A Tale as Old as Time: Striving for the Best Customer Service
By Rachel F Freeman, Operations Director
Every year across sectors, buzz words crop up, trends start and people look to see what is or isn’t the next “best” thing on the market – whether it be an innovative piece of machinery, the next best app, an idea to revolutionise the way we operate in a work space or indeed what we eat in order to be more efficient and focused (does a group huddle or corporate run before indulging on beetroot and chia seed smoothies sound familiar?).
Ideas keep coming, which is wonderful, and in the world of technology it is imperative to keep things fresh and dynamic in order to be responsive to the ways of the marketplace.
What drives the marketplace? The customer. Ironically (the way I see it), the one thing that doesn’t change but is at the heart of what most of us in all industries need to consider is customer service.
Customer service is a hallowed objective and yet I can’t think of any new-fangled ways to describe it another way or market the concept any differently. Customer service is at the heart of what we in the workplace all do and the only thing that changes through time is how we deliver it based on the tools and the circumstances of our era.
There was a time in living memory when consumer (retail) banking, for example, was conducted entirely via “bricks and mortar” branches and/or the phone. This meant that banking times were dictated by branch opening hours and phones being available and the likelihood of needing to wait or stand on a queue for an average of 15 to 20 minutes was considered acceptable. The customer service was focused on the friendly demeanour of the teller or bank manager and what type of advice or loan the bank could provide to make the customer feel properly guided. A lot of faith needed to be placed in the people in the bank to manage the retail accounts of the customers.
Nowadays it doesn’t take much to see how things have changed drastically on so many levels. Banks are selling or renting many of their former beautiful Neo-Classical buildings so they are converted to restaurants/cafes/clothing stores; they are closing various high street branches and instead there is a bigger focus on their digital strategy and “modernised approach” to customer service. The customers who used to be wowed by the grandeur of their bank branch now need to be kept in awe by the digital experience they can get in return.
The modern digital benefits mean that banking can now be done 24/7 – you can access your accounts directly and manage your transfer seamlessly online at any time you want and now – with mobile devices – you can perform the transactions from wherever you need to without worrying about the constraints of a fixed location.
Customer service has gained levels of autonomy the customer never knew before – the customer has been empowered to take control of his/her accounts and with access to online information a customer can quickly assess and compare deals for loans or products and services with a few quick internet searches.
Has this new world of customer service left anything behind? This is for the customer to decide and for vendors to be in close contact with their clients to understand their needs and requirements.
Creative Virtual is providing banks with self-help tools to enable their customers to be empowered and we need to listen to our clients to understand what their customers want so we can adjust the tool we provide to help them give the best user experience. We are quick to respond to client needs and have allowed our clients to access online reporting directly so they can be empowered themselves to see how the tools they apply on their digital spaces are performing. We spend time adding elements of personalisation into our tools so that our clients can ensure that their customers are remembered when they return online and they can access their specific account information without needing to repeat themselves.
Similarly, our seamless live chat capabilities will give a customer an opportunity to speak to a live agent when required and the agent will have all of the customer’s information along with the previous conversation leading to the live chat so there is no need for the customer to have to repeat his or her issue.
Creative Virtual are proud to have been awarded the latest accolade of Best Customer Service Solutions Provider 2017 in the Greater London Enterprise Awards. This is not too much of a surprise as Creative Virtual aims to listen to our clients, who in turn are working with their customers, so we can be on the frontline for amending our tools to provide the customer experience that works the most efficiently for the current circumstances of our digital world.
The tools will change throughout the years but the objective of keeping the customer happy is a constant through time. For as long as we have our eyes and ears open to the needs of the customer we are ready to respond and relish the challenge. It is what keeps us fresh and motivated.
Our thanks to the Greater London Enterprise Awards for naming Creative Virtual the Best Customer Service Solutions Provider! You can read our official announcement here. And you can see our customer service solutions in action for yourself by requesting a live demo.