Leave a lasting mark with these foundations for compelling customer experiences
3 minute read
If you find your company or team is not delivering a memorable customer service experience, it could be time to make some adjustments.
Customer service expert Chris Smoje and TechBrain Owner Keegan Crage shared their insights into the foundations of a compelling customer service experience and the conditions that allow employees to deliver.
1. Delivering memorable moments
“While it’s always necessary to be switched on when delivering customer service, the memorable parts of service don’t occur all the time,” Mr Smoje said.
Mr Smoje said our roles tended to be based on processes that followed logical steps
“Things that occur logically rarely leave customers with positive memories,” he said.
“They’re not necessarily negative experiences, but those day-to-day things customers expect are usually uneventful.
“It is therefore up to individuals providing service to look out for the opportunities or moments that arise, usually without any warning, to do something memorable.”
The opportunities to do something memorable often arise in moments of difficulty.
“Looking out means being in tune with customers very closely – looking for any subtleties that make this customer look or feel different,” Mr Smoje said.
“This can be done through asking questions, understanding how customers are feeling at the time, looking at their personal circumstances or situations that is making them behave a certain way.”
2. Prioritising empathy in tough situations
Mr Crage said understanding the issue a customer faced was one thing, but without the focus on exceptional customer service, the team wouldn’t empathise with the customer nor ask the right questions to ensure they understood the importance of the issue and how it impacted the customer in their day-to-day work.
He said this line of thinking was never more relevant than when a client fell for a phishing email that had the potential to catastrophically impact their operations.
3. Investing in your team
Building a culture of success and customer satisfaction is dependent on attracting, training and retaining quality talent, according to Mr Crage.
“At the heart any exceptional customer service experience is a passionate, skilled and experienced team with aligned core values and a singular vision,” he said.
“TechBrain’s four core values are to be passionate and determined, to pursue growth and learning, to embrace innovation and change and to pursue remarkable outcomes that wow the customer.
“It is tremendously rewarding to help people grow and develop their careers.
“To that end, I want to be as proud of the people we develop as I am of the business we develop.”
4. Granting autonomy
“Be motivational – give staff permission to do what’s required with their customers,” Mr Smoje said.
“Having a policy that allows staff to refund a customer is not enough.”
Mr Smoje said the staff should feel like they have the autonomy to do what was required and that this certainty and conviction trickled down from the leaders.
5. Recognising good work
Another aspect of providing motivation can come in the form of leaders recognising a worker’s efforts.
Mr Smoje said the results from exceptional service could be seen in many different metrics aside from the bottom line.
For example, Mr Crage said TechBrain measured trust through the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which involved sending customers a single question at the conclusion of every issue it resolved.
“Importantly we report on this trust metric every week and publicly recognise team members who excel,” he said.
“As a result, TechBrain’s NPS is world class and customers regularly respond saying that our team is friendly, helpful and patient.”
6. Managing time efficiently
Mr Smoje said to be aware of tasks that ate up time which could otherwise be spent serving customers.
“Often this can start off like asking managers to complete a one-page weekly report,” he said.
“Soon that the weekly report balloons and staff become more worried about completing reports or administration tasks than attending to their customers.
“An early warning sign when staff members say they are short staffed is to look at the staffing and see what other tasks are taking up their time away from serving customers.
“Even scheduling meetings at times that suit the staff but not the customers is a common obstacle.”