EPISODE 15

Harness That “Wow” Feeling For Customers

 

Episode details

Really, there’s a LOT that goes into creating winning experiences for your customers. But, at the same time, the principles of creating great customer experiences are pretty universal. You know a great…

Episode details

Really, there’s a LOT that goes into creating winning experiences for your customers. But, at the same time, the principles of creating great customer experiences are pretty universal.

You know a great customer experience when you have one. It’s that “wow” feeling you get when the business you’re dealing with not only gets you, but makes you feel like they’re going out of their way to make sure you’re taken care of.

Brands that are crushing it right now understand customer loyalty. They take an objective look at their CX. And then they adapt, evolve, and implement winning experiences that keep their customers feeling like a million bucks…which they’ll typically reinvest back in the brand.

And the ingredients that go into this magic CX? Sam’s the chef about to walk you through the recipe.

This episode was adapted from the article, “What Makes a Great Customer Experience.”

 

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Pop quiz! What are the most important pieces of a great customer experience?

An easy-to-navigate website? Zero hold times? Better self-service options? Surprise and delight? The ability to actually get through to a customer service rep?

Really, there’s A LOT that goes into creating winning experiences for your customers. But at the same time, the principles of creating great customer experiences are pretty universal. So join me for a deep dive into foundational tactics that are required for just about any brand today.

Intro

Welcome to Snackable CX, where we break down our best resources into bite-sized guidance on how to stand out and be known for your customer experience. I’m Sam Salerno, here with Mindful, the best in class, total experience solution that aims to add kindness to your tech stack.

You know a great customer experience when you have one. It’s that “wow” feeling you get when the business you’re dealing with not only gets you, but makes you feel like they’re going out of their way to make sure you’re taken care of.

It happened to me just last week. An order I placed got delayed thanks to the perennial supply chain issues. But instead of leaving me in the dark, the company called right away to apologize, upped my order to priority shipping, and gave me a discount on a future purchase.

Did they have to do all that? I mean, no…I would have been fine waiting an extra week or two. But the fact that they DID go through all the hassle right out of the gate means I will definitely do business with them again in the near future.

And really, this is what great customer service does. Regardless of industry, regardless of organization size, great customer service — to take the words from Bain and Company — creates “large and growing groups of passionate customer service advocates, earned by delivering an experience that competitors can’t match.”

Brands that are crushing it right now understand customer loyalty. They take an objective look at their CX. And then they adapt, evolve, and implement winning experiences that keep their customers feeling like a million bucks…which they’ll typically reinvest back in the brand.

Okay that sounds great in theory — so to put it into practice, let’s look at five “key ingredients” of great customer experience strategies.

#1: Respond and resolve the problem quickly.

My whole delayed order situation? That’s a prime example of quick response and resolution.

But this principle goes deeper than that. It carries over to every customer service request — every email your customer service team receives, every text message, phone call, you name it — you need to resolve every request as quickly as possible AND in a single interaction.

Make your customers have to reach out for help again, and you’ll lose them. Subject them to an obscene hold time — which, by today’s standards, is anywhere over 5 minutes — and you’ll lose them.

One of the best ways you can improve response and resolution rates in your contact center is by implementing a virtual queue and callback solution. Yes, I know that doesn’t technically get people a faster resolution. BUT, to the customer, it seems that way — because customers actually perceive a virtual hold as no cost of their time, so, to them, they’ve hit pause on their ticking clock and punch back in when they receive the callback. I’ve got the data on it, too — you can dig into that with me on the Snackable episode titled, “The Scary Science Behind Long Hold Times.”

#2: Maintain a knowledgeable customer support staff.

I know this episode is about CX, and that’s not restricted to customer service or support — but I’m digging my heels in here because customer acquisition experiences are often exciting, fun, energetic, poppy…and it’s the service experience that can make or break a customer’s likelihood to return.

And, in the case of support staff, knowledge really is power. The smarter and more knowledgeable your employees, the better equipped they’ll be to handle requests. Regular monitoring, training, product or service education, and performance reviews can really boost employee output. But even the most superhuman agents can’t ever know it all.

