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Next to cash flow and revenue, customer service is the lifeblood of every modern company. In fact, poor customer service equals poor cash flow, so you could say that it’s the most important piece of the growth puzzle. Now that your brand is gaining the traction and recognition it deserves, and substantial growth is on the horizon, it’s time to start scaling and optimizing your customer service department to meet the challenges in the near future.
Fail to scale accordingly, and you can expect your revenue to dwindle and your online reputation to take a hit it might not be able to recover from. On the other hand, maintaining stellar customer service across the board will allow you to take your brand to new heights. Here are the key solutions you need to introduce into your improvement strategy.
Redefine your processes: reactive vs proactive approach
When a company is in its infancy and is yet to build a name for itself in the competitive market, sticking to a reactive approach to customer service is a good way to cut needless expenses and slowly build a reputation in the industry. That said, this is not a viable long-term strategy for growth-oriented companies.
With increased sales and website traffic, and improved online and offline standing in general, customers are going to start appearing in greater numbers, and if you try to handle every request and every complaint using reactive methods, you are going to miss something eventually and make a mistake. Instead, your focus in this stage should be to act proactively, monitor industry trends, get to know your customers, and predict and prevent problems before they appear. Even if you don’t prevent every single complaint, you will have still reduced the overall workload your customer support agents have to handle.
Increase your response rate and workflow with chatbots
To further support your customer support reps, you will need to embrace technology and automation. Nowadays, chatbots are extremely popular as they provide a level of freedom and flexibility like never before, allowing companies to manage volumes of traffic, inquiries, and complaints in an efficient and effective way.
Adding a chatbot to your processes means you won’t have to increase your payroll expenses by bringing in new people, as AI technology can resolve certain issues all on its own and alleviate some of the pressure off of your agents. A chatbot will also help you streamline and organize your workflow efficiently so that your agents have an easier time handling large numbers of customers quickly.
Improve your SOP and boost the quality of communication
Every customer service department needs to have a Standard Operating Procedure, or SOP. You can think of this comprehensive document as a handbook for your employees in which you will outline the proper procedures for a myriad of scenarios. Include your brand’s tone of voice and the proper way to portray the identity of the brand, and your employees will have an easier time handling every situation.
Furthermore, and most importantly, you need to provide your employees with everything they need to do their job efficiently and effectively. Companies such as Orange provide a wide range of infrastructure solutions for every business, including internet and phone plans, as well as mobile packages that bring flexibility to the customer service department. Building an extensive infrastructure is vital in establishing clear communication with every type of customer – not everyone will contact you via chat, you know, so be prepared.
Stay on top of relevant customer service KPIs
Data-driven decisions yield the best results, so another important piece of your growth strategy is to track relevant customer service KPIs in order to gain the insights you need to improve. After all, how can you fine-tune a strategy without hard data? You can’t.
To stay one step ahead of the game, keep track of the following:
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) – ask customers to rate their every transaction.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS) – how likely your customers are to recommend your business.
- First Response Time – the speed at which you tend to every inquiry and process requests.
- Customer Retention Rate – your ability to inspire customers to keep coming back, also known as customer loyalty.
- Service + Quality, or SERVQUAL – measures the subjective experience of customer service quality.
- Employee engagement – if the employees are happy, the company will thrive. Simple as that.
Communicate your way to stellar customer service
Lastly, this is the age of unimpeded brand-consumer communication, so it’s important that you make it easy for your customers to reach you at any time, through a number of platforms. Not only will this elevate your trustworthiness in the competitive market, but it will also give you the chance to find out exactly what the customers need. Ask questions, post surveys, communicate with them via email, and strive to get firsthand feedback on what you could be doing better. It’s a simple tactic that yields amazing results.
Customer service is the driving force behind every growing company in the modern business world, and it will define your future to a great extent. Instead of resuming business as always, be sure to implement these solutions in order to scale your customer service accordingly, and take your brand to a new level of success.