line staff can be replayed by employees of other departments. When a phone call relates to a particular department of the company, these colleagues can provide feedback on the replayed call. This helps to improve the quality and to keep everyone involved in the contact with the customers.

The marketing department will determine the style of communication that best suits the target group and the organization itself. All people in the company should apply this manner of communicating. Both the CEO who gives a lecture and the first-line customer contact employee who helps out a customer must speak the same language. This can only be achieved when everyone within the organization has the company’s DNA running through their veins. This situation is created through a common objective: serving the customers as best as you can.