What do customers dislike the most?  Not getting the level of service and support they want from their solution providers.

Whilst a service provider can’t solve all of its customers’ problems due to various external factors, it can strive to continuously perfect the service it does provide.  However, this doesn’t imply that an organisation would never have a problem with its own services or products, in fact it’s quite the opposite.

In the maritime industry very few things at an operational level are impeccable primarily due to the harsh, remote and isolated environment organisations in the sector operate across.  Customers know that.  They don’t expect perfection.  They do, however, expect value for money and if they are to truly remain satisfied with a particular service or product, they expect customer service teams to treat them fairly, whilst delivering on their Service Level Agreement’s (SLA’s).  When reviewing existing service assurance processes and procedures one of the quintessential factors to ensuring customers remain satisfied is to save them time.  We are after all living in the experience age and let’s be honest, nobody likes to wait around.  Waiting in queues or dealing with incorrect information and unresponsive service providers that are unable to respond in a timely fashion or able to resolve an issue is the last thing that any customer would be willing to endure.  If truth be told, this is a sure fire way to increasing customer churn whilst demoralising staff and damaging brand reputation.

Fortunately, service providers do appreciate their customers’ time and are continuously innovating and looking at technology as a solution to help implement new initiatives to improve service delivery processes that can save customers and their own people time in a bid to reduce customer service contact queues and waiting times.  Let’s explore some of the innovative way’s technology can help you to save your customers time and improve the customer experience:

Select a division of your business and evaluate the average waiting time of a customer.  The ideal place to start would be with your SLA’s and the initial date the customer’s query was raised.  This should be enough to assess if the average wait time is in line with customer expectations. Is there anything that you can do differently to improve service levels and save time?  Perhaps you could increase headcount, implement additional policies or look at how technology can help you to manage the customer service process and queues more efficiently.  Solutions like FrontM that enable you to rapidly deploy self service chat bots, knowledge hubs and video conferencing in remote workplace environments can help you to eliminate long painstaking service delivery queues, enabling you to provide customers with immediate access to the online and offline information they need to resolve at least 50% of their service queries. 

By leveraging technology in this way, not only can you resolve service problems faster and more efficiently, whilst generating instant feedback from your customers you can also manage your company resources more effectively.  This approach will also help you to transition from a ‘Reactive’ to a ‘Proactive’ service delivery organisation.  

At the end of the day, acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer.  Increasing customer retention by as little as 5% can increase profits from 25% – 95%.  As new service providers and solutions disrupt the maritime industry and the way that businesses operate, it has never been more important than now to look at ways to save time in a bid to improve customer satisfaction levels.  Many service partners are leveraging FrontM’s AI technology to build out behavioural analytics engines in order to better understand their customers, in doing so they are creating engaging digital experiences that delight the customer and reduce operational overheads whilst giving their business a competitive advantage. 

Feedback from merchants, cruise and the energy markets within the maritime industry has confirmed that most customers feel that their service providers take a long time to respond.  Customer patience and loyalties are growing tired as they wait for the elusive phone call, email or engineer to be dispatched to solve the problem.  Escalation strategies and processes are often disjointed and fraught primarily due to the types of systems or satellite connectivity that are in place.  In some cases customers reported that they felt their service partners were deliberately unresponsive because they did not have the systems or resources in place to solve the problem in line with their own SLA’s. 

Final thoughts, if you don’t have a scalable system in place that provides your customers with access to the resources and tools they need to help them troubleshoot and resolve basic service queries, then you can be sure your customers will be speaking to another provider that does.  As James Clear would say, “You do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems.”  Get to know your customers and their problems with your service. There is no such thing as negative customer feedback, use all feedback to adapt and innovate.  Provide your customers and support staff with a system that proactively alerts all parties to the possibility of a problem, automate where you can and provide your customers with the tools they need to self diagnose and remedy minor issues.  Seek regular feedback, these changes will ensure your customers renew their contracts and remain satisfied.  You can do all of this and more with FrontM.

Lisa Moore

Author Lisa Moore

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  • Superbly written. I can now clearly see how we, at clixph.com can, can adapt SLAs not only between company to company level but down to the micro level of employee to boss. It all adds up.

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