the best service is no service
That statement doesn’t sound too friendly, does it? While it might sound controversial, the idea behind it hopefully does resonate with you. And as a reassurance, please don’t take this sentence literally; you don’t have to shut down your customer service department tomorrow.
What is ‘no service’?
So let me explain what I mean by ‘no service’. The best world, coming from a customer’s perspective, is a world in which a customer would never need a customer service department.
A world in which all processes work smoothly.
In which a phone service never fails.
Electricity bills are so easy to read that even five year olds understand them.
Or where enrolling for a new bank account is done by verifying your fingerprint on your smartphone.
Just to name a few examples. Basically a world in which everything works as it is promised to you.
An optimal or utopia. All works well and will never fail. Although this is an optimal scenario all companies should strive to achieve, this doesn’t sound too realistic to realise in all situations.
Is there an other option?
In case the optimal scenario is not always feasible which other options are there?
Perhaps a world in which all answers to any customer question are easily available, 24/7, online via an app or website. Any digital channel.
This channel knows what is wrong and can actually tell you the answer or help you fix the problem with a mouse click. Directly.
No customer likes to call a customer service team because they enjoy making that phone call or to compliment a company for the excellent product they’ve bought. This would be nice to happen every now and then. However this barely happens in reality.
When a customer needs assistance from customer care in 99,9% of the cases something does not work, something has gone wrong or something is not clear.
So that first optimal world would be the best world. No failures, no errors, no bugs. All processes run smoothly and are 100% user friendly. It would be great if all companies worked that why. It’s not very realistic though.
Let’s be realistic
So if we are being realistic why not, at least, realise the world in which customers can always find the answer to their question? Or help them in such a way that they don’t need to talk to a customer service employee?
Customers rather find the answer themselves or handle their action/ request themselves, than to talk to an employee of the customer care department. So they can get on with their life, get on with what they were doing.
You might be wondering: How to do this? How can I make sure customers can do it themselves?
Here are some suggestions:
- You can build a selfservice environment in which they can perform all their actions. An online place where they see the invoices of their account. Or change their home address or phone number. Upgrade their subscription and update their profile settings.
- Make sure your website (and your app if you have one) are crystal clear. Include the answers to most asked questions by showing relevant and up to date FAQs. Be complete. Write in clear and short sentences. Start from a customer perspective and don’t use jargon.
- Use a chatbot as an alternative way of presenting information, besides articles, FAQs or blogs. Use it as a quick troubleshoot assistent. Or as a decision tree to guide customers through (complex) processes. As navigation support on your website.
No service needed.