When we reflect on poor customer service, we often associate it with long wait times, inadequate staff and slow outcomes. But we fail to reflect on the marketing overpromises or products that have underdelivered in meeting customers’ expectations. Iqra Ansari, managing consultant at Frog, suggests rather than looking for someone to blame, it falls to the customer service teams.
In an ideal world, customer service functions as we’ve come to know them wouldn’t need to exist at their current scale, if at all.
We fail to innovate for customer service
Companies are set up to fail customer service teams.
Increasingly, companies claim to have a customer-centric culture with a robust feedback loop. When we dig deeper, though, we find product roadmaps are built for the future customer base rather than solving issues customers are experiencing, despite it costing five times more to win new customers than retaining current ones. Too often, budgets comfortably accommodate testing unproven acquisition channels, while in parallel struggle and fail to find investment for customer service leaders to deliver an experience that places customers at the heart, which would result in increased customer retention and more sustainable profitability.
In pursuit of meeting or exceeding certain KPIs, customer service leaders end up sacrificing the goal of delivering a world-class experience. We’re in an era where brands are competing for awareness and share of voice, but what’s the true cost of valuing vanity metrics over tangible impact? Competition is fierce and brands are no longer only benchmarked against their industry.
Leaders are expected to deliver an always-on contact center that keeps pace with growing demands. This often results in teams working unsociable hours; otherwise, they run the risk of far-reaching reputational consequences.
Invest in your team
Knowledge is power. It creates trust confidence and influences the behavior of customers. Yet somehow, some companies still fail to see the value in investing in training employees across departments who will undoubtedly play a role in delivering service to customers.
It’s important to support colleagues growing their skills and expertise in line with the business’ growth so as not to risk companies outgrowing their employees.
Brands that want to destroy their reputation should put untrained teams on the front line. That’s why it’s surprising that customer service is still viewed as a foot in the door for many companies, or simply as a place to begin your career. For customers to receive world-class service, this narrative must change to accommodate the growth and versatility that comes with the role.
“Those who feel appreciated will always do more than what’s expected”. That’s why many recognizable brands are notably famous for treating their employees with respect, support and enablement, making it easier to transfer that culture to customers.
In a world where time is scarce, companies are fortunate to have customers willing to invest it to solve issues.
One in 26 unhappy customers complain, while the rest will simply leave. Companies often view complaints as a burden, deploying feedback to advertise high metrics externally. There is an opportunity to instead view complaints to drive advocacy, implement changes based on learnings, and build an influencer network among consumers.
Studies have shown that current customers on average spend 67% more than new customers, yet companies perpetuate the impression that they’re not valued and that their time isn’t valuable. They continue to add hindrances rather than deliver a seamless experience. How many times have you gone to cancel your contract or abandoned items in your basket only to receive a better deal? We’ve become accustomed to accepting this behavior rather than driving out these practices.
As companies prepare to embrace web3 and the control it’ll ultimately provide consumers over their data, driving both digital trust and loyalty, it’s an opportunity for companies to assess their customer service offering and focus on what truly matters for their customers, otherwise risk being left behind.
Studies have shown that 86% of customers will pay more for a great experience, while Forbes found that one in four are willing to pay up to 10% more in most industries if they receive excellent service.
Innovation in business means we can now order a cab or open a bank account from our phones in minutes, but customer service has been left behind. As we face a crisis in accepting poor customer service, it’s time to unlock business growth by driving more accountability across organizations to deliver what customers deserve. Despite studies showing that investing in customer service and its wider initiatives has the potential to double a company’s revenue, less than 44% of companies are prioritizing it. Will you be one of them?
To learn more about Frog, part of Capgemini Invent, visit our site and get in touch.