By Danielle Miller
Danielle is the Product Manager for the Client Experience Center of Excellence. She has spent her career involved in the direct front line connections with customers, serving clients in a variety of industries with all aspects of training, design, development and facilitation. Danielle strives to build innovative solutions that bring constructive business and personal level solutions while aiming for the next level of performance.
I recently called in to a customer service organization. The customer service professional ended the call with a “Thank you for being the most important part of our (brand name) family”. After years of canned or “scripted” closings, this final comment reminded me how well done and refreshing each moment can be when unrehearsed. It reinforced how simple, direct and powerful the customer connection is. Every action of the customer service team must serve to maintain, repair or build the customer relationship.
Customer service is about having a strong communication management strategy and requires the skill development of your customer-facing staff. With the many new communication channels, customer service is an arena with shifting dynamics and a new rule book. Today, a customer can interact with a company on many platforms without coming into direct contact with any single person. It is at the point where the customer experience crosses paths with another person in your organization; that “intersection” is a powerful role that your organization needs to be taking into consideration. Will every interaction leave the customer satisfied, asking for more or astonished with the level of excellence?
It is the consistent professional actions of your customer service teams that will build partnerships with customers in a respectful, insightful manner. This is the new dividing line between companies who care and personalize their service and those who keep a “business as usual” attitude. Treating each customer as a separate individual with unique identifiers will be a key distinction in forward facing organizations.
Additionally, to exceed a customer’s expectations and build a long lasting connection, organizations must know how and when to use technology as an advantage. When used appropriately, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems can track previous customer interactions and identify patterns emerging from previous customer contacts, however, these systems alone cannot provide the personalized level of service required from an expertly trained customer support professional. To ensure the highest value of customer service for customer success, your organization must get the correct measures in place of tools (technology) and excellence in delivery (people) into the recipe.
Is your organization simply building castles in the air for your customers? Or does your customer experience actively build an allegiance to your products and services? Does your organization strengthen your customer relationships through inspired service or continue to tear them down with the same old “scripts”?