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egain_whitepaper_sla_brand_promise - Best Practices...

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© 2006 eGain Communications Corp. All rights reserved. Best Practices Delivering on the Service Level Brand Promise to Customers Every Time 9 Ways to Get There
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It s no longer a secret that outstanding customer service has become an imperative for superior performance, if not for the very survival of businesses. Many recent surveys show that existing and prospective customers will defect to competitors if companies deliver poor service or do not deliver on their service promise. Moreover, poor service can irrevocably damage brand equity, which is often the only differentiator in many industries. So how can companies “walk the walk” in delivering the service level brand promise every single time? And, how can they do it in a cost-effective manner? This paper provides nine tried and tested strategies and tactics that our Global 2000 client companies, most of who are known for world- class customer service, have used for consistent and cost-effective delivery of the service promise. ± 1. Align customer service operations with brand strategy ± 2. Set service levels based on rigorous strategic and operational criteria ± 3. Manage expectations through proactive, cross-lifecycle communications ± 4. Take a Six Sigma approach to service level management, listening to the voice of the customer ± 5. There’s no customer experience without agent experience ± 6. Eliminate amnesia through a customer interaction hub ± 7. Propagate best practices through knowledge capture and dissemination ± 8. Eliminate knowledge and best practice silos across intra and inter-organizational service chains ± 9. Leverage robust SLA workflow management 2006 Accenture consumer survey of more than 1000 US consumers: 46% of respondents reported they quit doing business with a company in at least one industry category in the past year as a result of poor service. 2005 JupiterResearch study, compiled from 2136 responses: If a customer service inquiry with an online store failed to be resolved via online self- service, 62% of customers surveyed said they were less likely to buy from that store again.
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3 Strategies and tactics 1. Align customer service operations with brand strategy Enduring businesses have well-recognized brands, cultivated and reinforced over time by aligning operational processes with their brand promise and delivering on that promise. As an example, Wal-Mart has built its business based on a strong brand associated with low prices and a maniacal focus on operational efficiency—a perfect alignment of brand promise and operational approach. On the other hand, Nordstrom has built its business and brand around superior customer service, and its high-touch operational approach is aligned with that intent. What is often fatal for businesses is the misalignment of brand strategy and operations. Mixing a Wal-Mart-style operational approach with a Nordstrom-type brand intent or vice versa is a surefire recipe for customer defections and brand damage.
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