3 Tips to Ensure Your Customer Service Matches Your Customer Experience
Article by Ernan Roman
Featured on CustomerThink.com
Marketers are constantly introducing newer and more sophisticated Customer Experiences (CX). But, how do you ensure that all of your customer touchpoints will align with the promise of these new CX improvements?
Based on our VoC research, we have learned that the brands most successful in making their CS (Customer Service) and back-end processes align beautifully with their front end CX, are those which involve and integrate every department and every employee!
Here are 3 tips to help ensure that your CS matches the promise of your CX:
#1 Involve All Your Consumer Touchpoints:
When you launch a new CX innovation be sure that every member of every touchpoint is informed, trained, and capable of not only delivering on the experience, but able to answer any question that might come up from consumers. One of the most problematic things that can happen is to go through the cost and trouble of kicking off a new initiative, only to have it fail based on a poorly informed rep experience at the call center, chat or retail.
What You Can Learn:
Set up research and consumer feedback points that can supply you with real-time information based on user CX.
Do the same for CS; be sure to provide consumers the opportunity–on every channel–to comment or express their feelings on any customer service interaction so you can be alerted to, and immediately correct, any issues.
Provide training so you are assured that at every touchpoint, the Customer Experience strategy is understood and executed as planned.
#2 Involve Your Cross-Functional Teams:
Recently both myself and one of my colleagues had similar poor experiences when attempting to deal with customer service related to online purchases. My disconnect was related to an online purchase and the seemingly impossible task of returning it in-store. My colleague’s aggravation dealt with a social sale code that was not set up correctly on the company’s website, which resulted in an incorrectly processed order and an ill-informed customer service department unprepared and unable to handle support.
Brands need to understand that such cross-media commerce disconnects alienate consumers. Plans and processes must ensure that customer expectations are met, no matter the point of contact.
Nick Francis, CEO of Help Scout commented, “one thing that we’ve done is to try and loosen up the silos …between sales and marketing and support… So they’re constantly in communication, … we expect the company to … be able to provide help in a more contextually relevant way…we’ve been very careful about making sure that we align any channels that we support with the customer expectation…”
What You Can Learn:
When a customer’s experience is not seamless, their interaction with the company becomes a frustration and a reason to shop elsewhere. You need to establish audits to track and monitor your actual processes at the user level. If you are assuming that everything is fine—that assumption can quickly become a never-ending game of “find the problem and fix the problem.” Doing monthly assessments and real-life audits will help you stay on top of potential issues.
#3 Involve Your “What If” Troubleshooting
Haircare line “It’s A 10” got a huge surprise when their recent promotion, which was scheduled for only Facebook, went viral all over the web. The company ended up not being able to “make good” on the promised free sample due to the overwhelming demand and ended up cancelling the promotion.
Consumers were left not only without the promised “free gift” but also with a bad taste for the company who didn’t pre-troubleshoot their campaign to determine “what could” happen.
What You Can Learn:
Go through a series of “what if” exercises prior to any CX launch. What “could” happen? Are you ready?
If you do run into a problem, make sure that every touchpoint is advised of the issue. A bad CX can become even worse if communication is jumbled, unanswered, or customers receive different answers on social versus email, phone or retail.
In summary, as companies move to more sophisticated omnichannel practices, it is imperative that equal emphasis be placed on excellence in both the front end CX and back end CS.