The Essence of Client Service
Clients are the essential part of the business, the reason why the Company exists and prospers.
Clients need to be supported, relationships cultivated, business preserved. Collecting data and building analytics, KYC activities, listening to clients needs are examples of tasks in charge of the Client Support department.
The reason why a client wants a specific functionality doesn't have to remain unknown. I implement feedback-loop techniques to know how the client is perceiving the service provided, if the level of support and expertise are adequate and ideas to improve.
Who the client is, what he may want to do, when he may need a service, how to structure new ideas. The Client Support team needs to represent a clear picture of the customer behaviours to identify business possibilities.
That's why a division of Client Support needs to be carefully managed and fully understood by the upper management. And - let's speak clear - often the upper management has not an idea of what is going on, why clients leave, why the business is shrinking and how to fix all these issue.
My approach is: be pragmatic.
If your Customer Service division is messing around, first of all you need to put down an organigram with Roles and Points of Contact.
Then you need to understand who is in charge of what. The inbound of clients cases needs to be addressed to the right people, the people skilled to
a) resolve a broad range of superficial issues, and
b) to identify the right specialists to solve specific deeper clients concerns.
Once the cases have entered your CS structure, it is important to follow their walk until resolution. You don't want to forget to answer to a client or leave cases open indefinitely. I usually implement tracking tools to monitor the workflow and determine:
- if the case has been resolved in proper timing.
- if the case has provided an acceptable solution to the client.
- if the CS team member was able to provide a solution alone, or if the need of a specialist from another division occurred.
- if there was an escalation to higher level of support.
All these pieces of information gets composed as a puzzle to build statistical analysis and charts and whatever other useful diagram in order to cut inefficiencies and improve the service quality to the Client.