Magazine article CRM Magazine

Build Customer Loyalty through Smart Customer Service

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Build Customer Loyalty through Smart Customer Service

Article excerpt

Providing better products at a better price isn't always enough to attract and retain customers. The only way to truly stand out is to provide outstanding customer service. But, simply answering a customer's phone call on the first ring or resolving an issue doesn't qualify as outstanding customer service anymore.

Today, customers are adept at helping themselves with online tools. And they often turn to Web self-service because it fits into their busy schedule. Your customer service has to take this, and much more, into account to help you differentiate yourself from the competition. You have to provide your customers with proactive service that helps them at every step of their journey.

You need to provide Smart Customer Service.

WHAT IS SMART CUSTOMER SERVICE?

In essence, Smart Customer Service means taking everything you know about a specific customer--previous contacts, order history, problems, preferred channel of contact--to provide proactive and personalized service to your customer.

Every interaction a customer has with you is a chance to gain knowledge about that customer. When a customer sends an email about his or her bill, you can gather some key information about that customer. Then, you can use that information not only to help when the customer contacts you in the future, but also to provide proactive service, such as information about new products or email reminders about when bill payments are due.

The key to this is allowing your agents and contact center to use all the information you have about a customer in a smart way.

THE ROLE OF THE AGENT

Your customer service agents play a key role in providing Smart Customer Service. Agents need to be empowered by intelligent and connected systems that provide relevant information at the appropriate time. This includes past contacts and the context of the current request and journey, allowing the agent to proactively help the user to complete this interaction faster and in a satisfactory way.

Knowing a customer called you last week about a problem with his Internet service and how the problem was resolved helps the agent provide a better customer experience on this current journey. This information can be interpreted by the agent as unique or individual to that customer. This information can be used by the agent to break down barriers, win trust and provide a great customer experience. That, in turn, can lead to increased customer loyalty simply because you knew about them as individuals and had relevant information about the current request. …

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