January 4, 2013
For many companies, customer service is a cornerstone of their customer experience strategy. It’s an area of increasing importance because:
- Good customer service experiences are good for business. Customer satisfaction correlates to customer loyalty — and loyalty has economic benefits. Forrester calculates that a 10% improvement in a company’s customer experience score can translate into more than $1 billion in increased revenue and other benefits.
- Poor customer service experiences are expensive.The cost of failing to meet customer expectations is high: 75% of consumers move to another channel when online service fails, which can cost millions of dollars.
- Poor customer service experiences causes customers to leave your brand. For example, if a company has 4 million customers, each of whom spends $100 per year, the total projected revenue for a year would be $400 million. Forrester survey data shows that about 30% of a company’s customers have poor experiences and could defect.
Why is it so difficult to deliver good and cost-effective customer service experiences?
Today’s customer service technology ecosystem is very complex. There’s been an explosion of communication channels, touchpoints, deployment methods like cloud-based solutions, and vendor mergers and acquisitions to sort through. With all these changes, customer service organizations struggle to get their agents to use a consolidated toolset that accesses contextual and relevant data; to follow consistent processes; to comply with policy; and, most importantly, provide customer service in a way that customers want to receive it.
So how do you do it better? The contact centers for customer service playbook is a practical guide that focuses our research and recommendations to help you discover, plan, act on, and optimize your customer service operations:
- Discover: This is where you’ll identify the trends that you should be keeping an eye on, understand the very complex technology landscape, and justify the business case for your proposed investments.
- Plan: These reports help you assess the maturity of your current operations in order to pinpoint your strengths and areas of opportunity. They help you build a bulletproof strategic plan for improvements, and will lay out a technology adoption road map that will help you provide differentiated service experiences and at the same time contain costs.
- Act: With your planning in place, it’s now time to implement the right skills, staff, policies, and procedures. It’s also time to choose whether to build, buy, or outsource technology investments.
- Optimize: To continually improve, the optimize phase of our playbook will help you manage your performance, develop meaningful metrics, and communicate and train stakeholders.
The customer service playbook is a living document, so be sure to check in regularly, as we will update these core reports with new data and examples. Beneath these core reports, expect a wealth of “toolkit” research, such as Forrester Waves and TechRadars, as well as Excel-based models, PowerPoint templates, and checklists.
To get started, read our executive overview that sets the stage for the entire playbook.
So what do you think? How does Forrester’s vision of customer service compare with yours? And will our playbook be useful? Let me know if this approach resonates with you!