Gone are the days when customer service was viewed as an overhead and a non-value add cost center.
We have come a long way from there. In today’s prevailing dynamics, an organization’s customer service capabilities can be the competitive advantage in the market place and organizations have started to build their entire brand around their customer service capabilities. Apple, Amazon, Zappos and American express are some best in class examples to that.
But at the same time, there are organizations who run their entire customer service ecosystem based on some internal customer satisfaction metric. That’s fine as long as there is a larger customer service strategy and a long term vision where the customer satisfaction metric can be used as a measure to evaluate the progress. Just having a customer satisfaction metric and meeting that number does not mean you have a customer service strategy and your customers are happy. Once I was conversing with a senior customer service leader in the automobile industry and asked her what the customer service strategy for her organization was. Her response was “We have performed well in CSAT (customer satisfaction). Currently we are at 85% CSAT, our vision is to get to 95% CSAT”. Now thats a perfect example of what you don’t want your customer service strategy to be.
A decade back, customer service discussions being a part of the board room conversations were unheard of. Today, more and more organizations understand the need to be more strategic about their customer service offerings.
There are 4 key enablers or rather pillars to an organization’s customer service strategy to ensure competitiveness and build/sustain the brand reputation. If you take a closer look at some of the world class organizations, you will see one thing in common, they have significantly invested and focused on the following 4 key enablers.
The 4 key strategic customer service enablers will make a huge difference to your brand as well as revenue in a competitive market where customer expectations continue to raise.