04 High performers

Chapter 4

How high performers drive growth with customer service

Not everyone has fallen into these common customer service traps. In fact, some companies are standing head and shoulders above the rest. How? By drawing clear links between service teams and the rest of their business. The result is a well-oiled customer service machine capable of collecting, tracking, and implementing feedback that improves experiences and grows the business.

We defined “high performers” as survey respondents who self-rated their organizations as having top marks against several key customer experience characteristics, such as:

Ability to act on customer feedback to improve products and services
Amount of training provided to customer service staff
Comprehensive and timely measurement of customer service performance

This represented five percent of our total survey sample.

Here’s how these companies have adopted a best-in-class mindset:

Doubling down on customer service as an engine for growth

High performers understand the inherent value of their customer service teams. Not only are they more likely to prioritize funding of customer service initiatives, but they’re also more likely to keep a close eye on the business impact and make necessary changes along the way.

High performers are:

more likely to strongly agree that they view customer service primarily as a revenue driver
more likely to track profit and loss for their customer service team
more likely to strongly agree that customer service funding has kept pace with company growth
more likely to strongly agree that their organization adequately funds customer service
more likely to have plans to increase customer service investment by 25 percent or more in the next year

Getting strategic buy-in at the top

Companies that are leading in customer service have buy-in from top to bottom. Instead of a siloed customer service team, leadership takes an active role in monitoring performance and impact. And in many cases, compensation of senior executives is directly tied to customer satisfaction.

High performers are:

more likely to report that senior leaders view customer service metrics on a daily basis
more likely to strongly agree that senior leaders immerse themselves in customer service
more likely have customer service owned by a C-suite executive
more likely to have a three- year strategic plan for customer service
more likely to report that senior leadership compensation is directly linked to Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Tapping the full potential of agents

Agents are the beating heart of any customer service team, but it’s a tough job and burnout is real. In the last few years, agents have adapted to new tools, channels, and processes—all while managing rising expectations and inquiries from customers. High-performing companies understand the need for more training, more empathy, and more investment to reduce churn and empower their people.

High performers are:

more likely to strongly agree that their agents are of the highest caliber
more likely to have plans to greatly extend education and training opportunities
more likely to recognize that their agents are overworked

As a result, their agents are:

more likely to be extremely satisfied with their workflows with AI-powered tools
more likely to be extremely satisfied with the frequency of training

Integrating emerging capabilities across the business

Companies that are ahead of the customer service curve have their fingers on the pulse when it comes to the latest trends and technologies. For their customers, this means more channel options, fewer headaches, and better experiences overall.

High performers are:

more likely to have already implemented conversational customer service capabilities, including adding messaging channels or making it possible to switch between channels for a single ticket
more likely to have the ability to start and pause a conversation with an agent
more likely to use AI-powered chatbots to help with agent workflow

Looking ahead, they are:

more likely to be extremely interested in verifying customer identity and commerce history without needing to involve an agent
more likely to be extremely interested in revamping their metrics around the quality of customer experiences
more likely to be extremely interested in giving agents a full view of customer data
Next Chapter
Future success hinges on two emerging growth areas