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What’s Big in Customer Management for 2020

Keeping customers happy and anticipating their needs is always a focus for successful businesses.
Kevin Gardner
Now more than ever, that means recognizing that customers have power. They’re able to make highly informed decisions when choosing a product and they’re able to instantly share good, bad or mediocre impressions with a broad network of friends and online contacts.
How can you stay on top of your customer service game in 2020?

Here are some of the top customer management best practices for the year.

1. Understand That Customer Service is Marketing:

Do your customer service representatives know your marketing messages? When customers are able to do deep research into a product and have many choices, quality customer service can be a deciding factor in picking a company to be loyal to.
Make sure your front-line workers know your marketing messages and your brand promise. They’ll be more likely to deliver on that promise and echo those messages in interactions with customers.

2. Make Data Work for You:

Particularly for larger companies, it’s vital to be able to track customer behavior and preferences. CRM examples of how data can work for you include knowing how a customer likes to be contacted, how they respond to marketing messages and what types of products they’re most likely to buy.
The CRM system can also help a company track past customer service interactions and how they were resolved. Customer preferences vary in how they like to be approached when an issue arises. Carefully kept records can turn the next interaction with a customer into a positive one.
That service needs to stand out over all the interactions a customer has with a company, not just companies in a single industry.  Customers have more choice than ever, as well as more ways to share bad experiences than ever before. Maintaining a long-time customer means deliver exceptional customer service experiences over and over.
Companies that can continue to use the information they’ve gathered about a customer over time will be able to deliver top-notch service and more personalized experiences.

4. Connect Through Social Media:

Once solely a marketing platform, social media now serves as a vital customer service and customer relationship management tool. Customers expect to be able to ask questions, solve problems and learn about a company on their own time and at a fast pace. Additionally, they expect social media interactions to feel genuine and personal.
There are many ways for a customer to contact a company through social media, from a public tweet with the business tagged to a private Facebook message. Customers will reach out whether you’re ready or not, so it’s important to have a customer service plan ready to go.
Customer care is becoming a trend in the social media space, with companies not just responding to direct questions but also setting up self-help centers and having customer information ready for answering questions.

5. Value Customer Relationships from the Top:

Great customer service is a company-wide value at successful businesses. In addition to providing excellent training for customer service representatives, businesses increasingly need to carry strong customer relationships as a core characteristic all the way up to the C-suite.
Managers who actively seek input from customer service representatives about the types of issues that arise will be able to anticipate future problems and solve them before they happen.

6. Share Content That Answers Customer Questions:

A CRM system that allows a company to track customer issues also allows for pulling content ideas. If a common question arises in a CRM report, consider creating a piece of content that answers that question and also potentially draws new customers into your website.
The more companies can support customers and be upfront in answering questions, the more satisfied those customers will be.
As technology continues to develop and people become more connected, having a strategy for managing always-on customer communication will be key in 2020.