24th February 2017 3 minute read
Customer service matters hugely to UK plc. Nearly 80% of GDP in the UK is service driven and 70% of our workforce is employed in customer related roles, so customer service has a direct correlation to bottom line performance.
But getting organisations to see customer experience as an essential element of their strategy - not just the ‘soft and fluffy’ bit - can be a challenge.
And customers are demanding. They want everything to be both more simple and more complex. They want the straightforward transactional stuff - the booking of tickets, for example - to be supremely easy and effortless. Meanwhile, at the other end of their relationship with a business, they want a rich, complex, personalised experience.
So organisations need to recognise the difference between the transactional and the empathetic. They need to enable their people to care, to be genuine, to be authentic, in the shop, on the phone, online, whatever.
Also they need to think about the entire customer journey. Often businesses are so fixated on their own customer journey they forget the customer has already made a journey to reach their front door, and will make another one on leaving.
For me the future – and the most interesting developments in the coming year – will be about trust, collaboration and connectiveness.
Consumers are much more savvy about the choices they have, the information they can access and their value to a business. Organisations need to gain their trust, and they won’t manage that without getting the hygiene factors of call and complaint handling absolutely right to begin with.
It’s also about making that whole end-to-end experience work, not just the one within your own organisation. That’s going to require some different thinking from businesses, and they’ll need to be much more externally sighted to understand that.
We are heading towards an experience-led world. The organisations that will succeed this year and in the future are the ones who really understand exactly what experience I want - and the whole experience too.
Jo Causon, CEO, Institute of Customer Service
To watch the recent webinar ‘State of the Customer Service Nation’, hosted by Capita Customer Management in collaboration with the Institute of Customer Service and BlueSky, please click here