What does the next level of customer service look like?
It’s no secret that we’re enthusiastic advocates for customer service. It’s such a strong element of your brand communications and fulfilment services, adding real value to your bottom line.
Best practise customer service is characterised by how it adds value, either to support a particular campaign or as a standalone service to give your internal customer service team more heft.
The value is measurable, which is critical. We can report back on top level KPIs like the number of calls and resolutions. That’s easy, most companies do that. But we’re digging deeper, supplying MI that will help you continually improve your sales performance, which is the key to getting ahead of the crowd.
And, as technology offers even more opportunities, and brands seek ways to make more profit, the future of customer service as an added value element is ripe for a natural evolution.
The case for customer service
You might have seen our other article on how customer service elevates your brand, which sets out all the reasons why. If you missed it, briefly:
- It provides a personal touchpoint to build relationships with your customers
- It gives you the opportunity to turn a bad experience into a good one
- It can help turn browsers into customers who are looking for reasons to trust you
- It helps you nurture loyal customers who will turn into advocates
- Done well, it sets your brand above your competitors
We reported last year that some brands were dropping customer service provision or scaling it back. This was partly as a result of their workforce not set up for efficient home working, or the demands of making an office space made safe from COVID-19. Budgets were being squeezed too, and customer service might have seemed like the safest thing to cut.
However, in the last few months, we’ve seen certain brands bump up investment into customer service provision. Some handle it entirely in-house. In some cases, we integrate our advisers into their teams to offer support, or we handle it entirely.
These brands, often big players in the digital sphere, are recognising how important that list above is to improving their market share in the long-term. Is your brand in danger of being left behind?
Example – integrated customer service provision
Our client, an insulation and drywall specialist, has an internal customer service team. Their sector is highly specialised, with technical knowledge and expertise a must, as well as regulatory compliance. Their customer service team is small and was handling every single call, from advice about products and installation to ‘where’s my order’ or ‘can I change my order’.
We set up a small team at Granby to supplement their resources. Our advisers completed weeks of training, incorporating a high level of product, technical and regulatory knowledge. They are able to take the strain off the client’s internal team, dealing with the more routine calls and deferring expertise back to the client’s team where required.
The client can see the benefits of this in our monthly reports, which supply useful transparent MI on a multichannel approach (email, phone, web chat) that can be used to analyse and implement efficiencies across the entire business.
The evidence we supply can help them identify and address where their processes are failing, as well as providing that value-added support to customers that will come back again and again.
How does customer service need to evolve?
Customer service is doing a great job already but technology is offering many opportunities to take it to the next level, thanks to AI and other breakthroughs.
- The ability to interpret the sentiment of customer communications
- Recording the touchpoints and analysing the data
- Providing ways to triage and troubleshoot through chatbots
We’re updating our offerings to incorporate these features into customer service provision and exploring how innovative technology can be used to benefit our sector.
Granby already uses AI in our market-leading proof-of-purchase app, Swift Receipt – it takes just a matter of seconds for a customer to register a purchase and claim a gift or other giveaway. It’s a very exciting time to be bringing in more of this technology into a 3PL environment.
Ultimately, customer service does need to step up and meet the future through technology. It needs to help brands meet customer’s ever-increasing expectations – and it will undoubtedly be able to.
The effects its evolution could have on your brand depend on how seriously you take customer service right now. If you’re not exploiting its benefits now, it’s time to dip your toe. Once proven, you’ll see how it can only get better.
Photo by h heyerlein on Unsplash