Eight Key Customer Service Trends

Consumer insights on customer service

Great webinar provided by Kate Leggett of Forrester Research, “Capitalizing on 8 Key Customer Service Trends: Moving Theory into Action.”

Ninety percent of customer service decision makers believe a good service experience is critical to the success of a company and 63 percent believe it’s becoming more important as products and services become less differentiated.

Forrester Research has shown a strong positive correlation between the customer experience index and three elements of loyalty:

1. Willingness to consider purchasing another product or service from the provider.

2. Reluctance to switch business away from a provider.

3. Willingness to recommend a product or service to a friend, family member or colleague (net promoter score).

Thanks to the bar set by Zappos (http://wp.me/pYHt6-9C), customers expect great service from any company via any channel (web, in-person, contact center, mobile).

Customers are more often disappointed and quick to express disappointment. One-third of consumers will express their disappointment to a group. Fifty-five percent will express their disappointment one-on-one to a friend.

Kate provided three macro trends:

1. Focus on a reproducible service experience

2. The voice of the customer will drive service improvement

3. Customer service adopts enabling successes

Under which the eight other trends fell:

1. Standardize customer service delivery across all communication channels. This is difficult to do because of disintegrated data and customer support functions; however, it needs to be integrated in order to deliver a satisfactory customer experience moving forward.

2. Universal customer history becomes a reality. And, as it becomes a reality customers come to expect it (i.e., “this is the third time I’ve had to call and complain about this — you don’t have record of my previous calls?”).

3. Taming the knowledge problem. All information will be in a single place so consumers and CSRs have a ready resource — “a single source of truth.” Doing so empowers customers and CSRs with knowledge management tools.

4. Extending business process management to customer service. Replace antiquated systems with new, integrated technology that enables CSRs to get up to speed more quickly and deliver an outstanding customer service experience.

5. Customer communities (i.e., forums) are growing in importance. Eighty-five percent of technology companies will have a customer discussion forum online in 2011. This is an excellent way to deflect calls from CSRs and enables customers to interact with one another.

6. End-to-end customer feedback. Understand what customers think via voice of the customer feedback as well as sentiment analysis.

7. Mobility is a must-have. Customers want to be able to do everything on a smart phone that they do via thew web. You need to understand your customer demographics as well as the mobile platforms they are using. A lot of great apps are being built for the iPhone; however, today,the majority of companies are using Blackberry.

8. Customer service embraces real-time methods based on consumer needs.

Customer service is the linchpin of extraordinary customer experiences.

What are you and your firm doing to provide those experiences?

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About Insights From Analytics

Integrated marketing professional who generates insights from analytics to increase revenue. Daily blog now resides at www.insightsfromanalytics.com/blog.
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