When we think about providing customers with a memorable, excellent customer experience, we understand that the interactions they have are more than just a conversation. That moment of contact between your customers and your sales representative could be the difference between a bigger sale or no sale. That conversation could bring you hundreds of customers or lose you even more.
This is no secret. Word of mouth is one of the most valuable marketing assets out there. But as any organization knows, customers sharing their experiences, either to their network or through a publicly-viewable review, is a double-edged sword.
So, how can we approach this challenge?
The most logical method is to accumulate and organize raw data and feedback from your customers. Easier said than done. Especially now, with many representatives working remotely, gathering that data, ensuring it’s collected properly, and interpreting that information is a complicated task. Even if you’re collecting the right data, how is it being filed? Often, organizations have multiple avenues for collecting feedback but have no way to keep track of trends or dispositions. Without that, it’s impossible to make the necessary changes to produce measurable results.
Beyond that, there can be a disconnect when an organization relies only on its customer’s solicited feedback. There’s another massive part of the equation. As an organization, you put an incredible amount of trust in your customer service agents. They are the individuals who act as the face of your company. They execute your company’s mission and represent the values you’ve shared with your client base. It only makes sense to make sure they are supported and are able to provide customers with the attention they need.
Research shows that there are a few interactions that customers consistently value highest:
*A welcoming environment from the agent
*An agents ability to answer their questions
*An agent is easily accessible
Are you able to say in complete confidence that each and every representative is upholding your standards, even if their physical locations have changed? Some of these things can’t be measured by customers, especially if they are solicited.
The point is, gathering feedback from clients alone is ineffective. Simply monitoring your agents alone is ineffective. Making actionable choices to improve your customer’s experience starts with strategy.
A car without wheels is just a metal box with air conditioning and a radio. Metaphors aside, having the tools you need to offer exceptional customer service isn’t enough. In fact, using them individually isn’t enough. The key here is to use your toolkit in conjunction with the skillset of your agents. Opening up space for collaboration can lead to vast improvement.
Utilizing operational data with feedback gives you the insight you need to pivot.
By gathering customer feedback with a customized survey, you’re able to gain perspective from the point of view of a consumer. When coupled with a mystery shopping program tailored to your needs, the magnitude in which you are able to master customer experience is unprecedented.
There are other tools you can use in conjunction with this feedback and mystery shopping, too. Programs like Speech Analytics can offer you a way to get a better idea of the daily conversations your agents have, and more importantly, what they mean.
There are plenty of ways to reach your customer service goals, whatever they may be.
The first step is to keep it simple. Trying to nail down multifaceted, complex problems with an overwhelming amount of information isn’t conducive to improvement. Minimizing ‘busy’ issues can help your agents and your organization handle problems deliberately, intentionally, and to their fullest capabilities. That’s why to-do lists exist!
Secondly, narrow your focus. Again, this applies to both your representatives and your business as a whole. What are you trying to accomplish? Leading with goals is a great way to find the pathway there. Trying to focus on too many things at once muddies the way forward.
Finally, use your tools how you see fit. Customer service isn’t, and never has been, one-size-fits-all. Building a program that works for you and using them in the ways that most positively impact your business is paramount. For example, anchors are great for boats. You wouldn’t put anchors on a helicopter, would you?