While Sales, Marketing, and Product Development are usually credited with company growth, recent data shows the vital role Customer Support plays in growing and scaling. In fact, 78% of customers are willing to go out of their way to buy from a company with a better customer experience. Join us as we sit down with Shep Hyken, New York Times and WSJ best-selling author, to uncover seven ways high-growth teams use the customer service experience to retain customers, expand revenue, and differentiate from competitors.
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Using Customer Support As a Growth Driver
In this webinar, Forethought’s CEO Deon Nicholas sat down with Shep Hyken, Chief Amazement Officer at Shepard Presentations, award-winning keynote speaker, and NYT and Wall Street Journal best-selling business author to discuss how to use customer support as a growth driver for your business.
In Shep’s research, he’s found that 78% of customers would go out of their way to do business with a company that has better customer service and 58% believe that great service is even more important than price. And an astonishing 3 out of 4 customers would switch to a competing brand or company if they found that it was more convenient to do business with that other company.
In other words, removing friction improves customer satisfaction and entices customer loyalty. Shep Hyken is a big believer that customer service and support is not a cost center. Customer support actually increases revenue. In fact, he says that customer support should be renamed the “revenue generation department” or the “make-sure-we-have-customers-tomorrow department” because of all the work support reps put in to assist customers and ensure they’re still around in the future
In this webinar, Shep and Deon discuss 7 ideas that will help create a more amazing experience when it comes to delivering great service and support that businesses hope to provide their customers.
#1 What is Amazement?
Shep talks a lot about amazing your customers, but what does it mean?
Shep says, “Amazement is not about being over the top, it’s not about blowing away your customer with incredible services, it’s really just about providing that predictable and consistent above average experience.” Customers will tell you that they love doing business with X company because they’re knowledgeable and friendly and are “always” doing something good for the customer. But what they’re always doing is being consistent in what they offer.
Amazing your customers means being predictable to them. If they know you will be providing a consistent experience then they’re going to come back. What they expect is basic and you should be able to do that over and over. He concludes by saying that, “Amazement is a little better than average, all the time.”
#2 How Do You Make Amazement Happen?
In talking about making the amazing experience happen, Shep references the term “moment of truth.” The moment of truth is any interaction a customer has with your business where they can tell you if it was good or bad. Shep believes that there are actually three ways a moment of truth can go.
|Bad||Moment of misery|
|Average||Moments of mediocrity|
|Good||Moments of magic|
Positive experiences are again not these over-the-top experiences, they’re experiences that are a little better than average and are consistent and predictable.
Shep says, “You make amazement happen by managing the interaction, managing the moment of truth, and creating moments of magic.”
Customers expect knowledge in two ways.
They expect agents to be knowledgeable about them, to know who they are, and know everything they should about them. They also expect the agent to be knowledgeable about their products and services. This is where a tool like Forethought and customer support AI can really support agents and support teams.
With the help of an agent assist tool, agents can leverage AI to find the most accurate answers to customer questions and do it consistently to amaze customers.
#4 How Do We Use AI?
Shep dives into talking about how AI can improve customer support, with one key way being allowing customers to jump on a website and get answers to basic questions. Where we’re seeing improvement in how we can use it is in enabling agents to provide better support.
Shep gives an example of being stuck in a customer support loop where he’s asking a question that a chatbot doesn’t have an answer to which then causes this friction of unhappy customers and endless phone calls trying to get sent to the right person. AI can help remove this friction by understanding the intent of an inquiry and actually providing the right information.
#5 No Friction
Customer support should be frictionless. In other words, make it easy! Businesses want to be convenient for their customers in all aspects. One thing that is super important to customers is having an easy path to connecting with a company.
No friction means being able to access support anytime. It also means low or no hold times and if there is a hold time then customers should know how long it will be, or they should have the option get a call back. Businesses need to do what they can to remove friction in support.
Shep’s suggestions for removing friction include:
- Low hold times
- Offering a call back solution
- Quick responses
- Multiple channels for support
- No need for customer repetition
- Implementing AI
Shep says that consistency comes in three areas.
|Product or service||Needs to consistently be reliable and dependable|
|Employees||Agents must create consistent experiences across departments|
|Channels||Phone, chat, email, text, socials – experiences in communication must be consistent across all channels|
Creating channel consistency allows for happy customers and lower wait times. Communication needs to be the same across agents and across the channels they use to remove friction and satisfy customers.
“You can never say ‘thank you’ enough to your customers,” says Shep.
Letting your customers know you appreciate them improves customer satisfaction and lets customers know they are valued.
#8 Let Agents Be The Voice
Shep ends his presentation by offering up an eighth tip: let your agents, your frontline workers, be the voice of the customer.
Agents are the ones who are dealing with customers day in and day out.
Businesses should allow their support teams to speak for the customer. Consider implementing a forum that allows them to share information with other departments in order to drive change in the best way. Shep even suggests sending leadership from other departments into customer support to see what frontline workers are dealing with on the daily.
Driving Growth Through Customer Support
By using Shep’s tactics for turning customer support into a growth center, businesses will be able to amaze their customers and truly drive great customer experiences that keep customers returning over and over again.
If you’re interested in learning more about amazing your customers and using AI in the process, be sure to watch 7 Tactics Customer Service Leaders Use to Drive Growth featuring Shep Hyken and Deon Nicholas in its entirety.