Every company is looking for a way to differentiate from its competitors in an effort to stand out – be it through affordable pricing, innovative product portfolio, or excellence in providing customer services.
One of the biggest game-changers is customer service – some surveys state that 73% of customers are willing to spend more on a product if they are getting better customer service and value for their money.
So, how does a modern-day company ensure good customer service? There are some basic requirements as summed up below:
- An easy to remember helpline that customers can call on
- A well versed and courteous pool of customer representatives to not only attend the call but resolve to address the issue/query efficiently
- Specific brand’s social media pages on various platforms where people can lodge their complaints
- Ability to handle complaints and queries 24×7
- A robust and well-integrated IT system that can manage the load efficiently
However, all the above requirements need strategic planning and implementation.
Currently, PTCL is one of the national companies in Pakistan that has evolved and has adapted to the new paradigm shift and improve its customer service strategy. Its customer service is spread across different platforms – they have a convenient helpline number & email address, presence on all major social media platforms with the dedicated community management team, customer care representatives, and a live chat on their website. To fully optimize and use the resources to their maximum capacity, a customer service strategy is integral.
Here are some insights into their strategy:
1- Complete and accurate information regarding products & services
No customer wants to approach a customer service representative and be left on hold or be kept waiting when they ask a question. Some may be potential customers, who are doing the research before they make a buying decision. The quicker these questions are answered, the greater the chance will be to gain or retain a customer.
With PTCL’s wide range of products and services, it is important that all customer service representatives have relevant knowledge that enables them to answer questions promptly.
All representatives have a go-to guide that has all the relevant answers. Other than that, they are also given the necessary brief on a particular campaign to effectively handle all the commonly asked questions. This ensures that answers are consistent and are responded to in a timely manner. We have taken some screenshots below from their Fiber Internet campaign, where PTCL team answers accurately and in a timely manner, thus satisfying the customer.
2- Sentiment Analysis on Social Media
One of the most promising benefits that digital media has given us is the ability to collect, process, and analyze data. PTCL uses this data analysis as part of its customer service strategy to understand the sentiments of their customers.
When approached, we were informed that the collected data is based on the comments on posts and messages received in the inbox of PTCL’s social media pages on a daily basis. Each comment and message is stored in a repository. Then, the data is processed where each customer interaction is organized into a type of engagement, i.e. positive or negative. Finally, organized data is then analyzed. The objective of this analysis is to see where customer pain points are and whether they are addressed at various touchpoints.
The above screenshots are an example of sentiment analysis influencing customer strategy. Realizing that most complaints are resolved through inbox and private messages, the Customer Service team felt the need to close the loop and ensure that all problems are completely resolved. By doing so, they have converted a negative customer response into a positive one.
3- Getting ahead of potential problems
Every company has a fear of going out of business, be it due to economy, budget, monetary policy, competitors, short-staffing, technical reasons, or even a pandemic like COVID-19.
Sometimes it can just be network outage, out of order website, technical glitch, etc. Telecom companies have a lot to worry about in this regard as they can face cables getting damaged due to force majeure, the weather influences speed/ connectivity, and sometimes, part of the network goes down due to maintenance. This leads to an influx of complaints on all platforms.
PTCL’s strategy ensures that they get ahead of such issues. As soon as any problem appears, they take a proactive approach and inform their customers through social media.
Not only that, but they also keep their customers updated on the ongoing situation and finally inform their customers when the services are back to normal.
What these messages do is keep the customers calm, encourage them to be patient as they are being provided with timely updates. On the other hand, it reduces the number of queries that customer service representatives would receive due to the circumstances beyond their control.
4- Regular alignment meetings
The final ingredient to the PTCL is customer strategy meeting is regular alignment meetings and training sessions. The world of customer service is changing on a daily basis and representatives need to be constantly trained on new methodologies and processes to empower them. These new processes are decided in the alignment meetings held by senior management in PTCL. Through the timely guidance they receive through regular sharing of reports and recommendations, they constantly review and update the strategy to ensure that it meets customer requirements to stay relevant.
In conclusion, we have seen that serving customers in today’s digital world can be tough as they expect to be served immediately. “Building a good customer experience does not happen by accident. It happens by design.” – Clare Muscutt.