Customer service will always be a battlefield for businesses. The customer is smarter than ever before and consumer technology creates a much greater demand for seamless service. Even now, service is the key differentiator for the smarter, more connected customer. For businesses large and small, it’s the last bastion against your competition.

Out-service your competition

In order to provide effortless customer service that is better than your competitors', you must adhere to five key business design principles. These principles will guide
how you interact with your customers and how you must operate to successfully and
consistently deliver great service.

Principle 1: Ensure you are easy to do business with

Here are a few questions you’ll want to examine to determine whether you’re customer-friendly or not. 
How simple is it for your customers to self-serve or get direct assistance? Does technology make it easy for customers to help themselves or be directed to the proper person who can offer specific assistance? Will your app work with any device? Do you speak your customer’s language? Are you accessible at a time most convenient to your customer’s schedule? Does your website ask for the same data over and over again making it tedious for the user? Your goal should be to make it as easy as possible for your customer to conduct business with you. Find any potential obstacles and work through them. 

Principle 2: Show each customer you know them

If you’re working smart, you’ve already collected personal data and purchase history - now use it to personalize all transactions. Prove to every client that they are more than just a number. Use their name and know their history with your company. Recall past transactions and personalize suggestions for future ones. Let them know you are thinking about them even when they are not thinking about you. Your goal should be to forecast what your customers will want even before they know it themselves. If you’re not collecting data, or it’s unusable in its current form, you’ve got work to do.

Principle 3: Create an effective service team

One of the best ways to provide excellent customer service is to empower your employees to actually help the customer. Give your people the knowledge and tools they need to do their jobs and go beyond expectations. Your staff can and should be your most ardent brand promoters. Treat your people well and build a high-performing team with the skills and know-how to act. There is nothing more frustrating to a customer with a simple problem than to be told they will have to wait for a manager or supervisor to solve it. Those are the irritating moments that drive customers away. Your goal should be for customer concerns to get resolved to their satisfaction. 

Principle 4: Leverage technology to your advantage
Are you ahead of the technology curve or behind? Look at your competition. Are you using disparate technologies that do not work together toward the goal of capturing the customer? Your platform and infrastructure must integrate. Once you’ve collected your data, do you know how to display it? How do you build a portal that allows the consumer to have a small moment of WOW? If you look at Amazon’s website, they use some great innovation in their technology stack, but they are continually searching for ways to improve. How can you leverage technology to wow your customers? Anything is possible with the right technology partner. Your goal should be to evaluate your technologies and find a solution that grows with your business, impresses your customers, and gives you an innovative edge over your competitors.

Principle 5: Measure what matters, learn, and grow
Technology provides an abundance of data - but are you aggregating data that matters? Collecting information is often the easy part. Managing, measuring, interpreting, and integrating it into your business is the challenge. Your goal should be to find a partner that specializes in aggregating data and putting it in a format you can use for continuous improvement. 

Each of these five design principles touches upon the process of delivering effortless customer service.

Which businesses will survive and grow? 
Businesses delivering the best customer service will be the ones that survive and thrive. Competition over price, geographical proximity, or brand recognition isn’t going to win the customers of tomorrow. Your customers will shop in the places that serve them best. As technology evolves, so must your customer service. It’s getting harder and harder to WOW a customer, but that is precisely what you must strive to do. 

Acumen Solutions has the expertise to help you impress your customers. We understand excellent customer service and ways to leverage technology and data to deliver a better customer service experience.
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