Is Customer Service Working For Or Against Your Brand?


When it comes to ways to contact customer service, today's customer is spoiled for choice. From phone and email, to live chat, text messaging and social platforms, customer service has become truly multi-channel.

While companies have invested heavily in making their customer service multi-channel, very few of them are effectively using it to raise brand awareness and loyalty. Here are a few ways companies can use customer service to promote their brand.

1. Inspire Pride and Sense of Belonging

Treat your CSRs (Customer Service Representatives) as if they are an important part of your organization, which they undoubtedly are. Train them on the appropriate ways of talking to customers, as well as on company policies and priorities. Your CSRs are the ones who talk to customers directly every day, and hence, get an insight into the customer's perception of your brand. Ask for their suggestions and implement them wherever feasible. Celebrate their accomplishments with sincere appreciation and consider performance rewards and incentives. When your CSRs feel a sense of belonging, they actively participate in your growth and this reflects in the way they handle customers. In a survey by American Express, more than two-thirds of customers were willing to spend 14% more when companies provided excellent customer service. So keeping CSRs happy and motivated can also translate to higher profits.

2. Management Commitment

Customer service should not be the sole responsibility of CSRs. It should have the commitment of middle and top level management as well as every other department in the organization. Convey to your employees the importance of customer service, and how and why their every activity should be aimed at building customer satisfaction and trust. Organizational processes and policies should revolve around this and employees should be aware of their role in delivering a good brand experience to the customer.

3. View Complaints as Springboards for Growth

While an astonishing 96% of dissatisfied customers never register a complaint, a full 90% of those customers will never purchase from the brand again. The “complainers” who do bother to bring issues to your attention do so because they have a desire to continue their association with you. Instead of ignoring them or being demotivated, act to resolve their complaints immediately. When customers believe you’re listening and acting upon their feedback, they feel validated and encouraged to continue doing business with you.

4. Provide Multiple Avenues for Help

Make sure your website has sufficient resources like help pages, user guides, FAQs and the like to help customers find answers to questions or issues on their own. Setting up a strong customer collaboration portal encourages sharing of information between customers, helps to retain customer interest and promotes word of mouth marketing. It also eases the pressure on your customer service. 55% customers commit to a company based on their ability to find information or help easily.

5. Track Appropriate Metrics

Measure and track the customer service metrics that make sense for your business. For example, instead of focusing on call handling time, put more emphasis on call quality by measuring first call resolution rates, call response times and customer satisfaction ratings.

In a competitive market where there is not much difference between your competitor's products and yours, the quality of your customer service can decide how your brand fares against that of your competitors.

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