customer service

Agility in customer service: what, why and how to get there

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Technology has not only changed the way we do things, it has also made profound changes in our expectations for services in general. Today, agility in customer service is a must if you want to provide a good shopping experience.

With this in mind, many companies have resorted to highly technological solutions, such as service bots and self-service options. These are great options, as long as they are used correctly. What is this correct way? That’s exactly what this article is about.

In the next few lines, we’ll talk about the following topics:

  • What are the criteria for a fast and efficient service?
  • How important is agility in customer service?
  • How to streamline customer service?
  • What are the best channels and methods for fast service?

Keep an eye out for the tips, as they can take your business to the next level. Good reading!

What are the criteria for a fast and efficient service? 

It may not seem like it, but there is a big difference between quick and efficient service and just a quick service. And this difference can be very costly for your company.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to find managers who believe that customer service is all about the moment of purchase. In fact, with the increase in the number of channels through which the brand communicates, the company does much more service than it sometimes imagines.

A fast and efficient service should not only focus on providing a quick response at any cost. That answer needs to come quickly and, at the same time, resolve the issue that prompted the customer to come to the company—whether that issue is a need to buy, a question, a complaint, a suggestion, or even a compliment.

Each type of demand implies a different type of response, through a different channel — much like what happens in our personal interactions. Thus, agility in customer service is accompanied by the construction of a real bond, a relationship.

Minimum customer service time

The average service time (TMA) is a widely used indicator in customer service centers. The calculation of the TMA is done by plotting the arithmetic average of the time spent in all assistance provided by employees.

It is different from a minimum customer service time. There is no rule and no exact number for this. However, the less the customer expects, the better. Therefore, it is recommended that the operator does not take care of more than 5 customers at the same time (in the case of assistance via chat).

How important is agility in customer service? 

Platforms like Uber and Airbnb haven’t just changed the way we go from place to place and how we stay, respectively. They changed people’s logic. Nowadays, consumers expect that the service that will solve their needs is just a (or a few) click away.

Want to know more about this shift in consumer behavior? Watch the video below, with the doctor in consumer anthropology Michel Alcoforado:

In the Global State of Multichannel Customer Service report, published by Microsoft, we see that 79% of Brazilian participants have already given up on a purchase after a service that left something to be desired.

The same document shows that 85% of Brazilians see companies that respond more positively to interactions on social networks, whether for questions, complaints or praise.

Therefore, those who do not care about speed in customer service run the risk of frustrating consumer expectations. In these cases, regardless of the product or service offered, the customer will have a negative impression of the company and may not want to do more business. Worse, it can still make negative reviews, compromising the company’s reputation and influencing other potential customers.

How to streamline customer service? 

We’ve already talked here on the blog about the service funnel, which is a very useful methodology to speed up customer service and be efficient.

But there are some other practical tips you can take. See below.

1. Make a plan

Do you find it strange to plan, not knowing exactly what each customer is going to ask? If you look a little deeper, you’ll soon realize that planning for customer service makes perfect sense.

To get started, you need to know what your customers’ profile is. In addition to demographics, it’s important to know the type of language that makes the message reach them best, the preferred channels for communication, the degree of autonomy you can give.

2. Create a code of conduct for the service team

A robotic customer service (in the sense of not being humanized) is a sure recipe for failure. But that doesn’t mean you need to let your service team improvise everything in the customer relationship.

Even to provide security for the team, you must create a document with the code of conduct and attitudes of the service. This guide should include information such as the tone of voice to be used, some general guidelines, channels where agents can find answers to questions, and other important guidance.

3. Be empathetic

When the customer needs the company’s service, most of the time, it’s because something didn’t go as expected, or he has some doubt. In these situations, it’s very frustrating to get the impression that the professional who is supposed to see you seems to begrudging.

The best way to avoid this is to use empathy. Consider that problem is causing stress for the customer. So, there’s nothing better than someone who makes himself available to really give assistance and solve the problem once and for all.

4. Measure the results

Monitoring your customer service processes is very important if you want to improve and have more agility in customer service. It is only from this monitoring that you will be able to identify what is not working as expected and improve your service.

If, even after these tips, you still don’t feel very confident to implement a strategy that leads to fast service, don’t worry. The IEV Sales Specialization Institute can accompany you and help you resolve this demand.

The institute was founded in 2014 by three of the biggest sales specialists in Brazil and has the mission of helping companies to sell more and better. To that end, the IEV currently offers online sales courses. But you can opt for an even more complete solution.