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What Is Customer Service Management: Tips and Guidelines

According to Gartner, two-thirds of customer loyalty is driven by user experience. If you're able to deliver a superior user experience, you'll outperform your competitors on brand and price.

The next question is how to outdo your competitors through a better UX. The question is more complicated than how your product performs. You must also consider the service experience delivered to clients at each touchpoint with the company.

Customer service management is the science of managing the various levels of interaction. In this article, we'll answer the question, "What is customer service management?" We'll then discuss customer service management tips and customer service management guidelines to help you improve the user experience.

What Is Customer Service Management?

CMS is each interaction the client has with your firm. The process begins with product development and service level agreements. An effective strategy follows the client's journey to the end of their lifecycle with your firm.  

What Constitutes an Effective Strategy?

Effective strategies center on exceeding the client's expectations rather than merely meeting them. Firms should consider the following when developing their stratagem:

  • What the client actually needs

  • Finding a way to meet those needs sustainably

  • Work out if you're on the right track by getting feedback from your target market

  • Selecting a system to monitor the levels of client satisfaction

Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

Customer Service Management Guidelines

Find Out What Your Client Actually Needs

The story of Blockbuster in the United States is an excellent cautionary tale of why you shouldn't make assumptions. The once-successful national franchise died a quick death because it didn't keep up with changing client needs.

The firm assumed that streaming was a fad. It had the opportunity to buy Netflix for $50 million but chose to stick to its existing model. That was a mistake. In 2010, Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy protection. Netflix passed the $1 billion valuation mark in 2018 and has experienced year-on-year growth ever since.

Don't make a similar mistake. Had Blockbuster kept pace with the changing needs of their clients, they might still be a leading franchise today.

Firms should carefully assess what their target market needs. They should follow through by regularly reassessing those needs to keep up to date on changing market conditions. Assumptions about what's important to clients may prove deadly.

Meet Client Needs Sustainably

A company that doesn't meet its client's needs is setting itself up for failure. The mistake that many companies make is that they assume that they must provide the perfect solution.

It's nice to aim for perfection, but it may prove a costly mistake. According to PwC, companies need to focus on the "must haves" first. This strategy allows them to get a workable product to market and turn a sustainable profit.

Firms may tweak the features or add more later, but they must get this aspect right first.

Work Out if You're on the Right Track

Client feedback is one of the most valuable tools that companies have. Over the last few years, companies have focused on sending out surveys to evaluate how they're doing. These are usually in the form of "Rate my Service" questionnaires.

In the future, firms will need to get more creative. Clients are becoming increasingly resistant to answering survey questions. Many feel that there's no real benefit to them in doing so. Others are suffering from survey fatigue.

Fortunately, there are several other ways to get the feedback that you need. Firms should consider:

  • Monitoring online reviews and identifying potential service gaps

  • Scouring social media for mentions

  • Record and evaluate client interactions with the call center

  • Use surveys sparingly

  • Giving clients an incentive to complete surveys

Now that we've worked through the basic guidelines, let's move on to specific tips on improving customer service management.

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Customer Service Management Tips

Create the Right Company Culture

Consumers soon pick up on a toxic company culture. If the workers at ground level aren't happy, they cannot deliver outstanding service. Productivity suffers, and the firm's reputation takes a knock.

Changing the organization's culture may take a long time. Firms should:

  • Start by hiring people with the attitude they'd like to foster

  • Ensure that existing employees have the training and tools that they need to make good customer service decisions

  • Empower employees to make decisions to improve customer service

  • Focus on maintaining existing client relationships instead of always chasing sales targets

When a company cannot afford to wait, they should consider outsourcing their customer service function where possible.  A call center is an excellent place to start the process.

The Benefits of Outsourcing a Call Center

Companies may shy away from offering a 24/7 contact line due to the expense of running one. This stratagem limits client support to office hours and makes it challenging to control service levels. It's also entirely unnecessary.

An outsourced call center provides firms a cost-effective, scalable alternative. Companies benefit by:

  • Connecting clients to highly-trained consultants

  • Only paying for the capacity they need

  • Not incurring extra infrastructural costs

  • Improving their brand image through a well-managed client relationship

  • Quicker query resolution

  • Less administrative work

Is outsourcing the right option for your firm? Find out more about your options at SupportYourApp.

Provide Customer Service Training for Your Employees

Maintaining existing client relationships makes it easier to improve sales figures. It's less work because firms have already established trust with the customer. Once you've convinced a consumer to buy a product once, it becomes easier the next time.

That's assuming that you deliver outstanding service. To facilitate a better user experience, firms should invest in training. Consultants must learn:

  • How to reassure clients and build their trust

  • To be empathetic and tactful

  • How to listen to clients actively

  • Effective ways to gather feedback

  • The psychology of providing an outstanding UX

Consider an Effective Customer Success Strategy

Customer support is mostly a reactive function. The client contacts support if they have a question or issue. Companies should go a step further and implement a customer success strategy.

What is Customer Success?

Customer success refers to effectively the client uses a product. A successful strategy centers on helping your client achieve their goals with your product or related products.

WhatsApp, for example, is a simple, instant message service. A client support consultant deals with problems like clients not receiving texts or alerts. A customer success expert would take a more proactive role.

They'd contact the user and help them work out if they might find the Video Calling, Broadcast, and Groups features useful. If so, the agent might teach them how to use these features.

By assisting the client in this manner, the firm makes its product indispensable. Client satisfaction increases because they're able to use the product correctly. Their perception of the value rises accordingly.

Final Notes

Companies that excel in delivering excellent user experience gain a competitive advantage. Product design is one part of the equation. The other part is providing great service.

Getting both sections right means understanding the consumer's needs and nurturing the relationship. Such a strategy requires a more significant investment from the company.

The potential return on investment is high, and the stakes are higher. Firms that develop the client relationship engender brand loyalty and create brand ambassadors. Companies that don't end up as the Blockbusters of our age.

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