By guest blogger Warren Fowler [See Biography]
[May 15, 2018] A customer service manager (CEM) is a relatively new role but an increasingly important one, as customer experience becomes one of the main differentiators to keep businesses ahead of the competition.
The CEM ensures that customers have a great experience across all touchpoints with the brand. If customers are satisfied, it increases their loyalty and improves cross and up-sell opportunities as well as referral rates for a company.
Every interaction between the customer and the organization must be optimized, and this involves effective and efficient functioning across all departments. The CEM has to create and implement strategies that allow this to happen.
A customer journey map identifies touchpoints and anticipates customer interaction with a product of service. It includes interactions through traditional channels, such as phone calls and purchases but it also encompasses new communication mediums, such as social media and live chat. Strategies need to be designed to ensure that customers are able to easily reach out to the business on chosen channels and that the company can communicate with the customer as easily.
A CEM should make sure that staff is trained to optimize the customer experience. Employees need to be able to analyze and interpret their interactions with customers. It is vital to be able to correctly identify current customer requirements and assess their future ones. The activities of customer service staff must be monitored to ensure that all interactions with customers are professional and courteous.
The CEM is responsible when it comes to customer evaluation and feedback which gives them insight when it comes to redesigning an existing product or service. Once a product reaches the end of its lifecycle, the CEM ensures that profits are maximized before taking the best elements and incorporating them into a new iteration.
One of the biggest challenges facing a CEM is creating a customer-first culture. Every department within an organization has to be committed to this to make the customer’s journey from beginning to end a memorable experience. Creating a brand personality that evokes connections and emotions for customers helps to establish a relationship. Too many companies still tend to focus on what is good for them rather than what is good for the customer.
Another big challenge for a CEM is talent management. The recruiting, selecting and nurturing of the right employees can make a big difference to the customer experience. An experienced team is required to implement the best customer engagement. A team has to include research analysts, implementation experts, etc. and it also needs to be scalable.
Communication is another major challenge. The CEM needs to communicate with staff what they are working towards and instill the idea that they need to use initiative when dealing with customer issues – they should not merely escalate requests.
Customer satisfaction has to be measured in real-time because feedback is important in order to track customer perceptions and measure whether certain strategies are working. The CEM has to be able to demonstrate exactly how efforts are helping to retain customers, increase sales and other key performance indicators.
Communication across various silos in a company has to take place. Lack of co-operation between individual departments can seriously hinder customer interaction if different approaches are used. The CEM needs to foster collaboration across the departments to improve the customer experience.
The vital nature of the role
The CEM has an important role in a critical aspect of an organization’s performance. The role helps in shaping the brand image of the company and improving the relationship it has with customers. Every interaction with customers is seen as an opportunity to create more satisfaction for them and more loyalty towards the company. A company that can create a memorable customer experience not only creates loyalty but makes customers more likely to refer others – and the CEM helps to make this happen.
Using different approaches to project management at EduGeeksClub has shown that customer retention and referral strategies work best when performed by Customer Experience Manager.