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By Josephine Brimble, Principle Application engineer at INOVO

A common frustration for today’s customer is that they know too much. They may not even know that they know too much, however their expectations are high, their preferences are rapidly evolving and companies will almost certainly fall behind in providing the kind of service customers expect if they do not stay one step ahead of the curve.

Exceptional service should be the norm, however it remains at large in most organisations. The misconception in the delivery and management of exceptional service is that it is solely systems-based and infrastructure dependent. While this is an integral part of customer service, success does not hinge upon it. It is rather the application of strategically-sound business decisions that is required to revolutionise customer service as we know it. They say that you shouldn’t take a knife to a gunfight, but I prefer to compare business goals in more competitive terms: you shouldn’t take a horse to compete in a Formula1 race.

Rockets, race cars and real service delivery

A race is best run with a strategy, one that allows for organisation-wide focus. It’s easy to get distracted with the latest, shiny ideas, but these can take you away from examining what your customer expects, wants, needs and prefers, and how to deliver on those expectations in the right way. For example, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a fascinating topic for discussion, but, in the contact centre environment, the adoption and application of AI products is still in its infancy. Certainly, there are specialists experimenting at the cutting edge of this field, but it shouldn’t necessarily be your primary focus unless it is the best choice to deliver on both business requirements and customer needs. In this case, you’re the one with the F1 car – so don’t daydream about hyperspace travel in a rocket.

Successful business strategy is about three key things: understanding and managing what exists, exploring and improving the existing setup (where necessary), and strategically building onto what you have in order to fulfil your customer service expectations more effectively and efficiently.

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