Putting the 'Customer' in 'Service Optimization'

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Customer Service
When it comes to providing the best service experience possible, the customer defines success. Though many companies approach service and support as just another metric to be maximized, those that emphasize quality over call times differentiate themselves from the competition and excel in customer satisfaction. For Cisco and Cigna, winners in the Customer Service Optimization category of the 2013 Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards, superior service isn't simply a goal to be attained, but also a foundation on which to build long-term loyalty and trust.

When it comes to providing the best service experience possible, the customer defines success. Though many companies approach service and support as just another metric to be maximized, those that emphasize quality over call times differentiate themselves from the competition and excel in customer satisfaction. For Cisco and Cigna, winners in the Customer Service Optimization category of the 2013 Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards, superior service isn't simply a goal to be attained, but also a foundation on which to build long-term loyalty and trust. This year's Gold winner, Cisco, put their service strategy right in the hands of the customers themselves. With much emphasis on self-service and peer service offerings, Cisco's Smart Web Technology Group (SWTG) and Smart Web Community Management Group (SWCMG) joined forces to establish a team dedicated to user experience, customer interaction, and analytics. By allowing both users and experts to offer support, Cisco has created an online community that not only discusses prevailing issues, but also contributes content, rates answered questions, and attends or replays informational webinars. These efforts have also resulted in an increasingly personalized experience, as Cisco's website tracks the users history when logged in, allowing them to refer back to previous interactions in a manner that simplifies and satisfies.

As the Silver winner, Cigna employs an exceptionally insightful, social spin on the average healthcare experience by engaging with customers on their terms via their channel of choice. Managed by Cigna's Internet Customer Service (iCSA) team, the company upholds its mission to care for the individual by tapping into customer questions and concerns about the MyCigna.com site, while monitoring and responding to social sentiment. Cigna also makes engagement an essential part of their strategy, connecting with customers via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Foursquare, Tumblr, podcasts, and YouTube. By embracing so many available channels, Cigna emphasizes and supports its own mission to recognize and assist every individual, for all their customers have their own distinct healthcare needs.

While each company ultimately provides the foundation necessary for successful and efficient customer service, both have stressed the important role customers play in their underlying strategies. By allowing customers to contribute and impact how issues are rectified, brands enable individuals to help one another solve problems, while cultivating a culture of loyalty and involvement. To explore these case studies in full, along with this year's other categories and winners, visit the 2013 Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards website to learn how brands across industries have come to excel in their field and the lessons each experience brings to the table.

Download the e-book with the Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards 2013 winners.

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