The way we live and work has become fully digitalized, and this means consumers now expect flawless digital experiences in real time. When things don’t work, they look for options elsewhere. Having solely digital experiences makes building loyalty much more difficult, but when customers have a great customer service experience, it can have a huge impact on their trust and satisfaction with the brand. It can also mitigate the pain customers feel during incidents.
Digital-first, digital-only, and omnichannel businesses face the same challenges for the always-on, real-time responsiveness digital customers have come to expect. Customer feedback is more immediately available than ever before. Some customers are anxious to provide it through whatever channels they have access to. The increased volume of feedback puts customer service teams at a disadvantage as they aim to collect and collate feedback and provide it to product teams in a timely and effective manner.
Feedback and customer reports can then increase dramatically when something goes wrong with your service(s). Incidents and unplanned work that occur within your digital platforms can strain your customer relationships. Even planned work can cause strife for some users who happen to stumble across some downtime needed to keep your platform running. Customer service teams play a crucial role managing customer communications during issues.
51% of companies only become aware of an issue - such as a failed shopping cart or cable service outage - when customers complain.
-- State of Unplanned Work report
Getting ahead of problems and incidents before they impact users is a goal every organization strives to achieve. As systems increase in complexity, though, it is more and more difficult to get to that preventative point. When an incident happens, your customers might be the first to notice, especially, for example, in an environment where not all users are impacted.
When your customers have issues with your services — even if the experience is limited to only their environment — a strong customer service practice strengthens customer and brand loyalty. Poor customer experiences can be amplified in the current social media landscape through outlets like Twitter, Facebook, and Yelp that make it easy for dissatisfied customers to air their grievances publicly.
In today’s always on world, 80% of people will stop doing business with a company because of a poor experience.
-- Michael Redbord, The Hard Truth About Acquisition Costs (and How Your Customers Can Save You)
Transforming customer service tooling and workflows will help your organization provide better customer experiences in a digital world. Using tools with powerful integrations will allow your customer service team to collaborate with technical and sales teams to provide exemplary customer experiences. Customer service teams are your first point of contact and a friendly face when your services are impacted by incidents.
Automating your customer service processes will allow your teams to provide better service to more customers, setting your organization apart from the competition. Similar to full-service ownership, where engineers are empowered to own their code in production, this is accomplished through full-case ownership.
Full-case ownership is an operating model where customer service/support teams are empowered to own issues from first report to close. Agents have real-time visibility, context, and the direct ability to mobilize the right technical and operational teams to solve customer issues — all while proactively communicating with customers. The benefits of full-case ownership extend throughout the business by:
- Giving service agents a direct line to management and engineering to ensure cases nearing / breaching SLAs (service level agreements) are escalated for attention and resolved
- Giving engineers a direct line to customer service to gather more information and deliver the right customer response
- Empowering agents to resolve cases end-to-end with direct lines of escalation to the teams who can actually help you fix the problem
Without full-case ownership, customer service agents are unable to control their own destiny. Agents accountable to metrics like time to resolution (TTR) and customer satisfaction (CSAT) should be empowered to actually resolve cases and tickets end-to-end.