Great to see you here at Friday Five, let’s look at some of the top customer service stories of the past week:
SAP: Happy Employees = Happy Customers.
SAP’s new – and millennial-young at 31 – CIO, Thomas Saueressig, told ZDNet recently that his strategy for keeping customers happy is keeping employees happy.
“My most important KPI is customer satisfaction [among internal employees],” he told ZDNet. “Happiness is a competitive advantage; if we have happy employees, they will make our customers happy. This is a direct correlation.”
Indeed, this has been shown over and over – high employee satisfaction tracks closely with customer satisfaction. Basically, if your employees feel appreciated and valued, they’ll pass that on to your customers. And if they don’t, well…
“We need to put employee productivity at the center of our activities. The key goal for every IT employee,” Saueressig explains, “is customer satisfaction and put the user at the center. We want to excite them and inspire them.”
Omnichannel Customer Experience Hits Regulated Industries.
Price and convenience aren’t everything. As TechCrunch notes, the mercy killing of Google Compare shows that “omnichannel doesn’t mean digitizing every aspect of the customer journey without regard to which channel is best-suited for customer needs at each stage.”
Translation: Customers don’t buy insurance or other financial products based on price. They’re high-touch customers who need professional interaction “across channels, online and off.”
The difference is that such customers come to the interactions armed with more digitally-acquired knowledge than ever before. “Omnichannel is more than sales,” TechCrunch observes. “It means delighting customers in person, connecting seamlessly between visits via social, mobile and web, and being able to immediately reference both store and web interaction history when customers call for help.”
Customers of regulated industries such as finance, healthcare and government expect their digital interactions to be known and remembered during personal encounters. The customer experience offered by successful firms in such industries will increasingly meet this expectation with “true, individual-level personalization.”
Balancing CX and ROI.
Claire Sporton, vice president for Customer Experience Management at global CX provider Confirmit, outlines four ways companies can balance the needs of a great customer experience with sensible ROI by “implementing an effective, focused program that aligns clearly with your company’s key metrics:”
- Use the customer insights from your CX program. You have your customers take surveys? Great. Use the results productively by, oh, listening to what they say?
- “Harness the heckler.” Yes they can be annoying. They can also be useful. Believe me, they let you know where you’re having issues. Negative reviews are doing you a favor. Learn from them.
- Really take customer centricity seriously. Really. Fight against the silos. It’s a corporate culture thing, so it’s not going to happen tomorrow. But it starts with attitude, and it has to start somewhere.
- Know your customers as well as you know your product. Quite a goal to shoot for, and the nice thing is that progress is always beneficial. Use the customer knowledge you collect to personalize offers, to individualize customer experiences. You get ROI from such loyalty-increasing initiatives.
Best Buy Betting on A Better Customer Experience.
Fighting for its life, electronics retailer Best Buy is doubling down on customer service to set it apart in an increasingly crowded, commoditized consumer electronics retail market.
Pymnts.com notes that “The company is revamping its customer outreach with a legion of tech support specialists who provide on-site support to around 5 million homes,” and is “offering customers product installation services and is improving on its stock of smart home products.”
The retailer is also working to improve the in-store customer experience, partnering with such manufacturers as Apple for exclusive presentations and services: “One such recent initiative is with the Oculus Rift, the virtual reality headset. Best Buy will soon be the only American retailer where customers can try on the headsets.”
Creating a Social Customer Experience.
Yes you’ve heard the buzzword a million times, but how do you actually go about creating a more social media-friendly customer experience? Business 2 Community offers four tips:
- Link employee and customer engagement. Companies with high levels of employee engagement are confident to engage socially with customers in a more comfortable, less stiff and formal way.
- Update your self-service. Try using cloud file storage “to keep all the resources they need online, and allowing access to online help ticketing to speed up response time,” B2C suggests.
- Make mobile effective. Customers should be able to access the information they need at any time, so mobile optimize your sites so the mobile experience they have is as good as any other channel.
- Use feedback to shape the experience. Online forums for customer feedback are good ideas, and a gold mine for you.
That’s it for this week, have a great weekend!