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What are customer service objectives? 4 industry experts weigh in
To learn all about customer service objectives, we spoke to industry experts.
By Andrew Gori, Sr. Director, content marketing
Last updated May 18, 2023
There are two sides to customer service objectives.
First, there are the goals and KPIs customer service teams attempt to achieve.
Then, there’s customer service resume objectives.
It’s important to understand the connection between the two: Writing a strong customer service resume objective starts with understanding the objectives of the field and its depth and possibilities.
To provide insight into both levels of customer service objectives, we spoke to industry experts.
In this blog, we’ll explore:
What is the common objective of customer service?
The prime objective of customer service is to answer customer questions quickly and effectively, resolve issues with empathy and care, document pain points to share with internal teams, nurture relationships, and improve brand credibility. Great customer service can make people loyal to your brand, products, and services for years to come. Working with a customer service software can provide the best experience possible across all channels as well. In fact, 77 percent of customers say they’re more loyal to businesses that offer top-notch service, according to our Customer Experience Trends Report.
Support teams can measure objectives with key metrics such as:
- Average first response time
- Average resolution time
- A customer’s CSAT rating over time
- CSAT ratings, by channel
- Ticket backlog
- Customer retention rate
Objectives of customer service (according to customer service experts)
1. Become a customer advocate and a brand ambassador
Expert: Jonathan Brummel, Director, Enterprise Support, Zendesk
“Your first obligation when you talk about customer service is being a brand ambassador. Customer service representatives are the public face of the company. They’re the front echelon.
“As an agent, you’re the person whose interaction with the customer or client is going to make or break that relationship. The company, product, or leadership may be great. But if that one experience wasn’t great when the customer reached out at 2 am when everything was on fire, that’s going to taint their entire relationship with the brand.
“Another objective for customer support professionals is being a liaison. We call them Customer Advocates at Zendesk because we expect and train people to be an advocate of the customer. That doesn’t mean I’m going to roll over and do what a customer wants every single time. But I’m going to be their champion. I’m going to be their gladiator.
“I guide my team toward giving the best service possible. Sometimes, we’re not delivering good news. But the objective is to do that with compassion and empathy and in a way that we give the customer constructive next steps to move forward.
“No one will be as close to customers’ needs and pain points as agents. It’s also my job to advocate to ensure the right stakeholders are informed internally, whether that’s on an engineering, infrastructure, product, or finance level. That doesn’t mean we can track down everybody in the company for every engagement. But when you find a pain point, internal stakeholders need to know about that.”
2. Build customer loyalty
Expert: Mina Aiken, former Director of Customer Experience at Taylor Stitch
“Loyalty is something we strive to achieve with every customer we meet. To us, that involves demonstrating empathy, transparency, and above all, consistency. We know first impressions matter a great deal.
“We also know that as a newer, younger brand, customers may be wary of our credibility. It usually takes a few consistently excellent customer experiences to feel connected and loyal to the brand. That awesome experience starts from the very first touchpoint, whether it be web, email, brick and mortar, or Instagram, and carries through to when they’re wearing our product. That’s why every time we set out to do something, we ask ourselves, ‘Will our customer enjoy this?’”
3. Deliver fast, effective resolutions
Expert: Matt Searle, former Support Operations Manager at VendHQ
“The most important objectives for customer service are to be timely and helpful. One without the other doesn’t cut it. A 3-minute response time is no good if it contains nothing of value to the customer.
“The most important objectives for customer service are to be timely and helpful.”Matt Searle, former Support Operations Manager at VendHQ
“Similarly, an exhaustive and detailed response complete with bullet-points and annotated screenshots isn’t much help if it takes 4 days to arrive. There are plenty of studies out there that will tell you that your first response time is the most important metric on a ticket—while it’s good to keep track, don’t be blinded by it. We learned the hard way that too great a focus on the first response will cause a delay on every subsequent reply to your customers.”
4. Improve customer satisfaction
Expert: Phil Holcombe, former VP of Customer Care at Nexmo
“The most important customer service objective? No problem. Really. Since customers demand rapid service, we set response and resolution time objectives. More importantly, satisfaction surveys allow us to measure customer perception of the quality of our support.
