3 Ways to Drive Innovation in Customer Service
A series of persistent, subtle changes — also known as micro innovations — can greatly benefit business.
Articles published January 6, 2017
What comes to mind when you think of innovation? Many people associate major advancements in technology with innovation. Your smartphone, streaming video, and social media are all examples of technological innovations.
However, innovation extends beyond technology. Sometimes it’s important to take a look at the main areas of your business and evaluate if things can improve.
Solving problems using a new technique, thinking of a way to optimize operations, or making improvements in customer service are all forms of innovation.
Redefining the Customer Service Experience
Even though it may seem like it at times, most innovation doesn’t happen overnight. More often, innovation consists of a series of smaller ideas adjusted over time until they eventually resemble the advancements that take the world by storm.
A series of persistent, subtle changes — also known as micro innovations — can propel an organization into the future. You can even apply micro innovations to areas of your business that have grown stagnant, such as the customer service experience.
Here are three simple ways to drive innovation in customer care.
1. Create an Innovative Customer Service Environment
Strive to create a customer service environment where innovation happens naturally. Figure out what your employees are good at, and then remove any obstacles getting in the way of them achieving their best. When people are motivated and happy, this usually spurs creativity and outside-of-the-box thinking, which leads to bright ideas.
Start with small changes that improve the work environment for your customer service team and over time you should also see an increase in client satisfaction.
2. Innovate How You Run Your Business
Another way to drive innovation in customer service is to come up with a new and better way of doing things within your organization. This could entail coming up with a new process that is more efficient or brainstorming a solution to a recurring problem.
One company that has done this is car2go. They had to get creative to figure out how to provide good customer service in the face of extreme growth.
Their business was expanding at an unexpected rate, and they had to find a way to handle the increase in customer service demands. In the end, car2go decided to work with an outside partner to handle their customer service. In doing this, they positioned themselves more effectively for growth and allowed their staff to focus on larger initiatives while ensuring their customers received great service.
Leveraging the resources and thought leadership of a trusted partner — such as the Aureon Contact Center — is certainly a form of innovation.
3. Use Social Media in an Innovative Way
A third way to provide innovative customer service is to use existing technology, such as social media, to provide the best customer service possible. Think of how you can use social media innovation to reach your customers in new ways.
Additionally, people expect your business to be responsive on social media, just as they expect you to be available via phone, email, or even live chat. Just be sure you have the right processes in place to moderate these interactions or it could backfire.
Small Actions Lead to Big Change
There are countless ways that organizations can innovate their brand, culture, and customer service. It’s often as much about how you innovate as what you innovate.
Successful bits of innovation matter. If you’re successful in brainstorming and implementing innovation, then it will encourage others to speak up with their ideas about ways to enhance your organization and provide creative customer service.
Good ideas and plans take time. Usually, that means taking things step by step.
How has your customer service team tackled innovation? Have you considered partnering up with an outside expert to provide innovative customer service?