According to Forbes, ‘93% of customer service teams say customers have higher expectations than ever before.’

In today’s digitalised consumer environment, customer service standards are fast becoming the key differentiator between retention and high churn. The marketplace is crowded, customer interaction channels are evolving fast, and customers are doing research before making purchasing decisions.  

It’s critical not just to set elevated customer service standards, but to track and monitor them. 

Customers’ expectations are high, and their loyalty is a key metric

The global pandemic brought about seismic shifts in customer behaviour, setting their expectations higher than ever before. Indeed, more than half of customers give up after no more than 10 minutes of waiting to talk to a live agent.  

However, this can work very strongly in your favour, because loyalty matters on both sides of the transaction. Get your customer service offering right and they’ll stick around: 64% of business leaders report that good customer service has a positive impact on the organisation, while 74% of customers report feeling loyal to a brand that works for them. 

87% of business leaders tag the customer experience as their top growth engine – Forbes 

What are customers looking for?

Some of consumers’ most-desired outcomes haven’t changed; when engaging with a vendor they want speedy resolution, regardless of which channel they’re engaging through. They want a positive experience and outcome every time, and are now unforgiving if they don’t receive it. In fact, 61% of consumers switch suppliers after just one bad experience 

Customers are also looking to expend minimal effort; 96% become less loyal if a lot of effort is required on their own part. Critically, they now expect omnichannel support, with follow-up interactions being seamless and continuous, without them having to explain their situation once again to another agent. 

67% of customers are willing to pay more for a great experience, according to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 

How to set customer service standards

There are some fundamental quality control benchmarks that can be used as measurable metrics for customer service performance improvement: 

  • Fast average resolution time
  • Agents occupied 75–85% of their time
  •  High cross-sell or upsell rates
  • A low Customer Effort Score
  • Customer satisfaction averaging 80% or more
  • A high Net Promoter score
  • Wrap-up times of 10 minutes or less  
  • A high net sentiment score. 

Effective agent training, a memorable on-hold experience, easy self-service capabilities, interactive voice response systems and personalised, conversational customer service will play a key role in building relationships with your customers. Agents who produce outstanding results should be rewarded so excellence in customer service becomes a cultural norm in your company. Finally, you need to measure and track these metrics to ensure you’re delivering. The right customer service software, such as Zendesk, has a critical role to play on both the vendor and client sides of the transaction. 

“Customers determine the fate of your business … and the way you support those clients along every step of the buying journey, which doesn’t end with the purchase, should be deeply embedded in your company’s culture.” Forbes 

Consum – a customer service success story

Consum is a Spanish food giant employing over 18,000 people in serving 4 million customers. From 2019, as part of a general review of the group’s operations and processes, Consum – with guidance from us here at @redk – began the process of switching their legacy systems over to Zendesk to deal with customer care calls that had risen from 1,000 per year to 25,000 per month. 

The timing was difficult. Zendesk deployment had to be accelerated due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and staff had to be trained to use a system that was completely different to their legacy systems. Despite these challenges, outstanding results were delivered.

At redk, we work hard to help your organisation stay on top of the latest trends, from tech automation to customer service, and implement the right CRM software that will work seamlessly for both you and your clients. We are ready to help your company find the right tech transformation tools for success; talk to us to find out what we can do for you.