Customer service expectations are at an all time high, with a 2018 Gladly survey showing that 92% of the people questioned will switch to an alternative company following just three, or even fewer, negative experiences.
There are plenty of reasons for mounting pressures in the customer service department, and the public sector definitely isn’t exempt from the conversation. While customer service excellence was once a goal solely reserved for private sector organisations, the growing prominence of technology and customers with a more diverse set of needs has made customer service just as relevant in the public sector.
Don’t let this scare you though – as higher service expectations needn’t be a bad thing. Once you understand what your customers are expecting and why, you’ll find it easier to target your customer service strategy and they’ll be singing your praises in no time.
Likes, Shares & Retweets: The Rise of Social Media
According to a YPO Survey, 83% of public sector workers say that the rise of social media has made them take their customer service strategy more seriously. Not surprising either, as in today’s digital landscape of constant connectivity, one negative experience can be blasted across the internet in seconds, potentially reaching the eyes and ears of thousands.
Customers now expect to be able to contact you through a range of different channels, whether that be in more traditional forums such as in person and on the phone; or online via multiple different social media sites. Be visible and be able to respond to customers when they have a query or a complaint. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 90% of all customer service interactions will be made via social media…so it’s a good idea to start getting your practice in now.
Make it Personal
Effective and engaging customer relationships are at the heart of good customer service. People like to be treated as valuable individuals so it’s important that any communication with them is seen as direct and personalised. Everyone is different. Everyone requires something different from their interaction with you, and everyone has a different level of expectation.
In a survey published this year by Gladly, 59% of people value personalisation over speed when it comes to a customer interaction. With public services having to cater for the entire population, make sure your customer service strategy plan considers how to interact with a wide and diverse range of needs and requirements. Embrace their differences and your customers will really appreciate it.
Communication is Key
In the age of social media, you can be easily overwhelmed by the volume of information at your fingertips. You may be tempted to shy away from the feedback you’re receiving – especially if it’s negative – but the key is to communicate with your customer. Follow their actions, understand their habits and interact with them to learn what they really want.
Always be listening and be able to adapt your strategy based on what your customer has told you. If your customer is saying something – react, respond and develop. Customer service excellence can’t happen overnight but building better relationships with your customers can be the first step towards achieving your service excellence goals.
Team Alignment & In-Depth Training
The best way to ensure you’re delivering the best customer service strategy is to make sure your whole team is aligned with the same message and know the standards they need to be delivering.
Our business strategy expert, Stuart Riddington, can equip you with the tools to empower your teams to deliver first-rate customer service. Join us on the 11th December for our one-day, CPD Certified training course “Ensuring Customer Service Excellence” and leave with confidence to achieve your customer service goals.
Get involved in the conversation
Has your organisation had any particular customer service challenges? Have you got any tips you can share which have worked in the public sector? We’d love to hear from you. You can tweet us using @UModernGov.
Can’t make the date?
We can also run this course for you In-house at your organisation or a venue of your choice, on a date to suit you. Contact our In-house training team on [email protected] or call 0800 542 9414 to find out more.