Learning from your customers
Good customer service should have two aims. Obviously the first is to satisfy customer questions and solve any problems that they may have. Failing to do this means you will lose customers and revenue as well as negatively impacting your brand.
The second, and ultimately even more important, objective should be to use customer service information to improve your products and services. Customer service departments have the benefit of measuring a whole range of metrics and this can be used to make informed decisions on how your company operates. After all if the majority of your customers are complaining about the same problem, it’s pretty obvious that you should look to fix it at source, rather than leaving it to customer service to pick up the pieces.
At Eptica, we’ve seen the benefits that companies get when they link together customer service data with other information (such as Google Analytics reports) and we’ve designed our software to be simple to integrate with other information sources to help customers get a holistic view of their customers and needs.
From our experience here are four key ways you can use customer service data to drive business improvements:
1 Instant, informed market research
If customers are consistently asking for a particular product or style that you don’t sell, then you have a ready-made market that wants to buy. Look at analysing questions asked through email and web self-service to gauge demand and then fulfil it – if customers keep asking “Does that skirt come in purple?” then chances are they want to buy it.
2 Streamlining the customer journey
Companies spend a lot of time making the customer journey as simple and straightforward as possible, moving people from browsing to buying. While website analytics can show where people dropped out of the journey and asked for help, it can’t tell you why they did it. By adding customer service data to analytics you gain insight into customer behaviour that goes beyond statistics and page clicks. So by looking at the questions customers asked when they leave your web pages to seek help you benefit from insight that is probably currently invisible to your overall analysis. This information can be used to improve usability and refine or add content.
3 Find out what your customers are thinking
Collecting data, such as through web self-service, gives unparalleled insight into what you customers are thinking and doing when it really counts – at the point of purchase, in real-time. So harness this insight by monitoring the questions that your customers are asking and look for emerging trends and topics. Your SEO team can improve search engine rankings by using the terms and phrases that customers actually type in when they interact with you. In turn this will lead to improved visibility and sales.
4 Improve your processes
Companies often try to put themselves in their customers’ shoes – however this doesn’t always give a true picture as staff are just too close to activities to be able to act with sufficient detachment. Customers don’t always behave in the most logical manner, but by analysing their questions and interactions you can see how processes can be changed to better match their needs. Short, post-call feedback polls help give more insight here – as does interviewing agents and using their input to amend how you do business.
Companies generate an enormous amount of data from customer service interactions – and they need to make sure they mine this valuable information to drive competitive advantage.