At the Heart of a Great Customer Experience Is Great Customer Service

Gartner defines customer experience (CX) management as “designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed customer expectations and, thus, increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.”

At the core of every excellent customer experience is great customer service. This isn’t just about delighting customers with discounts or promotions. Instead, exceptional customer service is about the true resolution of customer concerns—whether this is by user-friendly self-service offerings or via an empowered service team that makes the entire process effortless.

Companies can only begin to think about the emotional consequences they want to bring about as a result of their CX efforts once they’ve put customers at the heart of everything they do. In order to accomplish this, businesses need to do the following.

1. Understand the Voice of the Customer

Designing great customer experiences without first understanding customers is difficult and can often yield to unsatisfactory results.

With survey tools, businesses can easily collect, track and most importantly act on customer feedback. And through Cloud Analytics, companies can decipher customer interactions and other critical data sources. They will also have the capacity to trace customer satisfaction issues back to individual factory or supply chain issues. The proper solution can give companies an extensive end-to-end view of their customer—and this perspective can better inform the way they run their business.

2. Consistently Create and Deliver Core Moments.

Often, too much of an agent’s time is spent on issues that can easily be addressed. Issues should be resolved swiftly at the first point of engagement and should not reach multiple interactions with the company.

To become efficient and more productive, Service Teams require tools that can help them ramp up their product or service knowledge and train them to exercise critical judgement to help with quick turnaround of incident resolution. Whether you’re a Contact Center Agent or a Field Technician, you need to be equipped with the right know-how to be able to process customer concerns rapidly and efficiently. And solutions equipped with AI-based features and Machine Learning can help augment an agent’s knowledge and skills by recommending action steps, products, parts, or additional services.

The result of investing in the right education and solutions is the creation of Core Moments. These moments are where customer loyalty is born out of a customer’s satisfaction with the resolution and interaction. When you get teams working with purpose and a clear understanding of their role in the success of the company, they will begin “imprinting” a culture of service excellence.

3. Self-Service Can Often Provide the Best Service

We tend to think of self-service in terms of cost savings for the company, having cut out the middle man during these engagements. But the real value of self-service is in delivering exceptional customer experiences that are often better than assisted service interactions.

A prime example of this is in the airline industry where, for most people, the best and easiest way to change your seat or change your flight is to do it yourself via the mobile app or the website.

Companies should then evaluate the self-service experiences that would serve their customers best. Even if this means building one’s own mobile app or offering an exclusive kiosk experience in a retail setting, for instance.

4. Enable End-to-End Interaction-to-Resolution

Businesses can understand how individuals want to communicate with their brand throughout their entire customer journey by leveraging a vast amount of resources and data available through cloud technology.

Take the Utilities industry as an example—it’s not hard to imagine how easy it would be to create a level of differentiation in the market by creating a seamless experience for the customers. How in a single call, utility customers can expect to be able to have their accounts set-up, their meters read, and technicians booked if necessary.

Only an end-to-end solution can provide such visibility and seamless integration that can in turn lead to customer service efficiency. And service excellence is about staying a step ahead of customer expectations. With the right customer service solution, businesses can simplify the ability to offer service across multiple channels, access complete and contextual customer information, and gain real-time insights into performance.

These four steps are key in enabling businesses to achieve true customer service excellence. SAP Service Cloud’s portfolio can help companies with this by providing a true end-to-end solution that covers all the steps of a customer’s journey during service interactions. Because SAP Service Cloud recognizes that when it comes to delivering excellent customer service, every moment counts.

Discover more about the power of SAP Service Cloud at this year’s SAP Customer Experience LIVE event, the CRM event of the year. Formerly known as SAP Hybris LIVE Global Summit, the event will be held in Barcelona from October 10-11, 2018. The conference features 17 theaters and more than 250 sessions with over 50,000 square feet of exhibition space at the Fira de Barcelona, Gran Via venue. Follow along with the event on social media with #SAPCXLive.

Georg Glantschnig is general manager of SAP Service Cloud.