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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Banking and Finance - Do Your Customer Service Strategies Need an Overhaul? 3 Strategies to Keep in Mind.

Banking and Finance

Do Your Customer Service Strategies Need an Overhaul? 3 Strategies to Keep in Mind.

Business Meeting

Consumers’ needs and preferences seem to change every day. As such, a stronger focus on customer service and experience is critical to creating loyal customers. Here are three tips to improve service and deliver exceptional experiences to boost your business.  

Customer expectations have always changed. That much is obvious. Lately, however, those expectations have evolved drastically, making the playbook for a successful experience out of date. A few years ago, people began spending even more time online — mostly out of necessity, but the transition stuck for many of them. Consumers grew accustomed to the convenience offered and now expect nothing less than uncomplicated brand interactions, wherever those interactions might take place.

Business leaders have done their best to respond by adopting new tools and technologies and making changes to their infrastructures in hopes of keeping the experience on par with expectations. But more still needs to be done, particularly around customer service. Leaders must find a good balance between their digital strategies and those that are more human-dependent if they ever hope to offer consumers the kind of experience they now expect from brands. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Use AI to gauge customer feedback.
    Many companies still use the tried-and-true method of gathering customer feedback: the survey. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with this process, but customers have become less inclined to respond. Even if it’s just a single question, the survey often goes unanswered. It’s also prone to missing important nuances that offer qualitative insights into customers’ motivations, expectations, opinions, and behaviors. This can leave your business making choices that could result in a loss of customers.

    This is where AI can help. “… AI can also be useful in analyzing data on customer feedback and satisfaction levels so you can continually refine your products and services based on real-time insights,” writes Ali Hasan R., co-founder and CEO of ThroughPut Inc., an AI supply chain pioneer enabling companies to detect, prioritize, and alleviate dynamic operational bottlenecks. “Real-time insights allow you to get ahead of the game and identify trends and patterns in your customers’ buying habits and preferences over time, giving you a much clearer picture of exactly what your customers need and want from your company.”

    These insights can help change how your business thinks about and monitors the customer experience. Perhaps there’s a touchpoint in desperate need of improvement. AI can not only help uncover the problem, but also shed light on its root cause. Maybe certain interactions aren’t resonating with customers as you’d hoped. You can use those findings to inform your customer service training program, ensuring that the team is always aware of what matters most to your customer base.

  2. Ensure service consistency.
    One of the “Cs” of customer satisfaction has long been consistency — and that’s across channels, service reps, time of day, and the customer journey in general. However, many companies struggle to deliver such an experience these days, due in no small part to the multichannel, multitouch world we’re living in. What they’re often missing is a unified approach to the customer experience that not only ensures a lack of friction, but also creates a single, seamless interaction from beginning to end.

    Even if this doesn’t sound like your business, go through the paces of evaluating your processes and applications. You might find that certain aspects could benefit from a little streamlining. When you have fewer moving parts, you increase the chances of the fluidity customers now expect in the experience. Maybe your mobile app doesn’t “talk” to your e-commerce site. That can become a pain point. Integration is key.

    The same can be said for information. Sales and customer service teams can sometimes be working off different information. Naturally, this can lead to inconsistencies in what customers are hearing. Instead of each department maintaining its own knowledge base, a centralized system keeps everyone on the same page. That includes details on customers, ensuring each interaction doesn’t stray too far from one employee to the next. This is particularly important when it comes to customer support, as the individual should never have to reiterate the specifics of a problem. Past discussions should be readily accessible to team members.

  3. Appreciate complaining customers.
    Complaints are always hard to stomach. They also take time and resources to resolve. But as negative as a complaint feels, it’s yet another opportunity to gather feedback, identify legitimate issues, and make improvements to your products, services, and the business itself. If customers didn’t speak up, you could experience customer churn without ever knowing the reason why.

    Besides, responding well to criticism and doing everything possible to address the complaint has the potential of turning around the experience, sometimes to the point where you drive greater loyalty from customers. And with word-of-mouth being what it is, how your team handles complaints could go on to attract even more customers to your business.

Consumers ultimately gravitate toward brands that make them feel valued. That’s the long and short of it. Loyalty will set in once you’re able to do so consistently. Though this should go without saying, listen to customers, prioritize their concerns, and leverage the technology now available to improve your customer service. With time, an increasing number of customers will be coming through your doors.

Written by Rhett Power.
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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Banking and Finance - Do Your Customer Service Strategies Need an Overhaul? 3 Strategies to Keep in Mind.
Rhett Power
Rhett Power is responsible for helping corporate leadership take the actions needed to drive impact and courage in their teams that will improve organizational performance. He is the author of The Entrepreneur’s Book of Actions: Essential Daily Exercises and Habits for Becoming Wealthier, Smarter, and More Successful (McGraw-Hill Education) and co-founder of Wild Creations, an award-winning start-up toy company. After a successful exit from the toy company, Rhett was named the best Small Business Coach in the United States. In 2019 he joined the prestigious Marshall Goldsmith's 100 Coaches and was named the #1 Thought Leader on Entrepreneurship by Thinkers360. He is a Fellow at The Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate. He travels the globe speaking about entrepreneurship and management alongside the likes of former Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and AOL Founder Steve Case. Rhett Power is an acclaimed author, leader, entrepreneur and an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. You can follow him on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.