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The Four Elements of Excellent Customer Service

SAPInspired by the four elements that are the fundamental building blocks that enable life to function, the following factors are key for companies to successfully attain customer service excellence and sow the seeds for life-long customer loyalty:

Earth: Being Grounded in Customer Data.

Customer service teams cannot cater to customers if they do not understand them. To holistically understand customer needs, comprehensive data is vital. Companies should have visibility into every touchpoint a customer has with their company and use that as a compass to guide their interactions. This includes eliminating silos to provide consistent and seamless service that follows the customer in their journey across various channels. No one wants to repeatedly explain their issues to a different representative every single time. Customers want to know that when they do speak—be it via phone, chat, email, or social media—that their voice has been heard and their problems are in the process of being solved.

Read More: Interview with Sandie Overtveld, Vice President Sales, APAC at Zendesk

Water: Effective Training helps Service teams avoid hot water.

Customers often reach out to companies because they already have an issue with a product or service. These engagements can leave a lasting impression on the customer, with the negative ones standing out more than the positive ones. Agents need to be instructed to leverage data so that they not only provide the required solution at that moment but anticipate future needs and avoid further incidences or escalations as well. The right training keeps Service Teams a step or two ahead of issues and thus build their credibility and reliability in the eyes of the customer. The ROI of proper onboarding and education may include a stronger sense of customer trust and advocacy—powerful tools for customer acquisition and retention.

Read More: Interview with Anil Kaul, CEO at Absolutdata

Fire: Preempt Any Burning Questions with Smart and Simple Self-Service Options.

Asking for help and getting answers shouldn’t be a painful and challenging process. With the rise of Intelligent Self-Service offerings such as conversational chatbots and intuitive Help Center websites, customers have the chance to resolve their questions and challenges on their own. This frees customer service representatives to spend more time providing complex and proactive support to those that really need it.

Investing in smart and well-thought-out self-service solutions saves both the customer and the company a lot of time, effort, and possibly creating a positive impact on a business’s bottom line.

Read More: Why Delivering ABM-Focused Conversations at Scale to Your Customers Matters in the Buying Process

Wind: Consistency will Keep Customers from Blowing in the Wind.

Excellence and loyalty are borne out of consistency. Customers should know that when they engage, their needs will be taken care of swiftly and entirely without fail.  This is what brings them to keep their subscriptions or to keep buying a brand’s products. Customers should be able to be secure in the knowledge that whatever happens in their consumer journey, that their concerns will be addressed promptly and effectively.

Today’s commerce landscape has no room for legacy customer service. The market is full of stories of dissatisfied consumers that have left service interactions lacking the solution they came for. And this dissatisfaction doesn’t just stay with the customer—it can be spread through word of mouth and amplified through social media.

However, with the data and resources available today, Customer Service Departments can get ahead of almost any customer concern and establish protocols in-place to provide the answers customers need.

By moving from a reactive to a proactive mindset, Customer Service Departments have a tremendous opportunity to transform how they are utilized and perceived by their customer base. By taking these “elements” to heart, companies can achieve excellent customer service and make customers for life.

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