As more and more brands and organizations adapt to providing customer service and engagement across more and more channels, clearing that hurdle only leads to the next: creating consistency across the customer journey. A recent report by McKinsey tells it like it is, “consistency may not seem sexy, but it is the secret ingredient to making customers happy.”
Tricia’s Customer Service Success Blog
Parature’s 2014 users’ conference brought together some of the best and brightest in customer service and customer engagement. While there were at least 2014 great takeaways from this year’s conference, here are 14 top tips, best practices and insights from key conference presenters including Kate Leggett, Paul Greenberg, Ray Wang, Esteban Kolsky, Shep Hyken and more:
1. Manage the first impression. It doesn’t matter if it is the first time or the 500th time you are interacting with a customer; manage the first impression to create a positive start to all interactions that will follow. - Shep Hyken
2. Customer experience defined: the ongoing interaction between company and customer, offered by the company, chosen by the customer. – Paul Greenberg, The 56 Group
3. Hire user engagement rock stars who love your brand, love your products, and love talking to people about them. These are the people on whom you can count to deliver human experiences on your brand’s behalf, and form emotional connections with customers. Once your team is in place, make sure they’re using a system that can also deliver surprising, delightful experiences. – Eric McKirdy, Ask.com Read More
March 2nd marks the 110th birthday of Theodor Geisel, whom the world knows simply and fondly as Dr. Seuss. The prolific author may be best known for his children’s stories, but if you read between the lines, there are lots of good lessons for adults, too.
While Dr. Seuss and customer care may not go together like green eggs and ham, Dr. Seuss and customer care do go together, as you’ll see in these quotes from some of the good doctor’s writings beloved by kids from one to 92…
1. “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Customer service today is supported by processes, best practices and technology, but the secret ingredient will always be personal care. Personal care makes all the difference in attitude, authenticity and even the extra effort that goes into the use of technology and best practices – caring a whole awful lot will always make things better, rather than not.
2. “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
Many times in customer service, we feel the need or are directed to take care of the “most important” customers first, and while that works in most cases, we must remember that all of our customers are important. Also and especially with social media, a customer that is perceived to be “small” can become very big, very fast. Just ask British Airways. Therefore, we must consistently deliver our best care to every customer, no matter how big or how small.
3. “Why fit in, when you were born to stand out?”
While it’s easy in customer care to simply do what’s required, going above and beyond when possible will get you everywhere. Making someone’s day is a surefire way to increase customer satisfaction, retention and create a brand advocate. A customer service hero story can be created by the smallest gesture such as a handwritten note, and remember this additional quote from Dr. Seuss: “To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.” Always strive to deliver the best customer experience every time.
4. “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
As customer care representatives, when customers come to us with complicated questions, we can delight by making the answers simple. Brands that invest in improving self-service knowledge, and ensuring CSRs are empowered with knowledge, can increase first contact resolution and customer satisfaction by making things easy in a situation that the customer perceives will be complicated.
5. “Today I shall behave, as if this is the day I will be remembered.”
Today is your day, your mountain is waiting. So get on your way….
As more and more companies and organizations begin to believe in the differentiating power of customer service and the customer experience, there’s a game of one-upmanship beginning to play out between leading brands that is sure to quickly elevate expectations for the rest of us in service and support.
A prime example of this is Virgin Atlantic’s current trial where personalized and proactive passenger service is further enabled via agents’ use of wearable technology including Google Glass and smart watches.
It’s another brilliant move by Virgin, providing both customer and agent delight while looking like a tech and PR-savvy boss. But all Virgin’s really doing in this shiny and new effort is being proactive when it comes to the customer service and experience trends that have been previewed for more than a year. Read More
At the heart of every strong relationship is a combination of care, giving, trust, passion, listening and loyalty – and yes, we’re talking about customer service here. Here are 14 quintessential quotes for everyone who is passionate about providing an exceptional customer experience.
1. “It is when we forget ourselves that we do things which will be remembered.” – Anonymous
2. “Know what your customers want most and what your company does best. Focus on where those two meet.” – Kevin Stirtz
3. “People don’t care how much you know, but they know how much you care by the way you listen.” – Robert Conklin Read More
Customer experience: it’s been a big buzzword for years now, but mostly just that – something talked about, watched and waited upon, but never acted on – until now. According to Forrester Principal Analyst Kate Leggett in a new report, Navigate the Future of Customer Service in 2014, customers are becoming increasingly dissatisfied because organizations are often delivering (1) inconsistent cross-channel experiences, (2) reactive not proactive customer service, (3) one-size-fits-all customer engagement processes, and (4) inefficient agent interactions.
Let’s face it, in most cases, the current customer experience is all over the place. Time for sales, marketing and customer service to come together, get focused and deliver on the elusive consistent customer experience. Need some supporting stats and statements to make your case? Here are 14 for 2014:
After two years on the rise, American satisfaction with government services has taken a dive, according to the newly-released American Customer Satisfaction Index report. Citizen satisfaction with federal customer service has dropped 3.4% over the past year to a benchmark rating of 66.1 (on a scale of 0 to 100).
This puts the government second to last overall in comparison with private sector industry satisfaction scores. Only internet service providers came in lower with a customer satisfaction benchmark score of 65. Just above the federal government at 66 are the subscription television service (68) and airline (69) industries. Read More
“The customer of 2020 will be more informed and in charge of the experience they receive. They will expect companies to know their individual needs and personalize the experience. Immediate resolution will not be fast enough as customers will expect companies to proactively address their current and future needs.” – Customers 2020 Report
Read the prediction above and you’ll know why big data is a huge concern right now for every mid-market to enterprise brand and organization. Personalization and predictive analytics are the future of customer service (as well as sales and marketing) – and the future is now.
Parature is pleased to reveal its speaker lineup for Parafest, Parature’s annual customer service and users’ conference, to be held February 24 – 25, 2014 at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Keynote speakers for the two-day event include Rick Harrison, star of the History Channel’s hit series Pawn Stars; customer service evangelist and bestselling author Shep Hyken, and noted CRM analyst, Paul Greenberg. Read More
A new book by two authors from MIT’s Center for Digital Business heralds what most of us already know, that we’ve automated and digitized ourselves right into a Second Machine Age, a new age where machines aren’t now just able to do work, but also think.
Many worry, and rightly so, that this Second Machine Age will continue to put humans out of work as we discover that anything humans can do, computers can do better and faster. Information gathering and sorting, predictive analytics, sentiment analysis, product troubleshooting – technologies such as IBM’s Watson cannot only diagnose your problem and solve your question, but now understand whether you’ve made an allusion or joke. Read More