You've got a great product or service, but let's face it — without stellar customer service, you're only halfway there. Your customers reach out to your company and get poor service. Suddenly, they're reconsidering their choices. It stings, right?
As we all know, customer service is the driving force for any successful business. But are you just putting out fires, or do you have a game plan? Many businesses operate on autopilot when it comes to customer service. Complaint comes in and goes out — rinse and repeat, without any growth.
Things can get chaotic. Stress levels rise. Your team might even dread the next phone call. The solution is setting robust customer service goals. And not just any goals, SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound - goals.
In the next few minutes, you will learn about the 15 customer service goals every progressive brand should aspire for. With the SMART framework as our guide, you will walk away with a clear path to improve your customer service from mundane to magnificent. So, let's get started.
The critical need for specific customer service goals
You've acknowledged the need for customer service goals — great. But let's cut through the fluff. Generic goals like "improve customer service" won't cut it, as they lack focus and direction.
For instance, according to Gartner, two-thirds of customers reach out to customer service after receiving proactive outreach from a brand. But here's the kicker — they often use costly, assisted channels to seek support. Specific goals could nip this issue in the bud.
For example, a goal articulated as "Improve proactive outreach to reduce assisted channel contacts by 20% in the next quarter" puts everyone on your team on the same page. The team knows the focus is on providing better proactive information. Managers can easily track this metric. The best part is your customers get the clarity they crave, reducing their need for those costly channels.
Thus, your team is more efficient, management is streamlined and customers get the information they need without extra hassle. It's a win-win-win.
Set your customer service goals with SMART steps
You're convinced that specific goals are the way to go. But how do you actually set them? Let's break it down with the SMART framework, making it easier for you to lay out those essential customer service objectives.
Step 1: Be specific
As we said earlier, begin with precision. Don't just say, "I want to improve response times." Instead, go for "I aim to reduce email response times by 2 hours". Numbers make all the difference. The latter gives a clear picture of what you want to achieve.
Step 2: Make it measurable
You'll need to track progress, right? Choose metrics that are easy to measure. If your goal is to improve response times, specify by how much and what tool you'll use to measure it.
Step 3: Keep it achievable
Dream big, but stay grounded. It's vital to ensure your goals are within reach. If your current email response time is 24 hours, aiming for a 1-hour response might be a stretch. But reducing it to 12 hours? Now, that's doable.
Step 4: Ensure relevance
Stay aligned with your business objectives. A goal like "Introduce 3 new customer support channels in the next month" sounds impressive. But ask yourself: do your customers really need these channels, and if yes, which ones? Keep it relevant. Select the most useful 3 channels rather than choosing the cheapest ones just for the sake of completing the goal.
Step 5: Set a time-frame
Every goal needs a deadline. It adds urgency and focus. Saying "increase customer retention rates" lacks punch. But "increase customer retention rates by 5% in the next 6 months"? That's a goal with legs.
15 customer service goals your team should prioritize
Now that we know the importance of and the steps involved in the goal-setting exercise, here are 15 customer service goals that you can't afford to ignore.
1. Quick first response time
The clock is ticking, and your customers are waiting. In a world of instant gratification, a swift initial response is crucial. There are unique ways to speed up your customer response time. Speed up the process by considering conversational AI and bots, which help automate basic queries, freeing your agents for more complex issues.
Download this eBook: 5 ways to improve customer response times
2. Improve resolution time
Quick doesn't mean hasty. Balance is key. For some excellent advice, a first contact resolution service offers comprehensive solutions that improve both speed and efficacy. Aim for resolving issues on the first customer touchpoint whenever possible.
3. Omnichannel customer service
Customers don't just use one platform, so neither should you. Make the customer journey smooth across all platforms. The key is implementing an omnichannel customer service strategy. To streamline this, an omnichannel customer service software solution can be invaluable.
4. Customer surveys
Your customers have opinions—lots of them. And you know what? Feedback is gold. Listening to your customers is invaluable. Want to know what your customers are really thinking? Omnichannel survey software can help you gather feedback through automated yet personalized surveys.
5. Reduce cost per contact
Efficiency isn't just about speed; it's about saving money too. Your customer service goals should include reducing the cost per contact to be financially sustainable. A cost-efficient strategy optimizes both agent time and company resources. Emphasize creating strategies for cutting costs without compromising quality.
6. Effective customer onboarding
First impressions last. Roll out the red carpet for your new customers and make sure new customers feel welcomed and informed. Effective onboarding sets the stage for long-term customer satisfaction. Tailored onboarding can make all the difference here.
