What Is Customer Service Management? (With Tools and Tips)
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Keeping your customer base happy can help you keep more clients and increase profits. Customer service management is the act of measuring and modifying your customer service procedures to give customers as much satisfaction as possible. Learning about some common tools and tips for effective CSM can help you improve your own system. In this article, we discuss key components of customer service management and provide suggestions for how to improve your team's customer service skills.
What is customer service management?
Customer service management is the practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to analyze their customer interactions. CSM works to increase customer retention, analyze feedback and improve customers' overall experience. Professionals may use research, project management techniques and organizational tools in order to optimize their organization's customer service.
Why is customer service management important?
Customer service management is important because creating a quality experience for a customer may encourage them to continue visiting your organization. Retaining customers is vital for maintaining and growing a business. Satisfied clients may also tell friends and family about their positive experience, which can grow your company's customer base.
Tools used in customer service management
Companies use a variety of tools to keep track of customer service, improve response times and help customers. Some important CSM tools include:
Customer relationship management software
Customer relationship management software is a tool that organizes your interactions with customers. A CRM program can store customer contact information, record calls or meetings and track sales data. Using a CRM system allows you to keep customer details in one central location and add or modify information quickly.
Read more: What Is CRM?
Marketing automation is the process of using software to perform certain marketing tasks automatically. You can use marketing automation to send out scheduled email or text messages, respond to frequently asked questions or update your social media page. Many marketing automation tools also include analytics, so you can see data on your marketing campaigns or conduct A/B testing on your messages.
Omni-channel workflow management
An omnichannel workflow management system is a software program that allows you to track customer support tickets across multiple channels. For example, a customer at your restaurant might email you about their cold soup, fill out a response about the soup on a company survey and mention the event on social media. With omnichannel workflow management, you can view all of a customer's feedback on all of your customer service platforms.
A chatbot is an AI program that simulates a human conversation. Chatbots can function through voice or text chat and can address simple customer service concerns, such as order tracking or basic tech support. Using a chatbot can increase your efficiency by solving easier customer service tasks without requiring a person. This saves time and allows your team to address more complicated situations.
Social media can allow you to directly reach out to your customers and address their concerns. You can use a social media account to answer questions, directly contact customers who have concerns and provide support information or FAQs for common issues. Other CSM tools, such as CRM and omni-channel workflow management programs, can often link to your social media accounts.
Tips for effective customer service management
Here are some suggestions for effective customer service management:
Defining which customer service tasks your team is responsible for can help you better measure your performance and suggest improvements. Try to draft a list of responsibilities such as answering question, offering help proactively or following up with customer complaints. Determining who should complete which tasks can increase your ability to make goals and create realistic standards.
Develop a customer service culture
If your workplace has a culture dedicated to customer service, the efficiency and quality of customer service may improve. You can influence work culture by hiring people who share similar values, sharing inspiring stories with your team, listening to both employees and customers and advocating for a safe environment for team members . Consider hosting events or giving out performance prizes to help build company culture.
Read more: Creating a Customer-Centric Culture
Communicate with and train employees
Employees are a key aspect of customer service management. They often have direct contact with the customers and may process support tickets or input information into CRM software. Consider training all of your team members to use your CSM tools and holding meetings where they can offer feedback.
Create a customer service management plan
A customer service management plan is a strategy for how to manage or improve an organization's customer service. Drafting a specific CSM approach can increase your focus and may improve your customers' overall experience. Try to set goals for your customer service team with clear milestones such as positive feedback or average number of complaints.
Set key performance indicators
Key performance indicators are data metrics by store or employee that you can use to monitor your progress, identify potential challenges and reward high performers. Some common KPIs are customer satisfaction rate, average time of interaction, number of customers helped and amount of upsells. Try to set realistic KPIs for your team and monitor their progress.
Use CSM tools
CSM tools like chatbots or CRM software can help you organize your team, improve efficiency and track your progress. Choose a set of tools you find easy to work with and can teach to your team. Consider using additional tools, such as calendar apps, to keep track of additional dates or employee communication programs to facilitate team interaction.
Collect and use data
You can use data to monitor your customer service management strategy and identify areas that need improvement. Gather data such as survey information, average customer wait time, number of complaints per month and comments on social media. You can use this information to identify the strengths and challenges of your customer service management plan.
Listen to customers
Listening to your customers is a key component of understanding how to improve their satisfaction. Try to give out surveys for your customers to fill out and ask for their feedback when interacting with them. Spend some time reading emails or comments on social media to better understand your customers' needs. Consider talking with your team, who may have valuable insights.
Evaluate your system
On occasion, you may want to evaluate your customer service management system to ensure you are tracking the elements you wish to know about and making sufficient progress. Periodically check how well you and your team are meeting your CSM goals and if your tools are measuring your progress accurately. Afterward, draft a new plan using the information you gained from your evaluation.
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