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Value, service, brand, loyalty: Cornerstones of excellent service

Transforming your customer service: Part 6 of 7

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Every interaction you have with your customer becomes a part of how your customer perceives your brand. When they log in to your website and see your “storefront,” that is an integral part of your brand. When they interact with your customer service agents, that is an integral part of the overall brand experience. You want your customers to have not just a positive experience but one that strengthens your brand creates loyalty and translates to high value delivered to the customer.

Service can no longer be the lowly outsourced answering service where customers wait on hold for 60 minutes and never get their issue resolved. Company websites can no longer be a clunky experience where you cannot get answers you are looking for. Opportunities to delight the customer are important moments—opportunities that cannot be missed.

Particularly in cloud-based services, the switching costs to a competitor are incredibly low. That means, as a company, you have to be “on your toes” in providing a top-notch experience that enhances your brand.

Most companies offer subscription-based pricing, which means that you have to earn your customer’s business month-to-month. One bad experience can churn a customer in hours when they could have been a customer for life.

For most companies, customers interact with support personnel more than with any other person in your company post-sale. They are part of your product and also one of your salespeople when it comes to renewals and upsells.

Customer service interactions have a multiplier effect. Why? It is incredibly easy for customers to share their experiences with the world. Whether through tweeting an experience to contributing to public third-party review sites, the magnifying lens is on for every interaction.

Customers expect a high degree of customer service. They want results fast and are quick to share their experiences with others. Great companies know that service can be a huge differentiator as part of the overall brand experience. It takes but half a moment for you to list a bunch of companies that differentiate on service—those positive experience creators are memorable and keep you coming back for more.

Providing a great experience does not necessarily mean you have to hire an army of highly trained customer care associates. The easiest, most scalable way is to create a self-service experience—a great, interactive website with searchable knowledge bases, online case management, forums and more. Having it nicely integrated with your website (think branded user interface (UI), single sign-on, etc.) creates a seamless experience that helps customers help themselves as most expect. Then think about how you can make your customer service process more efficient and scalable.

Are your customer service agents spending a lot of time documenting calls? Make them incredibly efficient by using Service Cloud Voice with softphone telephony capabilities that leverage automatic call transcription, enabling agents to close cases quicker and save valuable minutes typing. Also, automated lead routing can help repurpose team-members who review and route each case, letting them focus more on creating great customer experiences versus less inspiring rote administrative tasks. These are simple quick win examples that can be implemented in days and weeks to give you an advantage.

Creating great customer experiences is what leading companies do, and the Salesforce platform is purpose-built to help you do just that quickly and easily. All it takes is a little vision and some good execution to positively affect your brand.

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