Benchmarking research studies from Best Practices LLC have revealed how top companies are going beyond simply espousing customer service focus to develop strategies for implementing measurable improvements across the board.
With so many businesses in fierce competition while all offering relatively similar products and services, one of the only differentiators is often quality of service. But why then, asks Best Practices' latest white paper on the subject, do so few companies provide consistently excellent customer service?
The company's research into the issue involved interviews with executives at Fortune 100 companies, benchmarking surveys, site visits, and focused roundtable discussions.
As a result of its research, the company identified several key issues:
- Improving customer satisfaction and retention through differentiated service levels.
The research examined how forty different companies ensure satisfaction for their highest value customers, with areas of focus including customer segmentation, acquisition and retention strategies, and needs prioritisation. The study also analysed how they cross-sell products and services to satisfy customer needs and increase retention by setting a higher 'switching cost'.
- Managing call centres.
The researchers identified the best practices of 19 call centres in six industries for a major media company, focussing on process design and management, human resources, measurement, customer service loyalty, and leadership and communication.
- Best practices for e-service.
Again, the researchers examined how companies are using the internet to integrate service delivery across multiple channels. The ability to offer seamless, fast, and personalised service is allowing companies to translate customer loyalty into long-term, highly profitable customer relationships.
The complete white paper has been made available for free download from the Best Practices web site