At a core level, what does the customer experience (CX) mean for your organisation? Is it the way your marketing and customer service team deliver an omnichannel personalised experience? A measure of the technology implemented to overcome organisational silos and foster customer loyalty? Or the cumulative effect of your various service touchpoints on the overall customer journey?
Chances are, your business definition of an ‘exceptional customer experience’ includes all of the above (and, quite possibly, several more) definitions. Clearly, there is a lot that goes into CX, and this underscores the importance of a customer experience strategy. Though it will take time, dedication and commitment to develop, and require some customer-centric technology resources (such as our VCC), the benefits and industry-spanning success of a great customer experience is plain to see. Research by SuperOffice found that, for over 45% of businesses, CX is the top priority; more to the point, 86% of customers are actually willing to pay more for an exceptional experience (SuperOffice). Similarly, research by Hubspot reveals that two-thirds of new customers expect a brand to understand their needs, and companies that prioritise a positive customer experience are 60% more profitable than those that don’t – whether B2B or B2C (Hubspot).
This blog will explore the client/customer experience in closer detail, and examine the ways in which a virtual contact centre can yield data, insights and process improvements to ensure customer satisfaction is an operational standard.
What is Great Customer Service?
We’ll begin with what seems like a simplistic question: what exactly do we mean by a great customer service experience? We all know that – for the small business and multinational brand alike – exceptional customer experiences are integral; but what does the concept actually look like in practice?
Let’s frame it in terms of relationships. ‘Customer service’ is all about positive (and, therefore, profitable) connections with your users. To put it in general terms, anything you can do or offer during a brand interaction or touchpoint that adds to, rather than detracts from, the company/client relationship sits squarely under the umbrella of ‘excellent customer service.’ It will lead to valuable customer feedback, an increase in the total number of sales, new customers, improved brand awareness and, ultimately, business success.
7 ways to deliver great customer service
Below, we’ll walk you through seven scenarios that give a realistic example of good customer service. Everything that appears on this list is either enabled or significantly improved by the implementation of virtual contact centre software; to book a free discovery session with our future-proof and cloud-based solution, get in touch now.
- Using data analytics to collect customer information and deliver a personalised experience.
- Providing omnichannel support solutions, including social media, SMS, email, VoIP and beyond.
- Resolving customer questions and enquiries at the point of first contact with first-call resolution.
- Responding to people promptly when they make contact with your business.
- Facilitating self-service solutions, such as AI (artificial intelligence) web chat.
- Handling customer’s information with rigorous security protocols; secure call handling or digital data security, for instance.
- Guaranteeing the accuracy of your user’s personal information through master data management.
How to Build a Customer Experience Strategy
When drawing up a customer experience strategy, the very first step is to ensure your marketing and customer support team are equipped with the right software tools to deliver true customer-centricity and an exceptional customer experience.
Without future-proof and omnichannel infrastructure, your customer journey will face a constant battle to perform optimally, regardless of your ambition or effort; to that end, our VCC is designed specifically to help businesses just like yours deliver a great customer experience and yield peak customer satisfaction in the digital age.
Having implemented an intuitive and cloud-based communication solution, the door opens on a number of further improvements you can make.
Organise all your sales and data with a CRM system
CRM, or customer relationship management solutions refer to a business process whereby companies oversee the various touchpoints and interactions between brand and consumer.
In the words of Salesforce, CRM technology “helps organisations build customer relationships and streamline processes so they can increase sales, improve customer service, and increase profitability” (Salesforce).
One of the key advantages of modern CRM is that it unfolds into master data management; that is, the collaboration between a company and its IT to ensure the consistency, accuracy, security and reliability of all its information.
Whether B2B or B2C, an organisation will need access to the advanced analytics and data reporting capabilities available through CRM in order to:
- Deliver personalisation
- Share targeted content
- Increase reputation
- Improve retention
- Facilitate exceptional customer service
Enhance your offerings with AI and automation
Virtual contact centre software affords the opportunity to leverage the powers of automation and AI (artificial intelligence) as key streamlining tools in the user experience.
There are many ways AI and automation resources can aid your employees and assist in the delivery of excellent customer service. For example, you might install an AI-powered web chat facility on your website, for customers to self-service regarding the most common enquiries. Or, you might set up an IVR (interactive voice response) module to add efficiency to your call handling and routing.
With intelligent software taking care of these lower-value activities, your customer support team can take back the time and energy needed to perform more operation-critical responsibilities. This might mean giving users personalised insights into the purchasing process, networking new prospects, personally talking customers through product documentation as part of an up-sell, or any of the other ways they might contribute to an exceptional customer experience.
5 Tips for Creating Exceptional Customer Service
The very first, and most important step, in creating exceptional customer service is to ensure your employees have access to (and are familiar with) virtual contact centre software. In many ways, this technology can be seen as a CX-improving masterkey; it allows staff to overcome organisational silos, share accurate and secure data across departments, and provide loyal customers with the exemplary service needed to keep them coming back.
Beyond that, it’s essential to pay more than lip-service to a culture of customer-centricity – your organisation will actually need to commit to what it means to be customer-centric, strive for it every day, and eventually come to embody it in each and every customer interaction and touchpoint.
Below are five further tips to create outstanding customer service.
- Review and assess your current CX: Before you can start making improvements, it’s essential to understand what is working well in your current customer journey, and where there is room for improvement.
- Train and upskill employees: When your staff understand with clarity the various systems and processes of your operation, they’ll be in a far better position to provide meaningful interactions and offer first-contact resolutions.
- Personalise for your target audience: With access to so much data, advanced analytics and customer insights, why would you not offer a personalised experience across omnichannel touchpoints?
- Gather data and be proactive: As your customer experience strategy grows, you’ll get more and more opportunities to collect ever-more insightful information. Use it to make proactive, rather than reactive, service decisions.
- Monitor performance: If a part of your customer journey isn’t working properly, you’re going to want to know about it. Keep tabs on agent performance, customer feedback and sales details, and use the learnings to continually improve your strategy.
Become Known for Exceptional CX: Our VCC
Ultimately, when approaching the question of how to create an exceptional customer experience, future-proof communications software such as our VCC will be the foundation upon which your strategy is constructed. Whether in retail, public services, construction or the charity sector, our cloud-based solution is designed to optimise the client/customer experience and build your organisation’s reputation on the pillars of exceptional customer service: excellence, empathy and efficiency.
Schedule your free demo today and find out how our virtual contact centre can help make an exceptional customer service part of your brand experience on social media, via the phone, email, SMS and more.