These days customer service (CS) is more important than ever. Sure, businesses have always had an incentive to provide clients with amazing interactions, that’s true. But in this era of easy friendships and heightened sensitivity people are finding it easier than ever to jump on or – crucially – off a trend. Think about it. Rude phone support? That’s a 1-star rating. Overhyped product turns out to be the same as competitors’? Put on your reading glasses, there’s a crushing page-long review coming your way.
And it’s not as if companies haven’t noticed this. Quite the contrary, the business world is ripe with initiatives trying to address the problem. Most of them, however, simply fall short. There are lots of reasons why these projects fail but the three most common ones are:
A weak case for investment
A confusing strategy
A lack of a general agreement among stakeholders
So what is the right approach to improving the level of customer service in order to foster customer loyalty and ultimately increase customer retention? Trust EA to save the day, of course.
When an organization sets out to raise their CS standard, the person or team in charge of creating the business case for it often do a poor job of getting the message across. Their work might seem unsubstantiated because it lacks clear examples of how the initiative would benefit the business. Or it might actually be very informative but packaged in such a way that makes it hard for the target audience to absorb. Perhaps it simply fails to communicate the sense of urgency required to set things into motion.
Now, because EA’s scope is the whole enterprise, it is uniquely positioned to inform the creation of such a report. Imagine, for instance, you have all the customer service goals and outcomes mapped out in the repository. You could easily provide examples of how a change in the infrastructure or process landscapes directly impacts a certain CS capability. Then, to really drive the point home, you might choose showcase how compromising that capability has further negative effects down the line that ultimately hits.
Highlighting an artifact’s exact role and importance to the enterprise at large by clearly identifying its relationships with other concepts (be they high- or low-level ones) will prove very valuable during presentations. User-friendly diagrams and matrices quickly prove to your audience there are sound arguments for buying into your initiative.
The second most important reason for CS enhancement projects failing to produce any results is people not having a clear, coherent plan of action. So how does EA help with that? Well, if you have a weak rationale you’re almost certain to produce a feeble strategy. This is because you’ll lack the very drivers of your strategy. So, if you manage to firstly identify and document customer service capabilities, it’s then fairly easy to focus on improving a certain set of business capabilities to elevate the CS experience.
You may start by performing a gap analysis locating all the resources required to resolve a case, for instance. Create portfolio views and dashboards to assess portfolios and deliver roadmaps that teams approve of. Remember to also account for capabilities that audit the quality of agents’ interactions, scheduling, and forecasting.
You can prioritize these in order to get the most bang for your buck and afterwards implement best practices that ensure consistent customer service experiences across your available channels. Having a central repository where to build and manage this content, as well as having the functionality to allow you to easily disseminate information organization-wide will accelerate things significantly.
Lastly, if you ever tried to implement a project of any decent size you undoubtedly experienced the frustration that comes with trying to get a group of stakeholders to reach a consensus. People usually have different priorities – your project might not be one of them. Additionally, CS might mean different things for different people, i.e. delivering a brand promise, a new incarnation of Sales etc.
To fight this problem, you need a couple of things. Firstly, work with undeniable truths. This is where the irrefutable deliverables we mentioned above help. Secondly, you needs to keep everybody on the same page. Don’t assume they’ll seek you out, bring the work to them. A truly collaborative environment will allow you to notify stakeholders automatically when something requires their attention, make content available instantly to them wherever they may be (especially important for execs who travel) and help you condense information into easily-digestible bits (dashboards ).
So there you have it. If you want happier customers, EA offers a plethora of great assets to strengthen your case with when you present to management or your peers. Using a capable platform, make the most out of these valuable insights and intelligence to get traction for projects and help your company stay on top of the customer-centric market.