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Article CX Strategy

3 Ways to Innovate the Customer Support Side of Your Business

Too often, companies focus their innovation efforts on product technology while leaving other key areas of their business making only incremental improvements.  When this happens, opportunities to solidify customer loyalty and revenues are missed -- with the ultimate loss being business momentum.

Our team recently stepped into a company which had spent years innovating its cloud payments technology, but had failed to do the same for its service infrastructure. As a services business (which depended on recurring revenue) much of its growth depended on retaining existing customers through superior customer service.

Expanding the range of your innovation efforts

With that in mind, here are 3 areas within customer service where companies can focus their innovations efforts:

1. Turning secondary support platforms like social media into full service customer service platforms.

Companies provide support on social media and mobile because customers are on those platforms when they need support -- not because they are strong support channels.  But now innovative engagement solutions are allowing the same level of tracking and history trail as you'd find on email or chat support. 

Sparkcentral's (http://www.sparkcentral.com) customer engagement platform brings the capabilities of email and phone to social and mobile channels -- making them full 'platforms' in the cs infrastructure. 

2. Tightly aligning employee motivation to customer delight

Are you going as far as you can to improve the critical alignment of your team members to your customers?  it's such a critical area and a great focus for innovation.  One way is adding feedback between team members to the overall customer feedback infrastructure.  So team members can benefit from both customer input as well suggestions from top performing support team members.

Hively (http://www.teamhively.com) extends feedback from customers to feedback between team members -- those team members who are most customer centric can be great drivers for making the rest equally so.

3. Increasing mobility of team members within the service infrastructure

Typical multichannel support operations have team members tied to a single platform.  Chat support experts stay on that channel, while different team members provide telephone or social media support.  The innovators are focused on empowering support team members to hop between those platforms -- being available to each customer across platforms as it suits them.

Five9's (http://www.five9.com) Omnichannel Contact Center Applications enable you to engage your customers on their channel of choice and empowers your agents to move seamlessly between web, chat, email, voice calls social media, and mobile interactions. They’ll be able to respond more efficiently and provide customers with a better experience across all channels.

The key point: widening the innovation focus

The most innovative companies are stopping and thinking for a minute -- and reexamining the focus of their innovation efforts.  Product innovations will always be a key part of any growth strategy.  But think about how much momentum will be build from loyal customer when they find the support side as innovative as the product.  

Nov 29, 2016  
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