In our previous blog, we explored the current state of customer satisfaction in the U.K., where businesses are faltering with complaint-handling and making emotional connections with customers, according to the latest Institute of Customer Service report.
In our second installment in the series, we dive deeper into the institute’s recommendations and offer our own take on these proven strategies.
How to enhance customer satisfaction
The UKCSI report explains what it takes to cultivate a service culture based on the non-profit’s Customer Service Experience Model shown below.
Be clear: Set the long-term goals
A clear vision led by top management fosters a customer-centric culture. Identify your overall strategy and goals related to customer service and communicate them across the entire organisation. Emphasise long-term customer relationships over short-term gains to promote sustainability. Measure CSAT to keep track of your progress and gain actionable insights into your strategy effectiveness.
Invest in developing employee skills and engagement
Employee development directly influences customer service quality and CSAT scores. Empower and engage employees by offering upskilling opportunities, incentives, and recognition. Also, promote a culture of ownership, which will make your team more invested in achieving the organisational goals and exceeding customer expectations.
Create the right blend of people and tech
Harness the power of technology without losing the human touch. Integrating technology with personalised service can significantly enhance the customer journey. Identify the tech stack that best fits your specific requirements and customer service operations and assess its impact on the CX and the associated benefits. Offer diverse channels for communications, including call centres and physical offices where relevant, so you can ensure customers can speak to your support team in critical situations.
Promote proactive customer engagement
Active and regular communication builds trust. To enhance CX and increase CSAT, anticipate and address customer needs and concerns before they have escalated. U.K. water company Anglian Water sets a noteworthy example of proactive customer service by keeping consumers updated about service disruptions and local issues through emails and text messages. Furthermore, they have designed an ‘In Your Area’ webpage, which serves as a platform to alert customers about any ongoing outages or construction activities that may impact their water supply.
The proactive strategy requires knowing consumers, which in turn calls for collecting considerable amounts of information about the customers, their behaviours, and previous interactions. This brings us to the next point.
Adopt a data-driven approach to creating seamless customer experience
Leverage customer data to elicit insights into their preferences. Tailor your services based on these insights to ensure a smooth and personalised customer journey.
Think beyond your brand and show devotion to making a positive impact on society
As consumers maintain a more favourable view of companies with a purpose, brands that have embraced corporate social responsibility and contribute positively to society tend to foster deeper connections with customers. Support educational and infrastructural causes in your community and demonstrate environmental commitment by implementing relevant sustainability practices.
Embrace innovation and agility
Stay ahead of customer expectations by embracing change. Stay abreast with any industry innovations and keep an open mind to new ideas, processes, or technologies that can enhance the customer experience.
Reimagine customer support process
Reinventing the dispute process and handling complaints fast and efficiently is essential for enhancing CX and, thus, improving customer satisfaction. Update these procedures regularly to ensure they remain customer-centric and efficient. Note that best customer service practices require accelerating investigation and settling claims in two-three days.
Opt for CX outsourcing
Outsourcing customer experience operations can be a strategic move if you find dealing with customer interactions too demanding, plan to focus on core functions, or strive to deliver impeccable services to consumers. Widely recognised for its effectiveness, CX outsourcing can enhance user and employee experiences while reducing operational costs and boosting customer service quality and capacity.
The scope of CX outsourcing extends far beyond traditional call centre services. It encompasses a wide range of offerings, from customer support and technical assistance to back-office operations and sales support. These can be provided via fixed-scope or adaptable service agreements. As a result of outsourcing customer experience operations, digital banking platform provider Bmtx Inc. saw a 75% reduction in email response time and a 56% decrease in complaints year-over-year.
Build a culture of service excellence and boost customer satisfaction
A culture of service excellence can significantly enhance CSAT and foster sustained business success. In a rapidly changing business landscape, flexibility and continuous improvement are key to improving customer satisfaction. You need to stay attuned to the evolving expectations of consumers and respond accordingly. Drawing inspiration from U.K. top-performing companies and studying the strategies they employ can provide you with valuable insights for enhancing CX and CSAT.
Harnessing technology, promoting proactive engagement, and investing in employee development are among the proven approaches to building seamless CX. Another winning strategy is CX outsourcing, which can give you access to specialised expertise and advanced solutions to elevate the customer experience.
Bottom line: It’s all about being there for your customers and helping them solve their pain points. Having an ally on your side will help you turn these pain points into progress.
“We should all be concerned about this level of problems: It damages customer satisfaction, impedes organisations’ performance and profitability and has significant implications for the productivity of the U.K. economy.”
Joanna CausonChief Executive, Institute of Customer Service