Isn’t the Gregorian Calendar great? This 16th century innovation makes it possible to start fresh every January, filled with resolve for the coming year. While individual customer service agents might feel powerless in the face of rigid company policies, I encourage both team leaders and agents themselves to reflect on their customer service goals for 2016. After all, we're all customers at the end of the day, and who doesn't like great service?
I will delight my customers in unexpected ways
I'll start with a confession. "Delight" is an overrated word. It's kind of like "engage:" so vague, so deceivingly simple. But in order to exceed customer expectations, delight is exactly what customer service teams must do. Some companies impart delight by centering their entire existence around customer happiness. Take Zappos for example. They're not in the business of selling shoes, they're in the business of serving customers. Agents are empowered by a customer-centric culture (and a budget) that puts high value on building lasting relationships.
Hold the phone, you say, company culture isn't going to change overnight, and not all companies have it in their best interest to divvy out flowers and chocolates when something goes wrong. This is where technology like Brand Embassy comes into play. Knowledge is power, so understanding your customers on a personal level, and building 1-1 relationships between customers and agents is how innovative companies delight and exceed customer expectations.
How to make it happen: Use matchmaking technology to pair customers with the best possible agent. Knowing what makes a customer tick — understanding their emotional triggers — is the secret to understanding what "delight" means to them.
I will treat each customer like a person, not a ticket number
How are you doing today? It’s nice to get a little personalized attention once in awhile, and customers are no different. As more brands begin to compete on customer experience, treating customers as unique individuals is going to be more important than ever. This is the perfect time to make an effort to send a familiar word to each and every one of your customers.
Of course, that depends on knowing who your customers are. Their first name is a great place to start, but it goes so much deeper than that. The best customer experience platform will tell you all about your customers, with information on their interests and their online profile, as well as their history of previous queries. This is the seedbed of real, personalized relationships. Knowing more about your customers helps you treat them as individuals, and that will help you provide truly personalized service and create a rewarding customer experience.
How to make it happen: Stay fresh in your approach. Speak to the customer, not the script. If your team has the right technology, you can learn everything you need to know about each and every customer. Then enact a paradigm shift in the way you think about customers, emphasizing their uniqueness and striving to generate rewarding experiences for them.
I will connect with the customer on their terms
Meeting customers on their preferred digital channel is the first step toward connecting with them on their own terms. But once you’re there and engaging with them, it’s important to communicate with them in a style that matches their tone and delivery. Is the customer friendly and informal, or serious and distant? A great customer service agent can gauge a customer’s preferred style of engagement instantly and reflect that back. The customer is therefore more comfortable and the agent is more able to solve their problem quickly and effectively.
How to make it happen: Keep a detailed yet easy-to-understand record of your customers’ preferences and style of communication that can be accessed in real time during service exchanges. Be sensitive to how your customers are communicating and match their tone and delivery.
Brand Embassy can help you keep your customer service resolutions. We’ve created our customer excellence platform to match customers and customer service agents based on human interests and emotions. Why not give it a try for free, and get 2016 off to a great start, for your customer service agents and your customers.