The world we live in today does not reflect kindly on automated responses. The hyper-immediacy with which we can register complaints and display them in public forums, there is no longer any room for complacency when it comes to our customer base. More and more, companies are moving towards a highly personalised version of customer service – ‘custom customer service’ – in order to ensure personable, comprehensive responses are offered at every possible opportunity. Below, we’ve listed a few tips in order to stay ahead of the game and ensure your commitment to customer service matches your commitment to your business overall.
‘Custom Customer Service’ as a concept
The personalisation aspect is not as simple as providing individual answers to individual problems. In the modern age, it is the way we are handled by a company and its representatives that ultimately shapes our perception of the service we receive.
An easy way to do this from a business point of view is relaxing the controls on a client’s account information and letting your trusted customer service personnel gain a better idea as to what they are helping to resolve. This supporting documentation, complete with a list of relevant articles that provide even further context to the support team, will allow the client’s data to be harnessed towards finding the most suitable resolution.
Service Level Agreements
In conjunction with the pulling of extra data, the management of service level agreements (SLAs) can play an important role in the resolution of a dispute or query. An SLA is a particular aspect of your service than is agreed upon within the contract, with factors such as scope, quality and responsibility able to become quantified and therefore analysed in the event of an issue.
While SLAs can be relatively general concepts, individual SLAs can be created due to specific requirements or variations originally imposed by the client. Due to the tailored nature of this process of customer service, they can be integral in the maintenance of business-client relationships. From there, the support team will be able to approach the problem in the relevant way, whether this is in the form of advanced technical support, call-in support or online response.
Self-service is not just the preserve of busy supermarkets, it is actually a valid form of tactical and tailored customer service. A self-service strategy is one of the most effective ways of enhancing personalisation without appearing distant and automated. The power is placed in the hands of the client, usually through a specially designed portal, and will be provided with the relevant tools to decipher their issue themselves.
This also has an added benefit of reducing the strain on your internal servers – something particularly applicable if you are an SME – and allowing your customer service department to tackle more urgent issues from other clients.
There are, of course, a multitude of ways customer service can be further personalised, but the above insights are designed to help companies streamline their data in order to provide their clients with a suitable service.
Companies that take that extra step, providing customers with a competent and empathetic customer service plan, are ultimately the ones who are going to maintain higher levels of client retention. Through the adoption of tried and tested project management methodologies such as PRINCE2®, customer service setups can achieve the same level of structure as any other project. By approaching customer service in a well-informed manner, clients will be able to experience a service that is not only competent but streamlined, too.
For more information on PRINCE2 training and how it can work for your company, or the other services available from the ILX Group, contact one of our team today.