Customer service (CS) consulting is not a new concept, but it is one that is gaining in popularity as businesses strive to improve their customer experience (CX).
With the continued rise of the digital age, customer expectations have increased, and they now demand a more personalized, convenient, and responsive customer service experience.
In order to meet these expectations, businesses need to keep their ear to the ground and be aware of the latest customer service trends and best practices.
This is easier said than done.
Although every customer has unique expectations, if businesses focus on the following five areas, they will be well on their way to providing an exceptional customer service experience:
- Response time
- Knowledgeable staff
- Going above and beyond
Knowing how to implement these five areas strategically is where customer service consulting comes in.
What is customer service consulting, and what are the benefits of it
Customer service consultants are experienced professionals who can help businesses assess their current customer service landscape, identify areas for improvement, and develop strategies for meeting customer needs.
There are many benefits of customer service consulting, including:
Improved customer satisfaction
A good customer experience is essential for business success.
According to a study by Bain & Company along with Harvard Business School, “A 5% increase in customer retention can lead to as much as a 95% increase in profits.”
Happy customers spend more money with a company.
They also become loyal customers and are less likely to switch to a competitor.
Since it costs more to acquire new customers than to keep existing ones, businesses that focus on customer retention can see a significant increase in revenue.
Improved employee morale
Employees who feel supported by their company and are empowered to provide excellent customer service are more engaged and productive.
This leads to improved employee morale and lower turnover rates.
A customer service consulting business will help employees better navigate customer interactions, understand customer needs, and provide the necessary tools to deliver an exceptional customer experience.
Since you’ll spend less on acquiring new customers, you’ll also save on customer service costs.
You’ll also benefit from word-of-mouth marketing as happy customers tell their friends and family about your great customer service.
Improved brand reputation
Excellent customer service will help improve your brand reputation and make it easier to attract new customers.
As trust referrals and reviews build, so does your business.
Customers value a good experience, and having clients and customers willing to refer your business to others is invaluable.
If you’re looking to improve your customer service landscape, consider working with a customer service consultant. The benefits are clear.
How to choose the right customer service consultant
Customer service consulting is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
To get the most out of your customer service consulting engagement, you need to choose the right consultant for your specific needs.
Here are four factors to consider when choosing a customer service consultant:
The customer service landscape is constantly changing, and it varies per industry.
You’ll want to work with a consultant with industry experience and up-to-date on the latest customer service trends.
This way, you can be confident they understand your unique needs and can provide tailored insights and recommendations.
Area of focus
There are different types of customer service consulting, from developing customer service policies to designing and implementing customer feedback systems.
You should choose a consultant who specializes in the area you need help with.
This way, you can be sure they have the skills and experience to deliver results.
Customer service consulting is not a one-time project.
Continuous improvement is essential to maintaining excellent customer service.
You should choose a consultant who takes a collaborative approach and will work with you on an ongoing basis to help you reach your goals.
This way, you can build a long-term relationship and continue to improve your customer service landscape over time.
Customer service processes
You want to work with a consultant with clear customer service processes.
This way, you can be confident they will deliver results efficiently and effectively.
This way, you can provide an excellent customer experience at every touchpoint.
Customer service consulting fees can vary depending on the services you need, the size of your company, and the duration of the project.
You should get quotes from several consultants to find one that fits your budget.
Be sure to also ask about additional costs, such as travel expenses, so there are no surprises down the line.
A customer service consulting business can charge between $5,000 and $20,000 per project.
Customer service consulting is an investment that can pay off in many ways.
The steps involved in customer service consulting
Consultants will have different strategies, but there are some general customer service processes that most consultants follow:
Define customer service goals
The first step is to define your customer service goals.
What are you trying to achieve?
Are you looking to reduce customer churn? Improve customer satisfaction scores? Increase revenue per customer?
Your consultant will help you identify the right goals and target metrics.
Conduct customer research
The next step is to conduct customer research.
Your consultant will talk to your customers (both current and past) to understand their needs and pain points.
They will also look at your competitors to see how they are handling customer service.
This research will help you understand your customers clearly and what they want from your business.
Analyze customer data
Your consultant will also analyze your customer data.
They will look at customer satisfaction scores, churn rates, and contact center metrics.
This analysis will help you identify areas of opportunity and potential areas of improvement.
Develop a customer service strategy
Your consultant will develop a customer service strategy based on the research and analysis.
This will include recommendations on improving customer satisfaction, reducing customer churn, and increasing revenue per customer.
Implement customer service changes
Your CS consultant will help you implement the customer service changes.
This may involve training your customer-facing employees, developing new policies and procedures, or designing and implementing new customer feedback systems.
Finally, your consultant will help you monitor and optimize the results of your customer service efforts.
This includes tracking KPIs, such as customer satisfaction scores and contact center metrics.
Your consultant will also help you make changes to improve results over time.
Tips for getting the most out of customer service consulting
Working with a customer service consulting business can be a great way to improve your customer service.
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of the process:
Be clear about your goals
Before you start working with a consultant, be clear about your customer service goals.
You want to be able to give some direction to the consultant so they can develop a customized strategy for your business.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
You should feel comfortable asking your consultant about their process, experience, and recommendations.
A good consultant will be happy to answer your questions and explain their thinking.
Get buy-in from your team
Your customer service team will need to be on board with any changes that are made.
Make sure you involve them in the process and get their buy-in before making any changes.
Monitor results and make adjustments
You’ll need to ensure that your new customer service strategy aligns with your mission statement and company values.
Not all changes will be successful, so you’ll want to monitor results and adjust as needed.