The new customer-centric customer service model—it’s all about resolving customer issues not efficiency and savings
Are your customer service strategies shifting to align with enterprise digital transformation efforts across the business? If you’re still measuring customer service success based on how efficient and cheap it is to meet the needs of your customers, the answer likely is no.
In part two of our series on how customer service is evolving, we presented findings from ThinkJar founder Esteban Kolsky, who tracks trends in an annual customer research project. Esteban indicates that there are six critical trends fueling customer service modernization: budgeting, spending priorities, technology adoption, data, channels, and cloud and platform ecosystems (to explore these trends in detail, you can read the entire white paper, Six Transformational Customer Trends).
Today, we’re going to explore a new customer-centric customer service model taking center stage thanks to the impact of these transformational trends. This model focuses on customer service effectiveness instead of efficiency where customer service is treated solely as a cost center.
According to Esteban, customers want accurate, fast, and simple answers to their questions or resolutions to their problems. They don’t really care about a company’s customer service costs and whether customer service providers are more productive, which are the metrics organizations have traditionally used to gauge operational excellence.
So how do you begin to evolve customer service to truly address customer requirements to retain—and gain—new business, while also calibrating with enterprise-wide digital transformation?
Building a model of customer service effectiveness
Esteban suggests that this new model of customer service operational excellence is built around five tenets: outcomes-first, customer-centricity, data-driven, automation-focused, and ecosystem-based. The recent rapid and successful adoptions of chatbots, self-service, and artificial intelligence are deeply aligned with these trends. The focus on customers and outcomes, leveraging cloud and ecosystems, and a deeper understanding of how data improves customer service are all aligned with the corporate initiatives for digital and business transformation.
In addition to these five areas there is one important underlying concept: work collaboratively with customers (and other stakeholders) to co-create value at each interaction, with the long-term goal of achieving engagement.
The objective for this new model of customer service is to change from doing more with less (company-centric efficiency and cost-cutting) to doing better with more (customer-centric effectiveness and value co-creation). Ultimately, as your customer service budget shifts and grows, you and other customer service practitioners on your team will be more empowered to support digital transformation.
Coming up tomorrow in the final post of our four-part series, we’re going to highlight the steps you can take to embrace this new customer-centric model of customer service in your organization and translate it into real business value.
You can also get a more complete picture of the new customer service model by checking out ThinkJar’s publication: Customer Service 2019-2024: a Framework to Adopt the New Model of Operational Excellence for Your Service Team and hear more about what Esteban had to say on the topic in this in this webinar.
In the Customer Service is Digitally Transforming – Series, you'll find the following posts:
Part 1 - Customer service is digitally transforming—Are you ready?
Part 2 - Six trends driving customer service
Part 3 - The new customer-centric customer service model