Customer service is not as simple as it used to be.
Brands can’t simply rely on a reactive approach because customers today expect so much more.
They observe, believe and respond positively to brands whose service is efficient and proactive.
How do you know your team exceeds customer expectations? How can you measure that objectively?
By setting and achieving the right customer service objectives.
Because the truth is, your service experiences ARE the stories your brand tells the world.
And your customers will only rave about your brand when you hit your service targets consistently. Keep reading to know which customer service goals you must set — and practical ways to crush them.
What is the core objective of customer service?
The core objective of good customer service is to make customers happy so you can retain more of them.
Happy customers not only result in higher retention but also help you spread the positive word more organically.
Good things get spoken about. So, keeping your customers at the core during every interaction is a sure-shot way to attract new prospects. Customers have different needs during different stages of their journey. So your customer service objectives should cater to each too.
Awareness: at this point, customers don’t have strong purchasing intent. Your customer service must focus on targeted marketing and strengthening initial perceptions
Consideration: since customers are now evaluating their options to choose the best, your team should answer all common pre-purchase questions
Purchase: help your customers smoothly complete purchases and assist them with all order-related queries like billing, shipping and status updates
Retention: you must stay just as vigilant with your after-sales service. Ask for feedback and offer product support, warranty services and loyalty rewards
Advocacy: continue engagement with regular check-ins and services like referral bonus, free technical assistance and personalized discounts
Your idea of achieving the core objective should lie in compassion. Your customers want to be heard, felt and seen. Look at things the way you’d have wanted if you were in their place. Doing so can help you match expectations with solutions that precisely crack their problem. It goes without saying that a calm, collected demeanor is essential, even during the toughest of conversations Owning up to mishaps and quickly resolving conflict is the true mark of efficient customer service.
Importance of having clear customer service objectives
Setting clear objectives helps you bring your team and business goals in sync.
Customer service objectives also help everyone work on your team as one unit, towards a common aim. They prevent lags, delays and miscommunication which ensures consistency in customer service.
You need to analyze your team’s current state to set realistic goals. Rome wasn’t built in a day — so make sure you target one performance gap at a time.
Achieving these objectives will ultimately help you improve everything from customer’s end — satisfaction, retention and loyalty.
9 customer service objectives essential for any business
Did you know that almost nine in 10 Americans use customer service to decide whether to buy from a business or not?
Makes you wonder if you’re nailing your customer service strategy, right? These customer service objectives will help you wow your people every time.
1. Don’t lag, resolve issues quickly
Your customers simply want you to solve their problems faster.
They feel unimportant when there’s a delay in customer service. So, here are a few points to keep in mind.
Ensure your customer response times are as low as possible
Build a knowledge base to help your customers resolve queries themselves
Empower your agents with tools that accelerate real-time resolutions
Imagine you go to a restaurant that messes up your order.
If the staff quickly acknowledges the error, apologizes and offers a solution like a free dessert or a discount on the next visit, wouldn’t you think about visiting again?
Reply in a flash: 5 tested ways to respond to customers quickly — and boost your bottom line
2. Shrink your costs and boost ROI
You might end up spending more to compensate for the damage caused by poor customer service.
Improper workforce management or ineffective resolutions can cost you new as well as old customers. A key goal for customer service should be to reduce your costs and boost revenue.
Deploy automation: use AI chatbots to tackle majority of issues and minimize agent dependency
Distribute workforce wisely: calculate capacity and manage your workforce based on case volumes, SLAs and handling times
Standardize customer service: define processes to avoid last-minute chaos or confusion during live interactions
Let the community work for you: reduce your ticket loads by empowering users to help each by building a customer community
Fuel your marketing initiatives: customer service data is a treasure trove of hidden insights for your marketing team to personalize campaigns and boost conversions
You need to go beyond the short-sighted approach of just helping out when necessary. It’s a crucial customer service objective to make life easier for marketing, sales and product.
3. Turn your team into the finest advocates of your brand
Preaching is only authentic if you practice it too. When your own people believe in what you do, they’d be able to offer help that makes customers more loyal to you.
After all, your agents are the soldiers at the frontline, which means they always have the power to influence customer interactions — for better (and for worse).
Encourage product usage so your employees know the value in it
Leverage their social networks to share positive brand content
Allow agents to share their personal anecdotes to humanize customer interactions
For example, let’s say you have an edtech company. When a customer reaches out asking about the best learning courses for sixth graders, your agent can recommend courses their middle schooler is learning from.
Customers love candor. Even more when it’s coming from one parent to another.
4. Repair broken relationships and your P&L
If your product is great but your customer service is not, your customers will still leave.
In fact, a service-based issue makes a customer four times more likely to switch to a competitor. And while happy customers become your brand evangelists, unhappy ones tend to become vocal critics. Look into the root cause of customer dissatisfaction and deploy one or more of these ways to mend broken relationships:
Long wait times: deploy AI chatbots trained to resolve your most frequent use-cases
Poor customer experience: listen, empathize, apologize and give a justified resolution
Multiple call transfers: defuse tense situations with straightforward escalation routes
Product quality issues: fix underlying issues, update them on improvements and incentivize a repeat purchase
5. Improve customer retention, loyalty and lifetime value
You are likely to keep more customers if they are satisfied with your customer service. Over time, multiple happy service experiences turn retention into loyalty.
