Learn a simple model you can use for developing a powerful customer service strategy. Identify the seven essential components of the strategic planning process, and why they must be considered and used together.
- Is your approach to customer service headed in the right direction? Do your priorities make sense? How do you maximize the value of customer service? These are important questions, and you will discover the answers as you put an effective customer service strategy in place. Here's a model you can use for developing your strategy. It's simple, effective, and includes just seven components, steps that you'll go through as you define your organization's customer service strategy. The first step is to define your vision for customer service.
Where do you wanna go? What is your vision, and mission, and what are the values that will guide every aspect of customer service? The next step is to shape your customer access strategy. You probably already have one, whether it's been documented well or not. It includes who your customers are, the channels through which you provide service, such as in person, website, phone, and text. It also includes your hours of operation, and others. The question is, does your customer access strategy effectively support your overall customer service strategy, or does it need a tune-up? The next steps are best considered together, and are each part of what I like to call the big three.
People, processes, and technology. Here, you put definition around how your organization is going to build the skills, knowledge, and leaders you need to deliver the service you envision, implement operational plans and processes that support your strategy, and establish enabling technologies. Once you know the resources required, you can put a pencil to budget, and identify the investments that support your strategy. The final step is to innovate and align. Customer expectations are developed in a rapid clip, and other organizations continue to innovate, so this last step is key to sustaining success.
It's where you'll review your strategy, and the priorities and initiatives that make sense. It takes you right back to the top, where you revisit vision, customer access strategy, the big three, and investments you're making. Let me encourage you to memorize these seven steps. I have, and I use them all the time, just in thinking about how everything fits together. As you begin weaving them into discussions and planning, you'll be encouraging the rest of your team to do the same, and to make decisions that are much better aligned.
And that's a big part of what strategy is ultimately about, making good decisions that are aligned and that support your customer service vision.
- What is customer service strategy?
- Identifying customer expectations
- Strategic planning
- Investing in skills, leaders, and technology
- Encouraging innovation
- Putting the strategy to work