WHAT IS CUSTOMER SERVICE WEEK?
There seems to be a national holiday for just about anything under the sun. National Dog Day, National Sibling Day, National Pizza Day—the list goes on for nearly every single day of the year. So what’s the gimmick with Customer Service Week?
To my surprise, it’s the real deal! National Customer Service Week was proclaimed a national event by the U.S. Congress in 1992, and inspired by International Customer Service Association (ICSA) in 1984.
“There are two main purposes of National Customer Service Week,” said John Kressaty, who served as President of the ICSA. “It lets you recognize the job that your customer service professionals do 52 weeks a year. The other purpose is to get the message across a wide range of business, government and industry that customer service is very important along with bottom line profit in running a business,” Kressaty explained.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
I think it’s widely understood that customer service isn’t an easy job, and even worse, an under- appreciated role in businesses. Customer service representatives are often the first line of defense when a customer has an issue, and usually set the tone for how the customer continues business with you—if at all. A Huffpost blog states only one of 26 unhappy customers complain—the rest churn. As a business, you can understand the impact of not only unhappy customers and word of mouth association, but also some leave for your competitor, and your service renewal contracts along with them.
Service doesn’t stop in the call center. Field technicians are constantly in front of customers, and often set the expectations of service—arrival times, skill set, first-time fix rates and more. However, it doesn’t all rest on the shoulders of field technicians and the call center—it’s organization wide. How are you enabling your teams to provide the best customer service possible?
DOING YOURSELF A SERVICE
With businesses like Amazon and Uber in existence, customers have expectations of great, personalized service, that is fast and sometimes on a whim. However, customers understand some services come at a premium and 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for that guaranteed good experience [Huffpost]. With that in mind, it may be time to assess the full lifecycle of how customers interact with your organization.
- Do customers have the ability for self-service in a customer portal you have?
- Is your contact center able to access data on customer history and service/warranty agreements quickly, while diagnosing with the customer on the phone?
- If a truck roll needs to happen, is your dispatcher well equipped to know which tech has the right skill set, the parts available, within radius and SLA timeframe?
- While in the field, is your tech able to alert customers of their arrival window, as well as have access to customer service history, contacts, contracts and warranties, and also know how to identify and sell new service opportunities?
It may seem overwhelming to try and address all the touchpoints of the customer lifecycle, but it’s not impossible. Our customer, Netser, had a huge challenge in handling high volume service in different countries, with barriers such as differing languages and cultures, yet maintaining high standards of service and managing their SLAs. With IFS Field Service Management, they increased productivity, improved end-to-end visibility, and were able to shorten their SLA window from 50 days to 3 days. Now that have access to more data and better analysis, they’re working on an IoT project to take more proactive measurements to provide even better service to their customers.
As you can see, service takes on many different forms throughout your organization. Take this week as a time to reflect on not only your appreciation for your service teams, but how you can enhance the customer experience, while still driving revenue to the business.
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