Your customers are now not only thinking about just buying again but also choosing you every time they need what you sell. Let’s take notes to know how.
Quick but poor resolutions are damaging, effectiveness is the key
Omnichannel customer service gives users flexibility and boosts customer satisfaction
Consistent experiences across every touchpoint builds long-term loyalty
Loyal customers with nothing bad to say about you will also eventually end up spending more on your business.
And when this revenue is calculated over a period of time, we call it customer lifetime value. The higher it is, the better.
6. Make your ratings and reviews shine brighter
Yes, it’s true — 98% of customers read online reviews to find information before they shop.
And they trust user-generated ratings and reviews, since they come from customers like themselves, not brands.
Being authentic, they set your brand way ahead from competitors using paid advertisements, celebrities and influencers to earn goodwill. So, here are a few ways you can achieve this customer service objective.
Respond to every feedback, good or bad. It shows integrity and willingness to improve
Use reviews to detect process or product flaws and build to rectify them
Build your brand community and host events to boost engagement
Create video testimonials to show happy customer stories to build credibility
Launch a loyalty program to reward customers who consistently buy from you
Read more: What is online review management and why should you care about it?
7. Track KPIs that matter
Tracking metrics is an example of a customer service objective that quantifies your effort against the output. Your north-star metrics will paint you a complete picture of your team’s performance.
Customer satisfaction: the percentage of satisfied customers — often measured with customer ratings on a scale of five.
First response time (FRT): the time it takes to respond to a customer after they first reach out
Average resolution time: as the name suggests, it’s the average time taken to resolve a ticket
Net promoter score (NPS): a loyalty metric based on a customer’s likelihood to recommend a company — measured on a scale of one to 10. Those who rate nine or 10 are promoters, seven or eight are passives and those who rate from zero to six are called detractors.
Dive into the details: Top 18 customer service metrics to track
8. Collect feedback to perfect your product
The best way to improve your product is simply just to listen to problems your customers report. They’ve been using it for some time, they know what it works and what lacks.
Analyze your recorded calls and chats to uncover prevailing complaints, expectations and suggestions.
Encourage your customers to share their thoughts through surveys after ticket closures and conversions
A key objective for customer service is to find out how to upgrade your product. An improved product will always delight users — whether you’re introducing features to solve a highly reported problem or debugging glitches that hinder product usage. Instead of assuming what might work, use direct public opinion to mould your offering.
9. Arm your army with all the skills they need
Customer experiences highly depend on who's delivering them. And, well, experts know how to make them memorable. As a manager, coaching agents is a customer service goal you should seek proactively. You can hold group sessions or isolate training to target agents’ individual shortcomings.
Drill down on soft skills like emotional maturity and social aptitude
Ensure everyone on the team has holistic product knowledge
Don’t sideline skills like problem-solving, negotiation and critical thinking
Training your agents helps each member in your team learn, grow and perform their best at every customer interaction.
Learn more: 10 customer service training tips to supercharge your agents
3 key elements of effective customer service
Stellar customer service comprises of these three key elements.
1. An omnichannel presence
Customers who need help are usually impatient. They want to quickly connect to you and get resolutions within minutes.
Now, it becomes your responsibility to answer them on their channels of choice.
While a multichannel contact center does operate on many channels, it fails to unify any of them. And so, you must empower customers to switch between channels seamlessly — without having to repeat any information.
Omnichannel customer service connects conversations from all channels, so every agent has the complete context of any situation, regardless of the channel used.
2. Catalyzed improvement from poor feedback
Brands that firmly stay vigilant to rectify bad feedback always stay ahead in the market.
Unhappy customers are inevitable in any business. But how fast you turn that frown upside down shows how much your customer service team values their customers.
Moreover, you can use data from these unhappy customer interactions to train your agents to perform better.
Your customers are also unlikely to switch to a competitor when you quickly remedy poor feedback. And you avoid minor complaints from escalating into serious grievances.
3. Tailor-made resolutions for customers
Almost eight in 10 customers are more likely to spend on businesses that deliver personalized CX. You can personalize your service experience when you can predict what your customers want. And that’s only possible when you have a holistic understanding of the customer.
Demographic customer data
Past purchase behavior
Service conversations pulled from all channels
Social media footprint
Service teams need to access a system that unifies such customer data. They need a singular space that tracks their digital behavior and uses intuitive AI to find the best time and way to provide support. The only way to ensure assuredly relevant, connected experiences, you need a Unified Customer Experience Management (Unified-CXM) platform.
Because a Unified-CXM helps you approach support with a certain synergy between you and your user.
Your customer service acts as one unit, no matter how complicated or branched a case may be. And this capability ensures your customers always receive hyper-personalized customer service, true to their needs.
Good customer service is no longer just about fixing problems.
Your customer service objectives should always aim at compassionate, helpful interactions. The ones that retain buyers, turn employees into brand advocates and revive customer relationships.
Want your customers to never leave you?
You might like this handbook. It’s the only one you probably need to create hyper-personalized service experiences that impress your customers — every single time they reach out to you.