7. Customer appreciation strategies
Never underestimate the power of a ‘thank you’ because a little thank you goes a long way. Make sure your customers feel valued, not just catered to. Go beyond just thank you. Show them some love. Appreciation rewards, personalized emails, special offers and loyalty points are a good start.
8. Mobile-friendly support
Customers are on the move, and your support needs to keep up. Offering a seamless mobile experience ensures that your customer service is as agile and versatile as your customers are. Failing to do so means not just missing out on a vast audience but also potentially losing them to competitors who understand this shift toward mobile accessibility.
9. Automation in customer service
Automation isn't just the future; it's the now. Just ensure it doesn't replace the human touch.
Automating daily customer interactions can bring you big savings without sacrificing quality. Customer service automation software can automate daily interactions, saving you a lot of time and money in the long run.
10. Creative use of social media
Connect where your customers are. Don't just socialize; offer service. Specialized social media customer service software can significantly enhance your outreach and response. Interested in upping your customer service game? Here's a guide listing five indispensable customer care tools on social media.
11. Adapt to industry innovations
Staying stagnant? Not an option. Keep your customer service goals from getting stale. Keeping up with technological innovations, like AI, can revolutionize how you interact with customers. Leveraging an AI-powered CCaaS solution is a smart step forward to stay ahead and competitive.
12. Employee growth and satisfaction
Happy employees mean happy customers. Prioritize your team's well-being as part of your broader customer service goals.
By investing in training programs, providing avenues for skill development and maintaining a healthy work environment, you're indirectly nurturing your customer base. Happy employees often go the extra mile in resolving issues and creating customer delight, turning ordinary interactions into extraordinary experiences.
13. Self-service options
Give power to the people because, sometimes, people like to help themselves. A customer self-service software guiding them to the answers and services they need through online communities, knowledge portals and chatbot support can result in faster resolutions and happier customers.
14. Increase customer loyalty
Loyalty is not given; it’s earned. A returning customer is your best customer. Community forum software can enhance customer retention and foster loyalty, fulfilling two customer service goals in one.
Community forums not only provide a space for customers to engage with your company but also with each other. This peer-to-peer interaction often translates into shared insights and solutions, ultimately creating a self-sustaining ecosystem of brand advocates.
15. Centralized customer interactions
All customer interactions should be managed in one place. Having one place for all customer interactions simplifies the agents’ jobs and enhances the customer experience.
A customer engagement software that emphasizes unified case management and agent interaction will help you ensure nothing slips through the cracks.
Best practices for communicating customer service goals
Effective communication is the key. Here's how to ensure everyone, from your customer service agents to your customers, is clear about the goals.
For internal stakeholders
Transparency: Be open about what you hope to achieve. Share your goals in team meetings and through internal communications tools.
Metrics: Use clear, measurable KPIs that everyone can understand. This way, you set a benchmark for success.
Regular updates: Don't let these goals collect dust. Update your team regularly about progress and roadblocks.
Training: Keep your team well-equipped. Offer training sessions to help them understand and meet these goals.
Feedback loops: Encourage your team to share their insights. After all, they're the ones in the trenches every day.
For external stakeholders
Customer-friendly language: Translate your goals into benefits for the customer. Simplify jargon.
Channels: Use newsletters, social media and direct communications to update customers on your striving to serve them better.
Surveys: Ask for feedback. Let your customers know their opinions matter in shaping your service.
Transparency: Share your successes and be honest about areas for improvement.
Personalization: Tailor your communications to different segments of your customer base for maximum impact.
By effectively communicating your goals, you keep everyone aligned and accountable. It ensures that the roadmap to excellent customer service is clear, measurable and achievable.
The road ahead in achieving customer service goals: Wrap up
You've traveled a long way in the journey of customer service excellence. Still, the road ahead has its own set of challenges and opportunities. What sets you apart isn't just setting your customer service goals; it's executing them in a way that resonates with your team and customers. Think of it as building a bridge between your vision and reality.
The right tools make construction smoother and more efficient. You might wonder how to choose these tools without getting lost in the sea of options. How about a customer service solution that effortlessly unifies customer interactions across 13+ key channels, including social media, messaging, chat, email and even voice?
With the right tools, you can cover more ground with less effort, freeing you to focus on innovation and quality.
So, are you ready to level up your customer service goals? Your next move could set the tone for your customer relationships for years. Why not give yourself the best chance for success? Start putting those transformative goals today with Sprinklr Service by signing up for a free trial; the results might surprise you.
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