As early as 1597, Francis Bacon told the world that knowledge is power. Today, this theory is particularly true within the realm of customer service. The fact of the matter is that in the digital age, customer expectations and needs are changing. People expect the brands and businesses they support to meet them at their level, and customer service interactions are a crucial element of customer experience as a whole.
The more brands know about their clients and customers, the more able they are to provide the positive experiences that ensure long-term success. Moreover, deeper insight can positively impact the customer relationship management process by:
1. Optimizing customer service strategies
The emergence of data and analytics has had a major impact on business processes across the board, including customer service. For instance, eMarketer cited data from Forbes Insights and SAS that found of businesses already using data analytics, 29 percent have seen a significant shift in their ability to deliver superior customer service. Moreover, 42 percent of executives anticipate their efforts to leverage this knowledge will garner a major change in how they deliver customer service over a two-year period.
A business’s ability to not only collect, but understand customer data from various touch points, directly impacts their ability to optimize customer service processes. For example, brands can monitor how customers interact with their websites, apps and other customer service-related features and optimize accordingly.
“Personalization most certainly translates to their customer service interactions.”
2. Personalizing customer experiences
Data plays another important role in customer service, which involves businesses knowing their customers at a deeper level. According to Forrester, one of the top 10 critical success factors in 2016 will be the level and quality of personalized experiences. It goes without saying customer demands for personalization most certainly translate to their customer service interactions. Brands who leverage their data – and their knowledge – about customers to customize interactions with their clients and customers are a very large step above their customers. This could include something as simple as addressing a customer by name or mentioning his or her relationship with the business, or even integrating features into online customer support that drive automatic personalization.
3. Empowering the customer
Finally, knowledge is power for customers as well as brands. In other words, businesses should find ways to empower customers to help themselves when they seek assistance. Self-service features like in-depth FAQs, discussion forums and instructions for troubleshooting a product or service go a long way. In fact, FastCompany shared research from Steven Van Belleghem in partnership with SSI that revealed 70 percent of customers expect a company’s website to include a self-service application. Customers want the ability to solve their problems quickly, thoroughly and efficiently, and self-service options are an important part of the puzzle of meeting these expectations.
In today’s volatile digital landscape, the customer experience is crucial to business success. When it comes to customer service, brand and customer knowledge are valuable resources to help drive positive relationships.