The consumer market had its own share of ups and downs over the past years. Each is marked with significance by either breaking records positively, or negatively. But at the middle of these extremes lies the middle scale businesses that keeps on pressing, in order to succeed with their respective industries and maintain a safe stand in the market.
The rise of social media, and the proliferation of mobile and internet-accessible devices, strengthened the value of customer perspectives in gauging how well a product or service performs or will perform in the market. The voice of the consumers are now being validated as a credible marketing campaign itself. With this shift in the market trend, businesses are starting to re-think their strategies and starting to think of ways on how to anchor their methods to keep up with the waves.
Customer Service Challenges and Solutions
The prevalence of the consumer-oriented market, combined with the challenges involving declining consumer purchase power, economic market shifts and downhill level of customer service, create a confusing scenario for businesses over which to prioritize. A relevant and effective customer relationship management is a much needed solution to all of these. But before the spotlight goes to its benefits for the business, first take a look at what experts have spoken about the biggest customer service challenges that they experienced with their own companies, and the solutions to overcome it:
Too much focus on the technology, but neglecting people assets
Some businesses have become fascinated with employing technology based tools in order to create that leverage and sense of competitive edge over its competitors. This causes them to neglect the resources they already have with them – their employees.
It is best to remember that when businesses are hiring employees, they do it against a set of skills and competence that they find that would best contribute to the betterment of the company. And most of the time, they succeed. Employees are briefed of their tasks, and most probably, they will be able to know “what” to do and “how” to do it, in no time. Often times, task execution can become mundane and routine, that it gives too much consistency, lacking in superiority and exceptional standards. That is what happens in customer service and customer relationship management.
Empowerment for employees doesn’t just rely on benefits and compensation packages, but of giving them “purpose” for what the service that they render. Sometimes, employees feel they are competing with technology, which in reality is an unfair situation to be in. Technology is just an aid, and assistant, but not meant to replace human intellect and thinking capability. It is still the employees that drive technology to its success, and a way to do that is to empower their thinking and align them to the “why” they are doing their jobs in the first place.
The goal of customer relationship management is to render an excellent experiential customer service for a mutually beneficial relationship between clients and businesses. Consistency in delivering this is the key to greater success.
The lack of diverse communication channels, and diverse approach to different client types
It is often costly to employ additional communication channels, but the benefits it can give are priceless. Understanding customer behavior under different forms of interaction could actually open more doors to cater to their needs and address them better.
Providing diverse communication channels are also part of the way of customer management softwares. It provides a single platform where customer service agents are free to use their negotiation skills with clients, and engage them in an interaction that is targeted. Varying your communication channels also pave a way for business to respond to clients faster, and more timely.
Unwillingness to adopt change
Some businesses are inhibited to embrace change, and still find comfort in doing mainstream methods for their strategies. There are many factors that may affect this, including budget considerations and business cases. Being technology based, CRM softwares can intimidate first time users, but with better knowledge, like reading customer relationship management tool reviews, can improve your willingness to try new.
How to meet every changing and demanding expectations of the customer
Customers nowadays are wiser and demanding about what they want, and how they want it to be delivered. And businesses are expected to give these to them. Keeping up with the changes in the expectations of the customers may require the use of technology and business tools, like CRM tools. CRM tools utilize customer data, to be able to know customer behaviors and buying preferences, which are vital in giving them targeted and relevant approach and offerings.
Struggling to achieve unity in customer response systems
With many elements that comprise customer service facets like diverse communication channels, varied marketing campaigns and different market environments could be a pain in the head to integrate under one single management system. But through CRM softwares, it would be possible to achieve this.
CRM softwares actually streamline processes and workflows, to ease businesses in consolidating and sharing customer data among the organization. Customer response systems also become a mix of self serving and which that requires a live agent, and this is attainable through CRM softwares.
Achieving pro active customer service
This is actually an aspect of “customer experience”, but still entails an excellent customer service upfront in order to achieve.
CRM softwares are capable of going through with the client on his journey from being a lead, until he becomes a client, and even after. Outstanding customer experience will build a memorable point that might compel a customer to share it to many forms of communication like the social media.
Lack of integrated customer service processes, end-to-end
In the past, the customer journey in a business involved pit stops; which refers to different departments that manages the process he is in, differently from the others. The lack of integrated customer service processes might lose a customer somewhere, when one of the departments fail to render the service required.
Customer relationship management softwares are capable of streamlining processes in order to make a continuous and efficient transition of customer services, for a complete customer experience.