“But since many customers prefer resolving issues themselves, we measure how many queries are resolved through our docs and knowledge base. But our most important goal is to remove any potential causes of dissatisfaction; to help the company better understand the customer experience, to produce ever-better products and services, so customers encounter ever-fewer problems.”
Customer service resume objectives
Now, let’s turn our attention to customer service resume objectives.
Why is a strong customer service resume objective important?
A strong customer service resume objective underscores your skills and experiences in contributing to customer service’s overall goals and objectives.
Meeting key customer service KPIs doesn’t just involve answering phones and emails. It’s a whole world of solutions development, intuition, empathy, brand management, time management—and the soft skills that help connect people and create trust.
A customer service resume objective can be an important way to showcase your understanding of those KPIs as you introduce yourself to the brand and summarize what you bring to the table.
How to write a customer service resume objective
Most resume objectives are only one to three sentences, which can make it difficult to decide what to include. Here are a few things to focus on.
Highlight your experience
If you have experience in customer service or a related field—especially longer-term experience—be sure to highlight it in your objective.
You might start with something like: “Seeking a challenging yet rewarding role where I can use my 3 years of experience providing fast, accurate, and empathetic support to a wide range of customers.”
But this doesn’t mean you have to have a formal background to break into the industry. “Some of our best agents, and also myself, had a different background than most support professionals,” said Brummel.
Some of our best agents, and also myself, had a different background than most support professionals.” Jonathan Brummel, Director, Enterprise Support, Zendesk
What’s important is to show your ability to stick to something, according to Brummel. Being a customer service professional takes grit.
“The way you stand out as a support professional is having a track record of sticking to something for a while to show you’re invested, and not just doing this for six months while you’re looking for the job you actually want,” said Brummel.
Balance your technical skills with your soft skills
Customer service professionals need a mix of technical skills and human skills.
“When you have someone who has a deep technical calling and a deep interest in people, that delta is what sets them apart.”Jonathan Brummel, Director, Enterprise Support, Zendesk
And more often than not, it’s the interpersonal skills that stand out more than the mechanical ones.
“Hire the smile, train the skills,” said Brummel. “I can train technical customer service skills all day long. But how do you handle a livid customer? What are you going to do when you have to get another team to understand a customer’s problem? Those skills take longer to train. They take intent, openness, and heart. If you don’t have the people skills, you can be right all day long, but the customer isn’t going to hear you.”
Adapt a customer-focused mindset
Given that the primary objective of customer service is to advocate for the customer, you’ll want to write a resume objective that shows you’re customer-focused.
“Customer service professionals also stand out by having a willingness to serve and an interest in taking care of the customer,” said Brummel. “The best agents do whatever it takes to resolve a customer’s issue and can identify what a customer really needs.”
To highlight your interest in serving customers, try including something like:
- “Passionate about building customer relationships and defusing customer situations.”
- “Customer-obsessed support professional looking to use my interpersonal and problem-solving skills to deliver swift resolutions.”
Do your homework
Ask yourself: what does customer service mean to the company you’re applying to?
Research who the business is serving and what that brand values. Writing a resume objective that resonates with the brand is one way to ensure your application stands out.
For instance, Shopify looks for agents with real-life experiences in building a business. Or, Apple looks for support professionals that have an aptitude for acquiring skills in technical repairs.
“Do your homework. You need to figure out what the company is about: what it believes, its brand ideology, and how it talks to customers,” said Brummel. “If you don’t believe in the product and the company’s values, you won’t be engaged or able to speak to customers with authenticity. Your conversations with customers will feel like a transaction.”
Think beyond customer service resume objectives
A strong resume objective isn’t the be-all and end-all of a strong applicant. In fact, some argue that objectives are outdated and unnecessary.
When Brummel hires customer service professionals, he focuses on their cover letter and in-person interviews.
“What makes you stand out as a customer service representative is telling a potential employer why you’re interested in that gig. It’s the nuance, interpersonal skills, interest, character, personality, and flavor that often will be a differentiator,” said Brummel. “Being able to build rapport and trust is the special sauce, and that comes across in live interviews and a cover letter.”
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