Objectives Of Customer Service: Decoding The Purpose & Benefits
Customer: I’d like to learn more about the durability of this cloth.
Service rep: Of course, I can explain that.
The above conversation between a customer and a customer service representative is an example of customer service.
Now, let’s say the customer heard everything that they had to about the quality and the durability of the cloth and made a purchase. A week later:
Customer: I am not happy with the quality of the cloth after the wash, and I want to return it.
Service rep: We most certainly take returns. But our policy does not permit a refund. Would you like a replacement instead?
Customer: Sure, that works too.
Here, the customer service representative resolves the issue of the customer and helps them with their concern. The by-product of this conversation is a great customer experience.
The customer is more likely to trust the brand and stay loyal - even if the quality of the product is not satisfactory.
By definition, customer service may seem like resolving the hiccups of a customer before and after a purchase. But, the deeper objective of customer service is to ensure that your customers have a seamless experience with your brand that keeps them loyal, feel understood, and invested.
The objective of customer service cannot be condensed or attributed to one element. In this article, we will delve into the main purpose behind customer service and what brands are looking to accomplish by excelling in it.
Five key objectives of customer service
1️⃣ Building strong customer relationships
This is a no-brainer!
The primary objective of customer service is to ensure that you build something beyond a transactional relationship with your customers. Typically a customer comes across your product or service, evaluates it, and makes a purchase decision. At this point, it is a win-win for both parties. However, the relationship between a customer and a business does not end there.
As a business, you need customers to keep coming back for more, be loyal to your brand, spread word of mouth, tweet about you, IG about their experiences, and more. For customer - need a brand they can trust and make repeat purchases without putting a lot of thought into it.
For this to happen, there needs to be a strong customer relationship. If you fail to engage with your customers after making a sale, they are less likely to return to you. You can look into CRM software that can act as your copilot in this process.
Your plan of action:
- Engage with your customers continuously
- Communicate with your customers about your brand values, your products, new releases, and more
- Incentivize your customers with discounts and offers
- Check-in with your customers about their experience with your brand and action on their feedback
- Host giveaways
- Go the extra mile by helping your customers with what they did not explicitly ask for
- Be proactive in resolving customer issues and don’t wait until they raise it
- Show empathy and be friendly
- Learn more about your customers and their objectives to provide them with useful tips
- Help your customers as much as you can, even if there are no monetary benefits
2️⃣ Personalizing customer service based on user behavior
Customer service does not essentially mean a decked-up employee helping customers from across a desk. Customer service can also mean simplifying user experiences and making things more accessible with the power of data and technology.
Let’s, for instance, take Netflix. As a customer, you do not reach out to an agent every time you are confused about what to watch next. This choice becomes easy for you based on the app recommendations, which are nicely curated based on your watching patterns and history, your tastes in genres, and your browsing data.
The recommendations come in the way that you are most likely to engage with the thumbnail.
This is a classic example of personalized customer service.
Your plan of action:
So, if you are looking to up your customer service game, focus on:
- Understanding your customers
- Diving deep into customer tastes and preferences
- Going beyond serving customers only when they ask for it
- Leverage data to your advantage
- Use the right technology to deliver personalized service
- Constantly ask for customer feedback and learn from that
3️⃣ Resolving customer issues efficiently
As we discussed earlier, customer-business relationships don’t end when a sale is made. In fact, it begins right there. When your customer starts using your product or service, they may face a lot of challenges, and it is the responsibility of the business to ensure that there are no bumpy roads and that the customers have a seamless experience.
The main objective of a brand is to make sure that customer service is prompt when there are issues reported by the customers and ultimately leads to quicker customer satisfaction.
You must make sure that you don’t confuse your customers and make them struggle to use your product or service.
Your plan of action:
- Make sure that customer service is not just a department but a culture
- Empathize with your customers
- Listen to your customers before offering them solutions
- Communicate the issues to the concerned department clearly
- Speed up the time to resolution
- Learn from your mistakes
- Follow up with your customers
4️⃣ Gaining a competitive edge
The biggest USP or a key differentiator for a brand can be the quality of customer service. Customers crave attention and assistance. A brand that helps customers uncomplicate things, handholds them every step of the way, and genuinely be interested in their success can definitely gain a competitive advantage.
By continuously striving to provide exceptional customer service, businesses can gain a competitive edge. This not only helps in attracting more customers but also in establishing themselves as leaders in their industry.
It is also essential to understand the way your competitors do customer service in order to set yourself apart. Begin by reading customer reviews of your competitors. Understand where the gaps are and what upsets their customers. This will help you to understand their weaknesses, and you can put in more effort to improve on those aspects. This will not only help you serve your existing customers better but also in attracting competitors’ customers.
Your plan of action:
- Empower your employees to provide customer service the right way
- Help your service representatives with insights about competitors’ customer service
- Talk to your customers and understand how you can get better
- Rethink how you handle the typical situations - when you are wrong, when the customer is being unreasonable, when there is a negative review etc
- Be honest and transparent about what you can and can’t do
5️⃣ Increasing cross-selling and upselling opportunities
Customer service can also contribute to increasing revenue opportunities through cross-selling and upselling. This can also be one of the key objectives of ensuring good customer service.
When you know that your customers are happy and satisfied with your products - it gives you a golden opportunity to Identify additional products or services that complement customers' purchases and recommend a purchase.
This objective requires effective communication, product knowledge, and a focus on creating value for customers.
Cross-selling and up-selling are great revenue streams for your business.
Your plan of action:
- Strategically up-sell and cross-sell relevant products that add value to your customers
- Nudge your customers with relevant offers
- Educate your customers about the available products and the value they can add
- Be quick to capitalize on this opportunity
Don’t push your customers too far. Respect if they don’t want to make additional purchases.
Customers are the lifeline of every business. Hence it is important to recognize their value and importance for sustained growth and profitability. Instead of looking at customer service as a function or a department, it is imperative to make it a culture.
Before implementing customer service practices, the primary step would be to understand the objectives of customer service. With each objective comes a plan of action that facilitates the accomplishment of it. We hope you found this article to decode your customer service objectives and implement these plans of action.