CSR under pressure
Ensuring that customers will still maintain to have a quality interaction with the business is quite challenging, especially under pressured, and stressful situations. And this is also hard to address even with technology.
This can make us go back to customer challenge number one, which can be solved by empowering your customer service representatives, by training them to become emphatic with dealing with their clients that have negative behaviors. It is also best to train how to relate, and also separate, emotional issues from the professional aspect of the business.
The mindset of driving down costs in customer service
In business, it is understandable that success is measured through sales performance and high profits, which could mean capital costs down, and ROI achieved in the shortest time. But in the case of customer service, it may mean a deeper approach to the concept of success.
Achieving success in customer relationship management are best realized through the creation of loyal customers, which are worth more than sales drivers, but as business partners for a long time.
Having a business predisposition to use ROI in making performance evaluations.
It is sad the some businesses only gauge the success of its campaigns through ROI. While ROI can be a way to measure success, it is just only one aspect to consider.
Customer relationship management tools not only make effective measurement of marketing campaign ROI, but also of performances of the employees, with other key aspects of customer relationship management.
Lack of deeper insight in understanding KPIs for customer support services
KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators are effective “bench markers” which are metrics supported performance indicators of the different aspects of the CRM. Most of the time, businesses are too focused on the technical corums and profit making that they are dealing with pure observations and client feedback rather than actually measuring customer interactions for a more credible support system in CRM.
CRM softwares utilize data analytics, which can return outputs as measurable reports, which can give a more accurate support for crucial decision making in the business.
Having a solution is as important as adoption, and employees must also be educated in analyzing and deploying such reports in their own tasks.
Lack of knowledge in balancing technology with relationships
A business must know how to strike the balance in putting technology and non technology aspects of the business together. Working this out can make a business more effective in addressing customer needs through innovation and excellent customer service.
We have to remember that technology are only meant to enhance, to optimize, or to improve a process, not to take place as a self running and self serving CRM.
It is also increasingly difficult to optimize the application of technology in such relationships, because too much may diminish the personal aspect of the whole experience. Good thing that CRM softwares are customizable to have that “just right” amount of technology combined with warm customer service, which can be your winning combination strategy for your business.
Lack of knowledge on how to be your own customer
Putting yourself in another person’s shoes can increase your awareness of the challenges, and can as well shift your perspective in finding solutions that actually affect you. This emphatic approach in doing business and rendering CRM services can help you in making solutions that impact your client relationships positively, and on a more personal level.
The need for a committed company leadership
Company leaders must be the starting point in all adoptions and changes to implement in a business. Leaders are also influencers in this aspect, which doesn’t mean to impose, but rather to empower employees to embrace changes towards greater benefits for the company.
Leaders should initiate goal setting, in order to list down objectives and point out ways to achieve the desired outcome. This way, methods can be aligned, and collaborative efforts among members of the business organization can take place.
Challenges in Customer Service in Social Media
In 2015, a social solutions website released a guide concerning social customer service. Part of it contained challenges that businesses face when it comes to social media impact. Here is the condensed version of the said guide:
- Increased customer expectations
As your customers embraced a new form of communication engagement as social media, so as their expectations that businesses will have to go along with them with their newfound preference. It was even reported that between 2009 and 2014, the number of users of the social media website Twitter to stage their customer service concerns have doubled its numbers; from 11% to 22%.
With this kind of empowerment that social media put into the customers, there was a sudden shift of control for customer service expectation from the businesses, to the customers’ hands.
Did you know that according to a survey, negative customer experience is two (2) times more likely to spread than good one? The rise of social media popularity can increase the impact of bad feedback to businesses than ever before. And because the market has more number of suppliers and vendors today, according to another survey, 59% of the Americans would rather try another brand for a better customer service.
- The increased challenge in facing customer service expectations
Customer service people are now facing more demanding customers, making customer service environment a rather stressful one. The need for a more targeted and personalized approach also becomes a challenge, because businesses are also dealing more types of customers across multiple communication channels. Getting valuable data from a noisy sea of raw data from many sources could also be a daunting task to do.
CRM softwares have become more attuned to the growing social media challenges, by integrating a more powerful method of gathering and sorting out customer data. Since businesses are utilizing more social media connections today, this can put greater focus on optimizing the social media for their benefit.
Overcoming challenges in business relations require a winning formulation out of technology and outstanding customer service through efficient human interaction. Reviews of customer relationship management tools can increase your awareness about how top customer relationship management tool providers can help bring your business-client relations on another level.
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