The concept of customer satisfaction has shifted over the course of the last several decades, from satisfaction with a transaction to meeting a customer’s expectations from beginning to end. This idea evolved again with the prevalence of social media. Anyone with a Facebook, Instagram, or Yelp account can leave reviews and complaints about products, services, and experiences with relative ease. For businesses, this may seem like a weakness. However, it’s also an opportunity to increase your customer satisfaction and the likelihood of positive word-of-mouth marketing. That’s why we’re reviewing the how and why of increasing your customer service satisfaction.
Did you know that 76 percent of consumers view customer services as the true test of how much a company values them? (Salesforce) If your company wants good PR, happy customers, and improved organic marketing, increasing customer satisfaction is one of the best places to start. But how do you work to improve that from an IT standpoint?
1) Build a culture where your customer service and IT departments prioritize customer satisfaction
Consumers are growing to expect omni-channel experiences more and more. That means that your business needs to be where the consumers are, wherever that may be. Brick and mortar, social, and web experiences must work cohesively together to provide a strong and positive experience across all platforms. For customer services and IT teams, their roles work fluidly together to provide excellent customer service both internally for the company (IT) and externally for the consumer (customer service).
Prioritizing customer satisfaction should be a focus for the entire company, whether someone is working in accounting, marketing, or IT. Treating everyone at the company like a customer will foster a customer service-based culture, which is a necessary start in increasing customer satisfaction for consumers externally.
2) Create a Service Tree for use internally and share with everyone
Many businesses have their hierarchy maps, with the CEO or Owner at the top. What differentiates that map from a Service Tree is the inclusion of responsibilities and relationships between the various roles and people. Instead of only showing Mary the Customer Service Rep reporting to Angela the Customer Service Manager, a Service Tree will go more in-depth on interactions between roles. For example, Mary should report any accounting complaints to Jared in Accounting, not her immediate manager.
By developing the Service Tree for your company, you are also putting in the research to see where there are pitfalls and opportunities in your current workflow. By doing this exercise, you’re building a tool to help encourage better customer service, but you may also find a few ways to improve the service you’re able to provide for your customers.
3) Measure and report on customer satisfaction consistently
The only way you’ll know if you are improving is by starting with baseline measurements. Your IT and customer service departments may have reviews for their service tickets that provide feedback on satisfaction. But what about other methods of reporting other than formal surveys?
Social media responses, promotional responses, and direct customer correspondences are three additional ways that you can get a feel for how your customer service and IT departments are performing. If the same complaints come in repeatedly on Twitter, that’s a perfect place to start to institute change.
4) Establish self-service portals that adapt to the buyer’s journey for personalized experiences
Just as consumers are growing to expect omni-channel experiences, self-service capabilities are becoming more common as well. By allowing customers to perform some tasks themselves, it will lighten the burden on your service teams and keep consumers satisfied.
This opportunity also allows you to analyze user data to be proactive with your customer service. If, for example, users in a self-service portal are constantly trying to do the same action or fix similar mistakes, your IT team can be proactive and create a company-wide improvement.
5) Automate some tasks to free up service rep and IT team members’ time to focus on customer-facing experiences
Just like Sales Teams can benefit from AI, automation, and self-service tools to decrease the amount of time they need for reporting and administrative tasks, the same can be provided for your customer service and IT departments.
Determine how much time is spent by customer service and IT representatives on tasks that aren’t focused directly on completing service tickets or interacting with consumers. If representatives are all getting bogged down in the same paperwork or the same administrative hurdles, that may be the opportunity for automation or AI that can decrease friction in the customer service process.
6) Listen and Seek to Improve
The simplest, but sometimes most difficult, way to improve customer services is simply to listen and focus on making improvements. Focus on the metrics that have the biggest impact for your customers. Is it time to complete a ticket? Is it response time for a complaint or request for help? Speak with newer and evangelist customers to see their perspective. They may already have a few ideas on how you can improve.
Often, showing that you are listening to your community is one of the quickest ways to show that you are listening and that you care about improving a customer’s experience. And that will increase their satisfaction.
Not sure where to start on improving your customer service and IT teams potential in Salesforce? Our experts at Oceanforce Solutions can help!