The CX experts have spoken, and they have a lot to say about service! From insights to personal stories and advice to predictions, enjoy the words of wisdom shared by those who are making a mark in the service industry.
Why are you passionate about customer service?
"I am passionate about people. While the world is connected now more than ever, sometimes the humanity of interactions takes a back seat. Customer Service, no matter how large or small a company is, is about keeping humanity in business. I don't think anyone can say they care about customer service and the customer experience without truly caring about people. No one wants to contact customer service. They need something. Each person contacting the company has their own given circumstances that we aren't privy to. When my team makes a customer's day better than it started then we are doing our job. "
What is the best part about working in the customer service industry?
"The best part about working in the customer service industry is how much you can learn from other teams and the customers themselves. Customer service teams interact with every part of the organization and hear customer feedback first-hand for customers. I have worked with many great agents that become product experts that drive change in organizations."
"It was the opportunity to work with several marquee name brands at the same time. By building custom solutions to support these great brands' customers, it allowed me to truly become one of their teammates. There are not many industries that allow you to become an extension of their operations, customer care, and culture."
What is the biggest challenge facing CS teams today?
"Technology moves so incredibly fast, and the most successful companies seem to iterate and evolve quicker than you can blink. In the SaaS world, this means your Customer Success team and your product team have to be in constant communication about product updates and releases and have a true understanding of how those updates impact the customer experience. Ultimately, the challenge is to dedicate time for this communication channel and knowledge transfer to allow Customer Success to efficiently and accurately resolve issues and proactively maintain support docs to ensure customers can easily find answers and understand the product for an optimal experience."
How is technology revolutionizing the customer service industry?
"We've seen a rapid rise in the adoption of technology in contact centers recently. Companies are investing more heavily in their customer experience technology to improve their team's performance, the customer journey, measurement, and most importantly the overall experience. Companies want to be aware of issues before they happen, be able to understand the gaps, and then how they can improve. They are also utilizing a combination of AI and machine learning to minimize manual and cumbersome processes, as well as self-serve functionalities and tools that help their support teams grow and serve their customers’ needs."
"Providing an effortless and empathetic experience through customer service is a big way of reassuring customers that they made the right choice in going with your platform or brand. This means having great customer service to back up your marketing can really help elevate both sides of the coin."
How has the customer service industry changed in the past year?
In a word, this past year was an "accelerant" in pushing the CX industry fully into the digital age. As an example, digital food orders at restaurants are up 124% in the past year. Delivery apps like Postmates, DoorDash, and Uber Eats have been around for nearly a decade, but 2020 saw the way consumers buy food completely change. If you were a legacy business, you were forced to expedite your digital transformation plan. Meanwhile, digital-first startups saw a record $130 billion in venture funding. Where digital channels and automation were previously a "nice to have" or " in the future plans", 2020 made those solutions a necessity for providing a great customer experience.
What was one of the most impactful customer service experiences of your career so far?
"Early on, I was taking calls for a product that required a high level of security. The company made some recent changes and tightened security protocols so much that it would take an hour plus to perform a password reset. I was on the phone with the client the entire time and started to build rapport with them while we were waiting for the clearance. After that, they started asking for me by name and we fixed other problems they were having while we waited. It made me realize how important relationship building is in the customer experience and I've applied that lesson to my team going forward."
What is one prediction that you have for the future of customer service?
"CS needs to be empowered to provide a great experience to customers they interact with. I believe we will see a rise in AI-powered conversational bots, but ultimately people want to talk to people. Leveraging technology to allow that personal connection is going to be the future - if a customer wants to communicate via text, messenger, WhatsApp, email, or a phone call - the options should be available to the CS rep to make things right and communicate via the requested channel."