A strong business model is always one that puts the customer at the center. In many areas of business, customer experience is as important or more important than the product or service being provided. This is especially true in the service industry. Mostly in workplaces such as contact centers. This is because they are driven by interpersonal, customer-to-representative interactions.
However, as most of us know from our own lives, customer experience is often stifled by a workplace that ignores the human aspect of both the customer and the employee. Until those on the front lines are willing and able to engage fully in molding an engaging customer experience, there will always be those who fall through the cracks, costing precious time and resources.
Let’s explore some of the ways in which we can orient our activities towards delivering outstanding service to the customer mindfully and authentically.
1. Better Customer Experience is not a Personal Thing
This is one of the greatest mistakes that front-line employees across every industry make. While they do exist, customers who approach the situation with ill-intent are far less common than is generally perceived. As a result of this misunderstanding, many employees take complaints and criticism personally, damaging their own workplace happiness in addition to the experience of the customer.
Likewise, feedback from supervisors is often taken in the same context, leading employees to feel patronized or unappreciated.
Learning to take feedback in the right context is a critical skill for those looking to improve customer experience. Being able to make changes swiftly according to the needs and preferences of the customer lets them know that they are listened to, which can ultimately improve loyalty.
2.Show the Customer’s Problem
When you come across a customer with a serious problem, the worst thing you can do is try to redirect their discontent. This is true for a couple of reasons. The first is that, if you make it about the organization or any specific person, it can reflect badly on the business itself, leading the customer to believe that there is some inherent flaw in the process your business has in place for customer-employee interface.
Additionally, attempting to shift the focus away from the customer’s pain can leave them feeling ignored. Leaning into the customer’s problem and acknowledging it can be uncomfortable initially. However,it is the first step towards resolving it in a way that makes everyone happy.
3. Focus on What to do Different
One common temptation is to divert blame for a poor customer experience towards someone. Be it the customer, another employee, or even one’s self. While taking responsibility for problems is healthy and necessary, as we will discuss in the next point, fixating too long on who’s fault it is can be a toxic element in the workplace.
Instead of assigning blame, try to pinpoint exactly where the situation went south. Once you do this, you can begin to think about what should be done differently next time. In the long run, this is how you build the experience and skills necessary to excel at creating a pleasant customer experience.
4. Accept Responsibility for Better Customer Experience
Equally toxic to both the environment in the workplace and your own personal success is the idea that, whenever something goes wrong, someone else is to blame.
This doesn’t mean that you should beat yourself up about everything that goes wrong. Once again, many customer service skills will improve only by trial and error.
Besides, more often than not, getting away with errors is just impossible. Trying to hide something that you have done wrong or shift the blame to someone else shows a level of dishonesty. This can be off-putting to the customer.
Openly accepting responsibility for mistakes in front of the customer assures them that you are trying your best to give them a positive experience.
This can go a long way in creating a culture of growth and success.
5. Trust but Verify
This gets to an important point in business and in life. Other people do make mistakes. It is always crucial to give people the benefit of the doubt. Only distrust when you have a clear reason not to.
When you need to “verify,” do it in a way that does not make the customer feel attacked. More often than not, they made an honest mistake. In fact, you may not even feel the need to point it out to them. That is only if it is something that you can solve on your own.
Extending your trust to the customer will not only help them feel at ease. It will also make them more likely to trust you in return. This will help you avoid unnecessary conflict.
Taking the Time to Learn Better Customer Experience
Customer experience is a never-ending process for all businesses especially contact centers. There is no such thing as too much training when it comes to equipping your front-line leaders and agents with people skills. One resource that can improve your contact centers performance to enhance customer experience is Call Center Supervisor Success Blueprint
This resource can help your front-line leaders improve different aspects of leadership. These aspects directly or indirectly affect your contact center’s customer experience.
- Customer Experience can be improved by doing these 5 simple things in your contact center- Click to Tweet
- What are you doing as a contact center to make your customer experience a pleasant one?- Click to Tweet
- Most contact centers that do not do these 5 things have terrible customer experience.- Click to Tweet
- Are your supervisors well equipped to deliver a good customer experience? This resource can help.- Click to Tweet
Jim Rembach is the Editor in Chief of the Customer Service Weekly and it’s Podcast host. He is President of CX Global Media and the creator of the Call Center Coach Virtual Leaders Academy. As the host of the Fast Leader Show Podcast, he has interviewed hundreds of experts, authors, academics, researchers, and practitioners on various angles, viewpoints, and perspectives for improving the customer experience. He has held positions in retail operations, contact centers, customer support, customer success, sales, and measured the customer experience. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner, Employee Retention Specialist, and recipient of numerous industry awards.