The way to emphatic customer service

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The way to emphatic customer service

 

Despite the increased focus on customer experience and satisfaction, many companies still fail to provide excellent service. A recent survey questioned 200 large companies, and the results show that only 2% states that they provide exceptional customer experience and 70% that it was “Okay” or “Good”. With the shift in semiotics, we now know that in the satisfaction continuum, “good” only means 3-4 stars or one indifferent face, and “okay” is, in fact, not so okay anymore. 

 

All these scenarios have something in common. It’s the lack of positive emotions causing a customer to stay loyal and promote the brand, or existence of negative emotions, rising from incomplete customer support. 

 

Let’s start with bad things

 

Incomplete is exactly the right word because most of the time there are not a lot of things working wrong in CRM. It’s just one element that might be missing. Understanding the needs of the customer, or shorter, empathy.

You might wonder how the customer support which is built exactly to solve customer problems cannot know what the customer needs? From the logical point, this doubt is completely correct. However, one thing is to understand the cause of the problem, and another, not to forget that the contacting customer is in trouble. 

 

The worst scenario

A lot of companies, but unfortunately still not all of them, are passing from later version of long, complicated IVR systems, sending the client form one audio recording to another and then asking him to repeat all the menu if he has missed something that might help. Here the customer is left completely alone, trying to define the problem by the frames of the recording, and not forget what all the numbers mean in case he skipped the closest one. This kind of customer support is really risky if the recordings are uninformative or the client is left without assistance for too long. Negative emotions will soon step in and may cause customer loss. 

The described situation can be perfectly adapted to find out the root of the customer’s problem and give a quick answer to it (well, not so quick for the customer though). But completely automated support makes the customer feel that nobody cares about his question.

The same formula can be applied to any support channel your customer is using. The lack of personal attention can cause disappointment through emails, calls, or messaging or the newest support trend – chatbot. The outcomes?

 

In the traps of KPI

One can think that enough personal attention is impossible with nowadays standards. Which is again right, but only from a certain perspective. A part of the business is using KPI as their main indicator of agents’ success. If the KPI is standing for several clients handled in a certain amount of time, then one can state that it doesn’t matter how personally the agent was dealing with customers, important is only how many customers he dealt with.  More solved problems, better for the business. And this is wrong. Because humans make a lot of decisions based on emotions, not logic. No matter how good and fast a customer’s problem was solved, if during the conversation he was interrupted, or elsvize rushed he will feel far away from happiness. This way, loosing up KPI standards and focusing more on a personal approach to the customers can improve their satisfaction and result in more high-value leads.

 

Did I say that technology reduced personal experience in customer service?

Before we were painting the image, where technology is causing a less personalized customer approach this way causing the lower quality of service. It is not completely true. A smart, proper use of technological tools can cause more empathy. Of course not from softwares. We still have not reached the point (and is not scheduled any time soon) when AI can understand human emotions. But what it can do, is to free up your agents, and this way give them more time and space to communicate with customers better. Chatbots, call flow management or simple layout of all the necessary information with clear guidelines on what to do in the case of too big problems can empower your agents and make them feel more capable and comfortable while talking with clients. While being able to connect the same agent with the same customer causes more friendly feelings. A win-win strategy.

While giving enough space for human feeling is one point, it’s good to consider the emphatical capacities of the employees before hiring them. It’s not a secret that some people are faster to catch and feel how others are feeling. This can be very helpful to have a team which will never forget that not only the sort of problem but the problem itself is important. There is no more loyal customer than the one who feels that the company will stand with him in good and in bad.

It’s our human need to be understood and feel special. That is why it is best to build support services around the cornerstone of empathy.

If you are interested to learn what OXON can offer for easiers, more personalized service, you are more than welcome to check here.