In the online world, where people can easily slip from one vendor to another offering similar products or services, it can be difficult to stand out. That’s why customer service has become a true differentiator.
Yet customer service isn’t just a department within a company. A true customer-oriented company, throughout every department, keeps their clients in mind at every step of the journey. All employees need to incorporate the customer viewpoint into their jobs.
Wondering how to achieve that ingrained sense of customer centricity? Take a look at the questions below to get an idea of the kinds of things each department should be asking themselves in order to keep customers at the heart of their actions.
Of course marketing is geared toward bringing relevant customers to your site. At the same time, the marketing team must be considering all the points in the customer journey; from the research phase to the purchase phase and all the way through renewal.
Some questions to ask your marketing team include:
Are your social media efforts ready to help customers by providing information and resources for dealing with issues? Are you making social media conversations personal and not fully automated?
Are you providing content on your website and in other publications that is useful to customers? Does it answer their high-level questions and their deeper concerns, as well as provide updates for return customers?
Are you ensuring that your website is set to provide easy access to support for your customers as they need it, whether it’s through self-service options, chat, cobrowse or other channels?
Understanding the customer is one of the most important steps in the transformation from a decent sales person to an outstanding one. If you take the time to create personas and map the journey of each of those customers types, you will be well on your way.
Other areas to think about when it comes to your sales team include:
Are you selling with the customer’s needs in mind as opposed to your own?
Are you ensuring that you can truly deliver on what you promise?
Are you prepared to answer questions, provide demos, and show your products to your customers online at the click of a button?
Do you have the visual tools to easily collaborate with your customers and provide solutions that make sense for them?
Engineering may seem like it’s a step removed from your customers. Yet if you are doing it right, that should be far from the truth. Those who are developing products and services need to keep customers at the center of all they do, or they will be creating offerings that no one will want or use.
Items you should confirm with your products and/or services departments include:
Have you collected customer feedback and used that to improve your offerings?
Are you designing with customer requirements in mind rather than adding offerings that “sound cool?”
Are you sharing your roadmaps and new features with your customers so they know where you are going, what to expect, and what to get excited about?
Contact Center or Customer Success
Of course the contact center will be working with customers in mind. Customers are the reason this area of the company was developed. At the same time, it can be easy to get so caught up in metrics that you focus more hitting goals than meeting customer needs.
Questions to ask your contact center or customer success team include:
Are you there for your customers, regardless of the channel they choose (chat, email, visual engagement, phone, etc.)?
Are you working towards metrics that are based around your customers’ needs, instead of trying to get your customers off of the phone as quickly as possible?
Are you spending most of your time helping your customers, as opposed to simply trying to understand where on the website they are and what’s happening on their screen?
Are you proactively reaching out to customers on your website to ensure that their needs are being met?
Do your agents have the right tools to properly support your customers? Note that a recent survey indicated that 27% of contact center employees stated that dated technology keeps them from meeting performance goals.
Customer service should be practiced company-wide
The ideal situation includes a customer-service mindset that is an intimate part of your business’ DNA. It should be promoted from the top down and across all areas of the business.
Whether your goal is to develop the product or service, market or sell it, or support it, you will achieve the greatest success if you make customer service an integral part of your job.