Optimizing your company’s customer service model is not something you should delay or compromise. Customer satisfaction and retention rates are far too crucial for your bottom line. It’s a proven fact that 60% of customer-centric companies are more profitable than companies that don’t prioritize the happiness of their customers.
The challenge many companies face is switching from the traditional customer service model of handling manual support tickets and phone calls to a modern, automated, and online-friendly approach. The solution lies in creating a customer service management plan that lays the framework from start to finish.
Without a customer service management plan, your company’s profits could take a hit, especially if your company builds a reputation for having lackluster customer support and satisfaction. Your rivals are more than happy to leverage that. Below, we’ll explain some considerations that should be included in your plan and how you can get started.
Refining Your Customer Journey and Touchpoints
A key component of any customer service management plan is your company’s touchpoints. These interactions between a customer and your business occur before, during, and after a purchase. One example of such an interaction is a customer contacting your company about a refund or missing product.
There are two types of touchpoints: active and passive.
- Active touchpoints are those in which customers directly contact your company, through phone calls, live chat, or email support.
- Passive touchpoints are those that customers come into contact with indirectly, such as social media channels, online reviews, or blog posts.
It’s important to have a mix of active and passive touch points so that you can reach out to customers at different stages in their buyer’s journey. But you also have to consider these additional touchpoints as well:
- Map out the Customer Journey
- Catagorize the types of queries you receive and what could happen in each scenario
- Build predictors and outcomes for the customer
These touchpoints are an opportunity for you to demonstrate your company’s customer focus. These result interactions with problems make all the difference to the overall customer experience. The Customer Journey is ultimately the end-to-end customer touchpoints, covering every interaction a customer has with the supplier.
If that experience is a good one, it makes customers feel pride, advocacy and loyalty to the brand. But for that to happen, it must come from everyone within the organization and be intrinsic to your company’s way of working and operating.
Your goal should be to make all of your touchpoints as positive and seamless as possible. This can be achieved by ensuring that your team is properly trained and equipped to handle customer inquiries, no matter how big or small. Vivantio’s native customer relationship management (CRM) platform helps companies receive a holistic view of their customers across different touchpoints.
Monitoring Your Customer Service Performance
Another important consideration for your customer service management plan is performance monitoring. This involves tracking various metrics related to your customer service operations, such as response times, first contact resolution rates, and meeting your Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
There are a number of different tools and software platforms like Vivantio that can be used to track these metrics. Once you have the data, you can use it to identify areas where your customer service could be improved.
For example, if you notice that your first contact resolution rates are low, it could be an indication that your team needs more training on how to handle customer inquiries. Or if you are meeting your SLAs but customer satisfaction rates are low, perhaps your SLAs are too broad, or you are not communicating efficiently or timely with your customers.
Creating a Plan for Customer Service Management
There are three fundamentals to automating customer service management. These are:
- Consolidating Customer Views: It’s important to find a way to integrate your CRM and other lines of business solutions into a customer service management platform. This will enable your organization to maintain a 360-degree view of your customers across all your systems and platforms. The more information you have on a customer, the better you can service them across different touchpoints.
- Integrating with Other Customer-Facing Applications: To provide a seamless customer experience, it’s important to integrate your customer service management platform with other applications, such as Microsoft Teams and Slack. If you’re using these applications for customer service, aligning your interactions on one platform can help you provide more helpful customer experiences by allowing your customers to use the systems they want to use to get in touch with you.
- Managing Service Levels: The main goal here is to design service level agreements and create plans for meeting or exceeding those service levels as agreed through the customer contract, or the organization. This is where using a customer service management platform comes in handy.
Determining How to Assist Customer Service Agents Through Self-Service Portals
One of the most important aspects of customer service management is creating a self-service portal. This is a platform where customers can go to find answers to their questions without having to contact your team directly.
A self-service portal can provide tutorials and self-help articles and easy navigation for both customers and the support team if they need to step in and help.
There are a number of different ways you can create a self-service portal, such as through a knowledge base, FAQ section, or online forum. The key is to make sure that the information on your portal is easy to find and up-to-date.
Using a customer service management platform makes this step much easier and less time-consuming. A realized customer service management platform can help you create an intuitive self-service portal to help you reduce call volume and leverage self-service articles, tutorials, and wikis. Considering your customer service management platform partner’s expertise and experience can help you retain and grow your existing customer base.
For more than two decades, Vivantio has been helping clients optimize their service organizations by leveraging a uniﬁed service management platform. To find out how Vivantio can help you begin creating a customer service management plan, contact our team today or register for a free demo.