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4. No more, “That’s a different department, let me put you on hold and transfer you.” The last time someone did this to me, I waited over an hour on a sunny Saturday to schedule an appointment with a TV repair person. How do you think I felt when I finally made my appointment… sixty-three minutes later? Great CX starts with empowered employees who can seamlessly get to the bottom of any customer issue quickly and with one stop. 5. Is your IVR the Definition of Insanity? OK, here’s one we’ve all experienced- the nine-option IVR that is so long you’ve forgotten which option was best, so you have to repeat the five minute diatribe yet again. Angela Smith suggests, “Use a short IVR — respect your customer’s time and make it easy to navigate service options. Not doing so is a cliché for bad service; truly disrespectful, and almost always leads to poor CSAT and reviews.” 6. Balanced Metrics… who’s serving who? First and foremost, metrics need to primarily serve the customer. However, all too often, it’s obvious to the customer that they primarily serve the company’s profits instead. Metrics must focus primarily on full and complete issue resolution and customer satisfaction, and then take into account company profitability goals. Smith points out that for many companies, it’s a fine line to walk: “Unfortunately, financial statements only show net profit. While you have to tie these elements together, you can’t give away the family farm doing so, or customer service begins to eat net profits, which stockholders and boards hold dear. The key is to learn who your best customers are as opposed to who might be just shopping lowest pricing, and depending on your vertical, reward them accordingly.” This strategy allows companies to maintain high levels of service for loyal or potential long-term customers, while protecting profits and not wasting money and resources on prospects with little or no brand loyalty. 7. Understand the Characteristic Support Issues of your Market A great emerging strategy is to research and determine the primary customer support challenges within a given vertical — for example excessive shipping time of replacement parts — and then work on finding ways to improve, reduce or eliminate existing bottlenecks. Then, ask customers who have a great CX experience to write a review afterwards. Companies that do this (think Zappos) are considered disruptive service leaders in their markets, and good reviews, like bad ones, spread quickly. The impact reviews can have in regards to driving new business can be substantial. Just ask any service provider about the effect that five-star reviews have on revenues, compared to even four-star reviews. In most cases, consumers follow the “Google model”— i.e., seek out the “best of the best” and call them; why bother to look on the second page or even the bottom of the first page, if you’ve already found your answer? This strategy is proving to work especially well in highly commoditized markets. 8. Is CX a Part of Company Culture? This is important- as customer service reps (CSR) can only be as good as management allows them to be. Smith points out CX must be built within a company’s culture — including its values, mission and goals. “Even the best CSR’s hands will be tied if they don’t see the same level of commitment from management. If management doesn’t care, why should they? Great customer experience comes as a mixture of top down and bottom up.” Much can be learned from people who interact with a customer base on a daily basis. While reports will provide an visual overview, there’s no better research than sitting down regularly and asking your CSRs what’s on your customers’ minds and how you can empower them to be better at their jobs and improve CX. “ By continually challenging their CX processes and delivery they stay ahead of the competition and lead the industry — both their competitors and customers.” 9. Hire People who don’t Hate their Jobs—then give them Reasons to not Hate their Jobs OK, I know this sounds basic, but so many companies still treat customer service as a necessary evil I thought it important to discuss. What if instead, companies realized that support is typically a very difficult job, which requires certain skillsets to be performed well? What if they viewed a CSR as a professional job and offered a great working environment that attracted people and reduced turnover, instead of burnt them out in an average of nine months? How good could support be if your company screened for empathetic, friendly people that genuinely enjoyed solving problems, then provided a great working environment that encouraged them to stay? What impact would that have versus hiring, training, and repeating on a regular basis? In my experience, this single factor has made the biggest difference in providing a superior CX. Without fail, all companies that provide an exceptional customer experience enjoy low turnover as a result of providing a fun and enjoyable working environment for CSRs. 10. And Finally, any Company trying to Deliver on a Great Customer Experience must Occasionally Challenge existing Practices and Assumptions How good would any technology company be if their attitude was, “We’re as good as we can be — as a result, we’re not going to try and innovate or improve further”? Without question, they’d be out of business in a year. There’s a lesson here; the best companies innovate and disrupt markets — constantly challenge the status quo in order to improve. By continually challenging their CX processes and delivery they stay ahead of the competition and lead the industry — both their competitors and customers. SSE Originally published on MyCustomer.com. Customer Experience Errol Greene is Solutions Development Manager with Clear Harbor, LLC. He’s always interested in discussing/sharing best practices in customer service. Email egreene@clearharbor.biz Call 678-566-3212 Would like to Comment? Please Click Here. 16 Submit your Articles Sales and Service Excellence Essentials presented by HR.com | 12.2015


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