2021 is about transition. It’s time we talk about the power of transformation and how we can use it to improve our customer service. We’ve already established that consumer behavior has changed in the past year. Consumers are more empathetic but also more demanding. How do we adjust so we can meet our customers’ needs and expectations and we don’t get left behind as a business?
Should businesses reconfigure operations? Invest in communication technology that will add new ways to connect with our customers? Yes, the answers are both in technology and the organisation. They are also in understanding the principles that would define and guide our efforts towards customer service excellence.
One such set of principles come from McKinsey & Co. According to the global consulting company, there is a proven formula for upgrading and transforming the customer experience. Imagined as a set of three building blocks with each block composed of specific steps, it can give businesses a competitive edge during the pandemic and post-Covid-19.
The first step to improve the customer experience is to decide what exactly it is you wish to deliver to your customers. Align your goals with your company’s mission and vision. Is your brand all about luxury? Or is it about delivering value with minimal fuss? What changes do you expect to see in your customer’s behavior upon delivery of your brand promise? Reposition your business strategy focusing on your customers. When your priorities are clear you can then identify the needed internal processes and technology to realize these aspirations.
Get to know the customer to transform the business. Collaboration and analytics are key drivers. You must be willing to invest in agile, cross-functional teams with deep technology expertise, and a culture of design thinking and continuous improvement. Data-driven insights should drive decisions. Analytics are used to identify the impact of the changes on customer behavior and measure progress.
Build new capabilities to sustain the changes you have implemented in the business. Your customer service personnel must feel confident to deliver the best possible experience to your customers. Equip them with the necessary tools and training, such as digital, practical, and soft-skills courses. Add new ways to connect with your customers; install the necessary technology such as a digital platform that offers chat, call, and email management.
History shows that businesses that prioritised customer experiences during a crisis fare better. To get started on your journey of transforming your company’s customer service, check out SSA Academy’s Management Leadership Programmes, which serves the learning and development needs of both C-Suite and middle management executives.
The focus in these programmes is on building capabilities to drive higher corporate performance, enabling executives to be nimbler and more agile in the future economy.