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The Customer Service Department Needs a Digital Transformation

Written by Ryan Bromsgrove on Jul 20, 2018 9:00:00 AM

In Service Enablement

Think about the last time you bought something online and had to get a problem addressed.

Did you have to take time out of your day and call someone? Were you placed on hold? Did you have to call back? Did you have to explain the same situation to three different people as you got shuttled around before someone finally dealt with the problem?

You’ve probably had to deal with this process at some point in your life, whether personally or as part of your work. But hopefully, the last time you needed to get something resolved, the experience was a little smoother. A little more convenient, efficient, personalized, and more suited to your needs. Your better customer service interactions are increasingly likely to be with companies that’ve undergone digital transformation.

And you probably feel a whole lot better about being their customers than you do about the companies that make you jump through fifty hoops just to get a bill corrected or a meeting scheduled. 

What is Digital Transformation Anyway? 

Put simply, digital transformation is about using modern digital technology to produce a more modern business.

Companies as wholes should undergo digital transformation, but it can mean different things for individual departments within them. For the customer service department, it means throwing aside those cumbersome, inefficient processes that often seem to only further frustrate an already frustrated customer and embracing new techniques and methods that make the customer service process a whole lot cleaner, more seamless — and less annoying — for the client. 

Don’t Undergo Digital Transformation Without Identifying the Goal of Customer Service

You could say customer service is about “getting the customer what they need.” But customer service is about customer success — ensuring that your product or service is actually enabling them to achieve something, whether that’s an individual getting a meal or a business using your service to streamline their production.

Traditionally, this probably just meant responding to problems as and when they arose and attempting to make the customer satisfied.

But another, more effective way of looking at it is as one of three pillars that drive revenue growth. Complementarily to sales and marketing, the customer service or success department should be about reinforcing the benefits of your product or service with the customer on a proactive basis. A successful customer is more than just a happy customer: they’re on-track to becoming a loyal, evangelical customer. And that feeds right back into your sales and marketing goals.

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The Reimagining of your Customer Service Department

So your customer service department is dedicated to customer success. Now, how does digital transformation figure into all of that?

Customers have high expectations set by their everyday digital lives. They expect interactions to be easy, personalized, and available on their terms. If they have a problem, maybe that does mean a phone call — minus the reexplaining — but it also might mean the instant response of a chat bot, or the convenience of sending a support ticket that they can respond to quickly via phone typing between other tasks. If you have a Twitter account, they expect that tweets sent get answers and will feel ignored if the account, well, ignores them.

Beyond dealing with problems, you’ll want to use digital technology to reach out and keep the conversation going. This could mean email series personalized by your specific customer personas to let them know what else you can do to help them achieve their goals. Or if you have data that shows they’re not using their solution, a digitally transformed customer success department should be able to step in to find out if it’s because they don’t know how or if it’s not actually relevant — and If that’s the case, find something that is. 

A Client Relationship Management Tool as your Digital Transformation Enabler

What’s important is the data. Understanding the customer both through what they tell you and what their behaviour tells you. How they found you, how they’ve interacted with you, what they’ve already bought from you, how they’ve used the product, the reviews they’ve left, and the recommendations they’ve made. This ocean of data might sound intimidating — but that’s where a CRM comes in. 

A CRM tool is the centralized heart of your customer service. Storing and categorizing contact information, executing smart email campaigns, managing social media accounts, and scheduling informative blog posts — a CRM lets you accomplish a great deal all under one roof. You might add additional services as needed, but the CRM is your hub. And not just for your customer service department. 

The Best Customer Service Digital Transformation Should Integrate with Sales and Marketing

You’ll be held back if you don’t fully coordinate your customer service digital transformation with a sales and marketing transformation.

The other thing your CRM can do is tie together sales, marketing, and customer service success by making it simple to understand your customer from all three angles. How do you find your customers? How do you close sales with them? How do you retain and keep them happy? 

There may be the temptation for sales, marketing, and customer service to operate in isolation, but a customer won’t be impressed when your information silos mean that whoever they need to interact with at the moment isn’t able to access their history with you. A digital transformation for your customer service department means a corresponding digital transformation in your sales and marketing departments.

With all three working in tandem connected through a sophisticated CRM platform, these three revenue growth engines combine to produce real, repeatable success. 

Get Started on your Customer Service Digital Transformation

The first step on your journey should be exploring the CRM options available and understanding what you need to get out of your choice.

Beyond that, don’t do it alone. A digital transformation is a complex undertaking, and a failed attempt will sour appetites for change.

Get it right with a partner like us.

Flawless Inbound is a revenue growth agency specializing in helping B2B companies achieve marketing, sales, and customer service growth and success. We’ve helped more than 60 B2B organizations across Canada and the US and are always happy to meet for a quick advisory call.

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