Evolving customer service models

Evolving customer service models
Mark Engelmann
Mark Engelmann
    4 minute read

Customer service is more important today than ever before with a recent Forbes article quoting that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. Businesses have been able to significantly and continually improve their customer service strategy thanks to CRM software, innovative technology, and offshore staffing solutions. Businesses nowadays are focusing on building long-term partnerships with clients rather than a traditional transactional relationship. This shift in relationship focus is mostly due to the fact that companies are realising the value of an effective customer retention program.

The 3 most important components of an effective customer retention program are:

  1. CRM Software

    CRM software enables businesses to segment their database allowing a somewhat tailored experience for each individual customer. This software helps companies to identify where their customers are positioned in the sales funnel, what content they are and aren’t interested in, and the problems that a particular customer is facing. CRM has changed the sales process because it allows us to identify and solve unmet customer needs. This is possible because CRM allows us to track what the client has searched, clicked on, read, and skipped over. Before CRM, product offerings and marketing was mainly trial and error with companies creating and offering products and services that they thought customers needed or wanted. CRM takes some of the guesswork out of introducing new products and services by pinpointing customer's problems and desired outcomes. Overall, CRM software has caused a shift from a features-benefits sales approach to a customer driven, problem solving approach.

  2. Technology

    Technology has been the main driving force behind significant changes to the way businesses serve their customers. Technology has made it possible to track customer behavior faster and more accurately than ever before. It has also provided the foundation for more efficient business strategies such as offshore staffing solutions, automation, and tracking their behavior on the internet. Further, technology has lead to significant improvements in communication between businesses and clients. Social media platforms such as Linkedin, Facebook, and Instagram allow clients to engage with businesses through their instant messaging and comment features. Businesses are able to increase customer retention by providing helpful, educational and insightful information via their social media accounts, rather than always pushing a product or service. Posting information on blogs and social media helps businesses to establish themselves as experts in their industry and build trust with clients so they are not only a supplier, but a valuable information source as well. Instant messaging has also improved customer service on company’s websites. Built-in live chat features on websites allow customers to instantly talk to a company representative or automated bot without having to navigate away from the website or call a number and wait on hold.

  3. Offshore Staffing Solutions

    Technology has provided the foundation for offshore staffing solutions. These solutions would not be possible without the internet, telephones, CRM software, and advanced security software. Offshore staffing is a multi-dimensional customer service strategy with each component playing a crucial role in an excellent customer experience. The major components of offshore staffing are cost savings, efficiency improvements, security measures, and quality control:

    • By saving money on labor costs, companies are able to reinvest in their business to better serve their customers.
    • Businesses are able to offer more competitive pricing for their products or services.
    • With improved efficiency comes improved customer service because local staff have more time to spend on building their customer relationships and formulating innovative solutions for each individual customer’s problems.
    • Customers may also experience a faster service time, that is increasingly important in today’s fast-paced business environment.
    • Security is essential to creating an exceptional customer experience.
    • Customers need to be confident that their data is stored and transferred securely and this comes from building trust in the company's security system. This is essential because business data is confidential and needs to remain that way for customer satisfaction and retention.
    • Offshore staffing is significantly cheaper than local staffing, however the quality must remain comparable to local staffing because quality is an important part of customer satisfaction.
    • Offshore staffing does not compromise quality, it merely takes advantage of the lower living costs associated with some foreign countries.

To learn more about the benefits of offshore staffing, check out our blog “The top 7 benefits of outsourcing to the Philippines”

In Short

The world is changing at a rapid pace and for businesses to survive they need to stay at the cutting edge of technology and strategy. Innovation is now a necessity for businesses to stay competitive. This is obvious through the rise of companies such as Amazon, Google, Apple, and Netflix, who stayed at the forefront of innovation; and the fall of companies such as Blockbuster, Kodak, and Nokia, who failed to evolve with changing technology. Would you rather be Netflix or Blockbuster? If you would like some inspiration on how to evolve your business's strategy, download and read our free ebook “107 Ideas for Outsourcing Your Sales and Marketing”.

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