Winners win — and in an oversaturated market, consumers increasingly have become more discerning of brands.
In order to secure and maintain shopper loyalty, the best companies are investing in client and customer services to upgrade shopping experiences. And in the second annual State of Service report just released by Salesforce Research, some of these best practices were revealed.
The report is based on a survey released in September 2016 that accrued responses from more than 2,600 full-time service professionals in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Surprisingly, high-performing service teams only accounted for 14 percent of the surveyed population, marking the opportunity within the market to improve customer service and benefit from a growth in sales and consumer loyalty.
Once a silo’d department, the more successful companies are fully integrating customer service into every aspect of their businesses. “Forward-thinking companies are taking advantage of the changing customer climate to find new points of innovation for customer service,” said researchers of the report. The survey found that 85 percent of executives with service oversight believe customer experience is a key competitive differentiator.
And for good reason. Personalized services — especially those that prove knowledge of the shopper’s preferences — improve loyalty. “Sixty-nine percent of consumers say personalized care influences their loyalty,” the report noted. “Seventy-nine percent of consumers say it’s very important to be immediately routed to the agent most knowledgeable about their issue.”
As consumers shift their spending more to mobile devices, around-the-clock purchases will continue to increase. This poses the need for all-hours customer service. The report said, “Sixty-four percent of customers expect companies to respond in real time.” Retailers should consider the implementation of chatbots and other virtual tools in order to capture and optimize specific shopper data in order to address an issue and record its history for future learnings.
This is echoed by the survey’s findings of shoppers’ high value for consistent customer service, regardless of platforms. “Seventy-three percent of consumers are likely to switch brands if they receive inconsistent levels of service — sixty-five percent of them will switch brands if they receive inconsistent experiences, regardless of the platform,” said the report.
Accessibility and consistency are paramount in releasing successful strategies for customer loyalty and improved revenue generation.