Great contact center managers know that there’s an important difference between customer service and customer engagement.
Customer engagement - and, going one step further, customer experience - is talked about much more these days, but customer service on its own still has its place in the contact center-customer interaction. Here’s a quick rundown of the difference between service and engagement, and how you can incorporate both into your contact center strategy.
What is customer service?
Customer service concerns the actual advice or help that your call center employees provide to the customers who have bought and are using the products or services of a company that your center represents.
Customer service can be classified as part of the larger customer experience - in essence, the emotional relationship that your customers build with your company.
But while customer service has gotten something of a bad rap these days, with some people thinking it’s too simplistic for today’s consumer, it’s still hugely important to your success.
In fact, 58% of customers are willing to spend more with companies that provide excellent customer service, according to American Express.
What is customer engagement?
Customer engagement, on the other hand, refers to the connection between a customer and a company through multiple channels.
It the comprehensive list of ways by which the company creates a lasting relationship with its consumer base. As traditional communication channels - specifically phone and email - become less desirable to consumers, omnichannel communication through messaging apps, social media, and other methods are ever more important.
Through an active process of building, maintaining and nurturing a relationship with customers, companies can help create brand loyalty, one of the most important factors in a world more crowded than ever with different options.
How to incorporate great customer service and great customer engagement into your customer experience
Just because the two concepts are separate, it doesn’t mean that your call center should only focus on one. You’ve got to consider both when you’re devising strategies to improve how your agents relate to customers.
The key to good customer service in the modern age is to expand beyond the classic, old-school “reactive” model, in which the customer issues are presented and a call center employee works on a solution. Agents in 2018 should be trained to assist customers throughout their journey, whether that means more post-experience surveys or even contacting the customer again to check on the issue.
Contact centers can have even more complex customer experiences to manage, as their customers may not only be the consumers who call in; they’re also the companies that contract with the contact center.
So how do you best create engagement with both? What do your metrics look like in terms of call times, issue resolution, employee retention and complaints? If all these figures are where they need to be, it’s probably safe to say that you have engaged both of the customer groups you’re trying to reach.
If you’re ready to take your customer engagement to the next level, contact us at Kova today.