COVID-19 has challenged businesses across the globe, most having to adapt in some way to continue to deliver value, survive and grow. Through this time however, organisations who connect with customers and deliver on the customer experience can reap the rewards – data shows that 84% of companies who invest resources into improving the customer experience report an increase in revenue.
If your organisation hasn’t placed a focus on customer experience thus far, it doesn’t mean it’s end game. Last year may have been a better time to invest, but the next best time is tomorrow.
Customer experience is a very broad and all encompassing area. An important element of it is Customer Service or Customer Support and if you want to start delivering value and begin to differentiate your organisation – it’s a great place to start.
Here, we look at 7 building blocks to help you build a Robust Global Customer Service strategy and a foundation for scalability and success.
- Understand the Customer Journey
A fundamental exercise in building your Customer Service Strategy is mapping the customer journey. This can be done by an internal team or by hiring an agency – sometimes agencies will be able to guide your team in doing this in a more efficient manner as they have built key mechanisms and will have a solid structure to work from. But it’s important to always have an internal team who works closely with them to ensure information is gathered in the most effective way.
Having a map of the customer journey will give your organisation an understanding of all the steps your customers go through before, during, and after purchase and is an invaluable asset when identifying areas where your teams can maximise value, remove any blocks in the customer’s path, increase the likelihood of a completed sale and also increase the lifetime value of the customer – reducing the risk of attrition. If you’re after a global customer base, ensure you take into account differing journeys per geography if they exist and also identify the needs of those in different regions. Hubspot does a great job of explaining the customer journey mapping process and offers some templates too.
- Create Your Customer Service Definition and Customer Promise
The customer service function in each industry and business will look different and should be different. Truly understanding the needs of your customers will help you define what it means for you. Some broad definitions we like are:
- “…the range of services you offer to help your customers get the most out of your product and to resolve their problems.” – Intercom
- “…the support you offer your customers — both before and after they buy and use your products or services — that helps them have an easy and enjoyable experience with you.” – Salesforce
Once your organisation has defined its own meaning of customer service you might want to develop a ‘Customer Promise’. This is an internal and sometimes external document that outlines the commitment you make to serving your customers. This should be unique to your organisation and can be very useful when building out your Customer Service strategy. You should always be asking the question – “Does this fit with our customer promise?”.
- Invest in Technology that Aligns with your Business Needs
While a Customer Service function that relies on email and spreadsheets may seem like a viable solution for small businesses, the reality is that it’s really not an effective method to scale and future proof your organisation. If you’re dealing with a global customer base in an online environment, data management, efficiency and flexibility will be key, while the ability to personalise and delight customers, and keep your staff motivated and excited about their jobs are incredibly important factors to take into account.
After mapping out the customer journey, defining what Customer Service means to your organisation and establishing your Customer Promise, you will have identified many criteria which will help when making the decision of which Customer Service platform to invest in. These outputs should highlight which channels your support system should offer, how long you will allow for customer service response times and the multiple touch-points your team will have with your customers.
Other things to keep in mind when selecting a Customer Support platform include:
- Flexibility – does the system allow you to modify it to suit your requirements and can it be adapted later to meet future requirements?
- Integration – can it integrate into your other systems to ensure you have a connected view of the customer and that you are minimising data silos?
- Ease of use – your teams will be using this platform – is it intuitive and easy to use? How long will the adoption process take? Does the company offering the platform provide support in on-boarding?
- Cost – make sure to identify all hidden costs of using the product and ask about future costs when you may need to scale up within the same platform.
- Building in a Scalable Localisation Mechanism
Expanding to reach more geographies and a larger customer base can be great for profits but it also means investing in localisation in order to deliver the experience your customers deserve. If you leave localisation as an afterthought it can truly impact the customers view of your brand and your ability to deliver on your Customer Promise.
At KantanMT, we recognise that every customer deserves to be engaged in their native language, but also that customer service needs to reflect the brand that is delivering it. That’s why we developed KantanSkynet – a platform that enables modern enterprises to deliver localised Customer Service with always-on, AI-enhanced, crowd-sourced translation services. Leveraging the power of technology, with the elegance of human assisted editing.
Skynet integrates directly into your Customer Service platform enabling your Customer Service teams to communicate in any language.
Choosing a localisation technology partner is a critical component of any Robust Global Customer Service strategy. The team at KantanMT are happy to help as you dive into your journey.
Successfully building and scaling your Customer Service function starts by understanding both your customers’ and your teams needs. Tools are important but before you jump in, plan on paper first (or at least a whiteboard!). And remember, this journey is not a one time effort, it will require continuous monitoring and adaptation to ensure your customers are getting the support they deserve, that your teams are empowered with the right tools and processes to feel confident in their roles, and that your business can truly start competing on Customer Service and the overall Customer Experience.
KantanMT is part of the Keywords Studios Group, the largest provider of global services to the video games and media and entertainment industries. It has offices in over 50 locations and delivers services to 23 of the top 25 games companies.
KantanMT is based in the INVENT Building, DCU Campus, Dublin 9, Ireland.