Written by: Rachel Bartee
Customer experience has always been one of the crucial preconditions of a successful business. But in the last few years, the way you handle buyers from the beginning to the end of their consumer journeys became even more important for sales results than prices and products. Today, it is not enough to attract clients with your products or services – it is essential to keep them satisfied consistently.
In such circumstances, it is mandatory to align the way your sales force and customer service operate on a daily basis. It’s a matter of integration and joint efforts to create a perfect consumer journey and establish a wide base of loyal clients. In this article, we will show you 5 steps to customer service consistency to make your sales efforts better.
Practical Tips to Boost Customer Experience
Customer service consistency implies that you answer all needs of all clients in each stage of the consumer journey. This is not an easy thing to do but it really pays off as almost 90% of people said they would pay more for a better customer experience.
If you want to improve customer service consistency, you need to encourage interactions in both departments - customer service and sales. But you also need a team of highly-qualified employees to implement your strategy. It’s a time-consuming process and you should complete it step by step. Here are 5 practical steps to take in that regard.
Analyze The Entire Customer Journey
Before you begin improving your customer journey, you need to understand the current state of affairs. Your job is to detect all phases of this process and then to analyze each one of them individually. For instance, an average customer could go through these stages:
Each step in this journey is extremely important and you need to align them all into a meaningful unit. Consistency is the key if you know that the buyer will be evaluating your work from the first time he or she establishes a contact with the brand. But to achieve consistency, you have to prepare a set of rules and company regulations which apply to all members of the team.
Consistent Multi-Channel Communication
An excellent communication with your purchasers is the core segment of customer service. You need to make it flawless and spread it through all sorts of communication channels. This method also depends on consistency as you need to emit the same kind of message throughout all channels at the same time. This implies that you should address customers bearing only one goal in mind – to make them satisfied with what you have to offer.
It can be your website, face-to-face communication, social media interaction, TV advertising, paid searches, etc. But there has to be a uniform message in each of these channels to make the biggest impression on your target group.
For instance, Microsoft always puts an emphasis on superior quality and innovative approach. It’s been like that for decades and you can see it clearly even in their 2007 commercial – Microsoft is reshaping the world for the last 25 years. This is something that you should be trying to achieve in your business, too.
Organize Cross-Team Training
More than 80% of customers are frustrated when service agents don’t have information about the service or a product. This is the worst thing that can happen to your brand and you must prevent it at all cost.
According to Roxanne McNeil, a sales executive at EssaysOnTime , consistency can make or break your entire sales efforts in the long run. She explained: “In order to provide a customer with the best experience possible you should organize a cross-channel training to get your employees acquainted with all segments of the business. Sales agents and customer service staff should work together to understand everyday challenges in each other’s work. That way, they get to learn more about the customer journey in general and they also get to improve their individual skills.”
This is exactly why some customer service providers like Help Scout look at sales force and customer service agents as one unit. They provide companies with one dashboard where all employees contribute with their insights and reports. It displays an entire history of customer demands and enables workers to act according to consistent and evidence-based instructions, not their own (and often misleading) intuition.
Consistently Learn From Mistakes
Making mistakes in your customer service can cause a huge damage to the brand and ruin your sales efforts. This is what happens if you make too many mistakes in the process:
No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to provide customers with the perfect service day after day. But what you can do is analyze your own flaws and consistently improve customer service. It doesn’t have to be only service-related as you should also take into account sales-induced mistakes.
Is it the lack of information on your website? Perhaps your sales agents don’t know everything about the products? Whatever the problem might be, you need to detect it and find the solution. Once you’ve done that, keep searching for the other issues and don’t stop improving. Just be consistent.
Ask for Customer Feedback
Bill Gates once said that your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. You should use this source of information to strengthen the consistency of customer service and generate better sales results. A recent study proved that as much as 80% of companies said they delivered "superior" customer service but only 8% of buyers actually thought the same way.
Therefore, you should not fall into the trap of self-delusion and try to ask your customers for feedback. There are several ways you can do it: organize online surveys, give your clients a quick phone call, initiate a live chat communication, or simply send them emails. The results you get out of these methods will enable you to reach customer service consistency and make a functional correlation between your sales and service agents.
Customer satisfaction doesn’t only depend on the quality of your products. The overall customer experience with both your sales representatives and service agents is what keeps the buyer happy. That’s why companies are trying to achieve customer service consistency to improve their sales efforts in general and to provide customers with the best experience to keep them satisfied.