In an increasingly competitive market, customer service has become a key differentiator for brands across all industries, which makes your strategic approach to customer experience all the more important. Here are some of the top trending customer relations articles to keep an eye on as you continue to shape and refine your unique customer experience offering.
Provide Support Blog
Did you know that 75% of companies recognize customer service as a competitive differentiator? And 76% of consumers view customer service as a test of their value to a brand. Even more significantly, 97% of global consumers surveyed say that customer service is somewhat or very important in their choice of or loyalty to a brand. Also of note is the shift to online/mobile self-service, with more than 90% of consumers expecting brands to have an online customer self-service offering and the projection that by 2020 customers will manage 85% of business experiences without actually interacting with a human. Provide Support has put out a must-see infographic on the future of customer service.
Business 2 Community
Another take on where things are going: We’ve reached a point where customers are so used to researching on the web that they actually prefer do-it-yourself customer service to talking to a human on the phone, the author argues.
A recent study involving eating chocolate at Yale demonstrated that chocolate tastes better when you eat it in the company of someone else versus alone. Forbes explains how an emphasis on shared experiences can help small businesses build a better customer experience and a stronger brand overall. This involves a market shift from simply building a relationship between company/brand and customer to facilitating connections and a shared experience between that customer and his or her friends, family, and community.
A good customer service infrastructure will ensure that employees are equipped to handle irate customers and difficult situations at any time, thereby minimizes any negative impact on your bottom line. While building your customer experience offering, it’s important to envision what might possibly go wrong and how your team is going to handle that. This blog post by Jackie Kirchner gives specific examples and strategies for successful handling angry customers, upset customers, and that customer who is causing a scene.
In the world of business, impressions are everything, and it’s important that your customer service infrastructure is polished and professional at all times. Remember, all it takes is one negative impression to send a potential customer right to a competitor. As demonstrated in this blog post from allBusiness, consumers notice everything from how your work to how much you value (or waste) their time to your business’s general attitude toward customer experience.