Businesses who position themselves as industry leaders in customer service often share one key characteristic: the use of analytical tools to make productive business decisions. Compared to under-performers, the best service teams are three times more likely to be outstanding or very good at using analytics. The companies that spend the most time getting to know their customer base are more effective at meeting the needs of those customers and exceeding expectations.
The first step in building your business with analytics in mind is to make sure that you are gathering as much data as you can about your customers and organizing it in a meaningful way. In most cases it is easy to categorize customer service contacts into one of several different groups. Your customer service team should have tools available to them to record the types of customer service calls they are getting and the most common complaints, and you should be able to sort this information in a way that will make it easily readable in the future.
After you have created a process for gathering customer data and organizing it effectively, the next step is to put together a team of analysts to look at the information and gather meaning from it. It is important to make sure that the data is being reviewed on a regular basis and not going to waste. A pro-active schedule for evaluating customer service data will give you a huge advantage to resolve issues quickly when you start seeing negative trends.
Lastly, it isn’t enough to just gather and look at all the available data. You need to follow through with real actions that will improve the customer experience. All of this data should give your company a very clear view of what is making customers happy, and what is making them unhappy. This gives you the opportunity to make improvements based on very targeted issues and to take part in some creative problem solving and innovative thinking. Customers who see that their concerns are being heard and addressed are more likely to place their loyalties with you.
Gathering data and producing numbers from it takes time and energy that could be spent elsewhere. However, companies that place analytical tools at the forefront of their business strategy see countless benefits. They are able to move forward with products and services that directly benefit consumers and that are already in demand based on the voices of existing customers. They are able to build a comprehensive picture of who their customers truly are and create marketing campaigns that speak clearly to those individuals. Lastly, it allows customer service team members a better ability to effectively and efficiently resolve customer complaints because they are more likely to have the necessary tools to fix the problem. Careful research into trending complaints will allow your company to optimize your approach and create a solution before the problem gets out of hand.
Ultimately, the decision to change your business’s mindset toward analytics is one that will only benefit your operation overall. As you get better at asking the right questions through your customer service team and gathering the most important data, you will see improvements in all areas of your business. Customers will be appreciative of your ability to take care of them and will continue to refer your company to friends and family once they have a positive customer experience with you. All of this is a result of simply taking the time to look at what the numbers are telling you and finding new ways to improve.