The role and importance of customer experience as a part of marketing has grown in this decade. Now, more and more businesses are thinking of customer experience and focusing on the entire customer journey to offer their customers the best possible experience. They are investing in data, analytics as well as several marketing tools including marketing automation platforms to make the customer journey as convenient as possible. Customer experience is now a core part of the marketing picture. However, customer service still remains an inseparable part of the customer experience. It is true that customer service is only a small part of the entire journey and yet a vital function that handles more than its share. Thanks to the growing availability of digital channels and tools, it is now easier to provide great customer service to your customers. There are several sales and service channels for businesses available now. From social media to email and whatsapp, the customer can use any of these several channels to access the customer service department and seek a resolution. However, the efficiency of your customer service department affects the customer experience to a large extent. When you think of customer experience, you have to consider the entire journey including marketing, customer acquisition, sales and after sales service.
How customer service can improve customer experience?
Customer service or customer care plays a critical role in the entire customer journey. It can offer valuable insights that will help define the customer journey better. Customer care handles the largest number of touch-points in the customer journey. This is also why businesses trying to transform the customer journey should make it the centerpiece of the transformation. For a very large number of organizations, customer care is playing a vital role in mapping the customer journey. However, to be efficient at doing so, it must overcome several barriers. As the number of channels has grown, so has the contribution of customer service to customer satisfaction. One major hurdle before customer care is that a large number of organizations still do not see it as strategic but instead as executional. Moreover, with growing number of channels, the number of entities and functions engaging with the customers has also grown. So, even if customer care has remained at the centre of customer experience, other functions like marketing and sales are seen as more important in this context.
There are other forms of obstacles too which have continued to impact the influence of customer care on customer experience. Obstacles to information sharing have also kept customer care from affecting customer experience strategies. The reality is that the involvement of customer service in shaping customer journeys and customer experience strategies must be higher. One thing is clearly evident which is customer care gets to hear the voice of the customers daily. This enables it to monitor trends, measure overall sentiment and find pain points as well as identify success factors.
Since customer care controls a significant number of touch points, it is in a unique position to gather useful insights from customer interactions. So, it can make a major contribution to strategy formulation for sales, marketing, and product development as well as several more functions. Customer care is also generally the leading function to detect product and operational issues. Whether the problem is related to logistics or some component of a product, customer care often detects the problem first. It is easier for customer service function to get a detailed picture of the overall customer experience by seeing it through the customers’ eyes. So, organizations trying to undertake a customer experience transformation must not ignore the role of customer care function. Its role is critical and strategic which can enable the creation of better customer experience and perfect customer journeys. Other functions also play vital roles in shaping customer experience and customer journeys. However, the unique position of customer care must not be disregarded but instead used to leverage customer experience transformation.