By: Act! Blog | 8/23/2017
Customer service is an almost universal aspect of modern business. Between the apps, web portals, online services and a simple desire to be available to clients, most companies have gone out of their way to have at least some form of help desk. Big or small, your team of customer service professionals are there to answer phone calls, emails, social media, and chat requests for assistance and information from customers and they do their best to provide friendly, high-quality service. However, all too often training for a help desk position only takes into account each ticket in the moment without ever considering the long-term customer experience. Are you taking good care of your loyal customers or is your help desk treating every ticket like it's the first time they've ever spoken to someone?
The Short-Term Service Mentality
One could say that many companies suffer from a kind of missing 'object permanence'. That is, they treat each customer encounter as if they have come into existence upon contact and blink out again once the support ticket is complete. Then, the next time the same customer needs support, they are a new ticket to the company and therefore a brand new person with no previous history. Working with this short-term mentality doesn't mean the service is necessarily bad. In many cases, help desks with this process are friendly, fast, and value per-ticket ratings quite highly. They just aren't considering the continuous customer experience and therefore cannot effectively build long-term relationships or reward customer loyalty.
The Customer Experience
A customer's experience starts in the hands of marketers as a 'lead' when they become aware of your company and consider buying your products or services. They then travel through what is known as the 'sales funnel' which narrows their interest and directs them toward a 'conversion', which is the moment they buy something and convert from lead to customer.
From here, every contact with the company is a part of their growing relationship and overall experience. Each time they buy a product, interact with a service, receive an email, or contact the help desk they are creating another point on this continuous experiential line. While most companies know about this journey, they don't bother to take it into account and therefore seem to have no cumulative memory of customer loyalty or awareness of long-term problems.
The Return of Concierge Service
Long-term customer service is (sometimes) a sadly forgotten tradition in modern business. Back before online services, business had to happen face-to-face in shops and offices. Companies knew their clients personally and rolled out the red carpet for loyal customers. They remembered birthdays, favorite colors and even knew the times of year certain customers would arrive.
With modern CRM software, you can take your customers back to that era of personalized, concierge service by recording every encounter each client has with your company from initial conversion to their latest support ticket. While you may have thousands more customers than any 1950s boutique, with instant file referencing, contact logging, and modern data analysis, you can provide a continuous quality of service that accommodates the entire customer experience.
We know your company cares about customer service. Your help desk staff are skilled and friendly and you value each and every customer encounter as an opportunity to show how much you care. However, if you're still handling sales and support tickets with a short-term service mentality, you still have room to grow. With a comprehensive CRM capable of recording every interaction, whether that be a purchase, email, or phone call with your customers, you can provide a truly superb level of personalized and continuous customer experience.
Looking for a CRM to improve your customer experience and create long lasting customer relationships? Try Act! for free!