Is there a formula for happiness?
SAP’s Lisa James certainly thinks so, at least when it comes to customer service. According to James’s on-demand session for SAP Hybris LIVE, the secret to making your customers happy can be expressed in a simple formula:
HC = M(OE + PE + RI) – S
(Omnichannel Engagements + Personalized Interactions + Relevant Insights, All-Enhanced Mobility, Minus Silos = Happy Customers)
By following these simple rules, you can turn customer service from something that is sometimes thought of as a necessary evil to one that actually makes customers feel good about their experience. This is especially true now that customer service agents are more than simple reactive problem solvers, and are involved in the customer journey long before the purchase is made.
First up is omnichannel engagement. You already know that omnichannel capability is essential for a modern business, but most companies still only offer customer service on three channels – phone, email, and live text chat. If you’re offering service on only those channels, you’ve shut yourself off from several avenues of communication.
Customers want to interact with your company on their terms – if they have a question about a how-to video they’ve seen on YouTube, they expect you to be there to help in that very same channel. They don’t want to have to disengage from one channel and choose another. Remember: your customers are present in all kinds of different channels, and your business needs to be right there with them.
Step two on the path to happiness is personalized interactions. Think personalized experiences are only relevant for marketing purposes? Think again! One thing guaranteed to annoy customers is when they have to explain to an agent which product or service they’re using, and whether they have already tried to solve their particular problem.
An agent should have all the relevant information at their fingertips, whether it’s customer profiles, order and service history, or any customer feedback, so they can use this accumulated knowledge to offer a truly contextual service.
Next is the importance of relevant insights. To keep your service organization running smoothly, managers and agents need access to the right insights. Managers need detailed analytics, so they can see what service issues are in the workflow and which are in escalation, as well as the average turnaround time for support tickets.
Meanwhile, it should be easy for agents to get access to all the information they need to solve a problem. It may be that one support team has accumulated some particularly relevant information, so that information should be in a knowledge base ready for anyone else to use. Agents also need the tools to communicate quickly and easily with their peers, to get the answers they need and cut down on the time it takes to assist customers.
And the last thing your organization needs? Mobility. Every member of your service organization should be able to address customer needs from wherever they are using their device. If an agent onsite with a customer can perform tasks such as ordering spare parts then and there, it helps get the job done as efficiently as possible.
Meanwhile, managers should be able to see how customer service requests are progressing and take any necessary action wherever they happen to be. Mobility brings flexibility, and a flexible environment is far more likely to adapt to customer needs and keep them happy.
So, we’ve discussed what your organization needs to add in order to build momentum on the path to customer happiness, but there’s also something that needs to be taken away. You guessed it – it’s silos. Silos are the enemy of customer happiness.
Your service teams need to be connected to the entire enterprise. There’s no quicker way to frustrated customers than having a service organization that doesn’t know what’s happening in sales, marketing, or billing – especially when it’s dealing with contracts, warranties, or parts ordering. “I need to connect you to someone else,” and “I’ll need to get back to you,” should be consigned to history.
In short, your business needs to act as one company across all platforms and channels to deliver a great customer experience at every touchpoint. The result? Happy customers.
Click here to watch the full presentation of “Make Customers Happy.”