The Customer Service challenge
Everybody tells us, that great customer service is a big chance to make better business. Sounds logical. Customers should
- enjoy our services.
- love to interact with us.
- be satisfied with our answers to their questions.
- prefer to buy products from us.
But before you start building the best customer service in the market, we recommend to invest some time to think about your business case.
Customer service is not for free
- Customer service is a cost factor. You cannot provide good services without internal cost.
- Ongoing service cost implies the need for ongoing service fees or potential further sales triggered by the ones we service.
- Is your business able to charge ongoing service fees?
Do you understand the cost drivers?
Do you know
- how mature your products and services are?
- how easy it is for customers to understand your products?
- all triggers that cause service requests?
- the possible measures and cost of each service case category?
And if so: Have you done everything to avoid the necesessity for delivering service?
Employee and Organisation
Customer service requires staff that at least loves to
- interact with critical people.
- solve problems and deliver solutions.
- structure and create content to share.
- use modern means of communication.
Is your organization staffed that way today? And if not: Are you sure you have a service culture to attract the best possible service staff?
Modern Customer Service
If you still think, that customer service is the thing that will drive your business, you are prepared for this chapter. We will show some basic things about modern customer service.
24 hours. Internet never sleeps. And your customers neither seem to do. To not be urged to have around-the-clock personal availabilty, you should find out the best times for phone support and deliver a 24 hours Internet ticket service with FAQ to answer standard questions.
Still, if you serve your customers online, be sure to analyze their behaviour on your support portal to understand which content is useful and which content causes only efforts on your side.
Make the impossible cheaper
Service everywhere. Even though we love our customers, those bastards don’t take our IT restrictions into account! Nor do they care about our working hours.
They expect us to deliver services on all channels. On the phone. Physically. On the web. On a chat. On a mobile or tablet. They even want us to be reactive on Twitter. And they don’t want to pay any extra for all this!
Isn’t that crazy?
No. It is not. Customers expect us to ensure a product and service quality that is self-explanatory. And they assume, that the price they pay has a brief calculation behind that covers the product or service lifecycle.
This requires simple products and services that do not underly changes in the course of the product lifetime.
If this is not the case, customers typically accept maintenance and support costs for more complex products or services. We can see that attitude with software or product maintenance for machines or cars.
Because there are products and services that allow you to charge ongoing fees for services, your customer service organization depends heavily on your business modell and business case.
Before you start increasing service cost, be sure to clarify how you can get rid of all triggers for service needs. What remains as inevitable services is the base for all ongoing activities.
If you ensure that there is VERY FEW NEED for customer service, your customers will love your products and services because NO NEED for services makes most people happier than good customer service that solves a problem.
Concentrate your service strategy on inevitabel services and be the best problem solver in the market for those few left issues.
Use the best customer service software on all channels, like you can do with e.g. Zendesk and enjoy recommendations of happy customers that will comment your products like that:
“I never tested customer service, because there has been no need to. Never.”