Recently I renewed my mortgage. My appointment started off with the customary questions, but the conversation and interaction really became interesting once it got personal between us. It happened very naturally, I started by sharing my personal story and shortly after she was sharing her story with me, we have more in common than you would think.
She is 27 year old, working and going to school and has dreams. I gladly shared my wisdom and encouragement for her to follow her heart. Our conversation make me realize that no matter your age, gender or race we all have the same hardships to conquer. We are not pigeons living in a hole.
Time had passed so quickly and it was time for her to disengage with me for the next customer. That is when it hit me, customer service is all about the numbers. I feel I am more than a number. In that brief moment of open communication, I didn’t feel like a number. From now on I will only see her for my banking needs. I got the feeling her supervisor was eyeballing her and I didn’t want her to get into trouble.
Business customs are not all the same in other countries. I lived in Dubai for three years and I remember taking Arabic language lessons. I not only was learning a language but also learning about their customs and culture. One interesting thing I learned was that when you meet someone for the first time it is rude to talk business first. One must engage in the personal niceties FIRST. In the personal small talk one has time to gauge the person about how well they connect on a personal level first, before diving into business. I like this concept and wish it was implemented here.
Not all customers are the same, so allow your customer service team to gauge us and decide how to better to serve us.
Put your Reps in Charge
At the end of the day, it is your CSR team that will interact with customers the most. So, instead of having them robotically answer questions, give them the leeway to delight your customers. Empowering your CSR team will increase their job satisfaction, commensurately increasing job retention and customer satisfaction.
Zappos is famous for not having any CSR scripts and reps have often gone above and beyond to delight their customers. Hence, it is no surprise that Zappos is consistently ranked highly in customer satisfaction and employee retention.
Poor customer service can hurt your company. That is a simple fact of doing business in the 21st century. However, merely responding to your customer’s queries will not help set your brand apart. Instead your organization should be looking to inculcate the “invisible”, proactive approach to customer service. Spare yourself the pain and start WOWing your customers.