That’s where tools like digital call scheduling and Agent Assist come in. Digital call scheduling — or click-to-call — allows customers to use form fields on your website or app to identify who they are and what they need help with as they’re scheduling a call with an agent. That way, agents get a screen pop that tells them exactly what to expect before jumping on the call, so they can provide better, more personalized service. During the call, an AI-powered Agent Assist solution sits in the background, analyzing customer sentiment, offering the agent questions or prompts to ask the caller, and bringing up support articles and other helpful info to aid the agent on the call. It’s like giving your agents extra processing power that can make their jobs a whole lot easier.

#3: Retain customer notes between your agents.

When you implement the right tech and equip your agents, call transfers should really be few and far between. However, when call transfers have to happen, make sure that a customer’s context — who they are and why they’re calling — transfers to the next agent so that the customer won’t have to repeat themselves.

Because making customers repeat themselves is a fast pass to a crappy customer experience. In fact, Fonolo did a study that found 68% of consumers hate call transfers for this very reason, and it’s not hard to see why. When you have to repeat yourself, it means that the company didn’t listen to you in the first place. And when you have to do it over and over again, you won’t stick around for very long.

Every customer interaction needs to be recorded in a streamlined CRM that’s easily accessible across your organization. THEN, that CRM needs to be intimately connected with your ACD or CCaaS so that the agent gets all the knowledge they need in a screen pop.

#4: Enhance your automated self-service options.

Self-service options are table stakes for any brand. One poll found that 70% of customers dealing with the government, and almost 60% of customers dealing with private companies, try self-service options before contacting customer support.

At some point, people will have more questions than your website can answer—and, to keep costs down, this usually employs some form of automation or AI. And while these tools are helpful, they can also create frustrated experiences in the process. I’m talking about those annoying chatbot loops and unhelpful IVR sequences that drive all of us up the wall and leave us spamming the 0 key or typing “agent” over and over again. Rather than build customer loyalty, these experiences obliterate it.

Well-designed automated options shouldn’t function in a vacuum. Make sure that if a customer hits a digital dead-end, there’s a clear pathway for them to connect with a live agent. This could look like implementing a handoff solution in your chatbot so that when the AI senses customer frustration or that it can’t answer the customer’s request, it offers the customer the option of receiving a call from the next available agent. Or maybe instead of burying your phone number on your website, you use a click-to-call solution on your FAQ page so that customers can quickly schedule a call with your contact center if they can’t find what they’re looking for.

When your self-service options are paired with a human element — even the option of one — you create positive pathways for customers to interact with your brand without the risk of them getting stuck.

#5: Regularly collect and act on customer feedback.

Are your customers happy? Angry? Satisfied? Frustrated? When it comes to building a great customer experience, first-party customer feedback should act as your north star. Regularly collecting customer satisfaction and net promoter score surveys gives you direct insight into the highs and lows of your customers’ experience — helping you identify things that are going well, along with points of friction you might need to shore up to keep your customers happy.

And the best part of customer feedback? It’s never been easier to collect. With the right voice-of-customer tool, you can quickly deploy feedback surveys across any number of channels — like chatbots, text message, post-call, or web app — so that your customers are more likely to complete them.

Just remember: improvement is the name of the game. Don’t be a brand that collects customer feedback only to create the impression that you’re listening to your customers. That just gets my blood boiling. Use real-time feedback tools so you can address issues quickly and effectively. And make sure notifications are automated so that your success teams can close the loop stat and win back otherwise lost customers.

Great customer experiences aren’t just the byproduct of a rip-and-replace strategy. Creating them takes time, energy, and focus to really dig into what makes your customers tick and figure out how to exceed their expectations. But in the end, these experiences create loyal customers that will keep coming back to you for more — not just because you have a killer product or service, but because they know you genuinely care about them.

Nutritional Facts

This episode has been adapted from the article, “What Makes a Great Customer Experience,” which you can find in the Mindful CX library at getmindful.com

We publish new Snackable CX episodes every week, so be sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. See you next time.

Written and hosted by Sam Salerno.

Produced and engineered by Jared Evers.

Edited, mixed, and mastered by Adam Griffith.

Artwork designed by Rob Beckham.

Snackable CX

Welcome to Snackable CX, where we break down our best resources into bite-size guidance on how to stand out and be known for your customer experience. We deliver! Subscribe to get an emailed Snack right when it drops, or subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Amazon Music.