When you review how your business operates in terms of good customer service and the customer lifecycle – why not learn from one of the best out there!
What is it that Amazon do that enables them to consistently provide good customer service as part of their customer lifecycle?
They communicate effectively. Communicating effectively is providing the right information at the right time to the right person. Let’s take a look at that in a bit more detail by examining what happens when you order a product from Amazon:
- Search for a product online on Amazon’s website
- Click the product to view further information (you are also provided with a huge amount of additional and helpful information at this stage including customer reviews of the product, other products that complement the one you are viewing, similar products to the one you are viewing, and other products that customers bought after viewing this one)
- Add the item to your basket or go straight to checkout
- Create an account or log in to an existing one – here you are updating your personal details in Amazon’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system for them!
- Continue through to payment and on this part of the journey you have the option to select one of multiple types of delivery service, either to an address that suits you or one of Amazon’s Lockers
- Complete payment
- You receive an email confirming your transaction which you can also view online. This email also tells you that you will be notified when the item has been dispatched
- You then receive an email telling you when your item has been dispatched (they met this previously set expectation) and what the expected delivery date is
- Depending on the seller, you might then receive an email confirming the day of the delivery
- Once the item has been delivered you’ll receive an email confirming it has been received
- You receive an email asking you to provide feedback about the item and the seller’s service to you
- You receive recommendations for other products by email and when viewing other items on their website based on the product you have bought
How do they do this with millions of transactions to fulfill and customers to service all over the world?
They invest in systems and automate business processes using technology.
The steps above outline a business process. Typically in a small business it might be people carrying out each of these steps, but as your business grows in terms of number of customers and staff, it becomes inefficient to manually process these steps. This is where technology can help reduce costs to deal with an increased volume of transactions.
The first step is to define your business process called ‘customer lifecycle’:
- What are the contact points, or touchpoints, the customer has at each step along their journey with your business?
- How do you make these touchpoints as pleasant an experience as possible with as little fuss as possible for the customer?
- How do you ensure you provide your customers with the right information at the right time?
Once you have detailed each step in the journey, along with the content of the communication and the format of the communication (email, phonecall, letter, text message, social media update), you can then use technology to make it an efficient, reliable, trusted and repeatable process.
You can achieve this by using a CRM system and your other business systems to their full potential.
Through creating automated workflows, screen process chains, and from ensuring you have customer data you trust, you can operate a professional customer lifecycle to be proud of which will reflect the quality of your business, your products and your services.