I solemnly welcome you all back again to our quarantine edition of the best Customer Experience (CX) blog posts. Though it is deeply saddening to see how rampant the pandemic is around the world, you will certainly be amazed at the strategic planning of organizations that continue to focus on offering exceptional customer service.
If you remember the amazing CX posts batch from September that I shared previously, you would know that you are in for a treat this month too. I have gathered the top five CX posts for October 2020. As the world is impacted by the ramifications of the COVID-19 outbreak, a shift in the pattern of customer support service was discovered. So, let’s see how major businesses surmounted these obstacles and what pearls of wisdom they have shared.
As I’ll be discussing the gist and the condensed version of each blog post, if you want to read the post in its entirety, just follow the link.
1) Now Customer Support Entails Being a Mind-Reader
Adrian Swinscoe interviewed the well-reputed Paul Adams, the SVP of Product at Intercom. In his blog post, he discussed the crux of the interview and jotted it in pointers. This unconventional blog post highlighted an integral aspect of customer support: proactive service. He mentioned how this term may be perceived as ambiguous, but it captures the essence of impeccable customer support service.
Paul outlined the proactive approach as anticipating the questions of customers before they even ask them. This predictive behavior is the holy grail of customer support. Paul also stated the statistics of a study that claimed that 78% of support managers wanted to incorporate the proactive approach and remove reactive service. But, only 26% of such leaders carried the knowledge, skills, and equipment to do so.
Paul categorized proactive support into the following three major types:
- Planned: this refers to supporting customers based on their usage history, behavioral patterns, and other data. In this approach, predictive analysis is conducted.
- Situational: the support team opts for this approach when they are aware of a fault or an issue in either the product or service, but they appraise the customers beforehand. This way they avoid an influx of complaints and calls.
- V.I.P Proactive Support: this approach is slightly complex and not so common. In this approach, the clients’ needs are under constant spotlight and undisturbed attention is granted. Their behavior is seen and even minor changes in their usage or behavioral patterns are noted and then meticulously analyzed.
2) Don’t Let the Pandemic Stop You
Francine Johnson shared her insights in this educative blog post that guides the audience about how they can fashion a congenial customer experience. She termed CX as an essential part of the customer’s end-to-end journey with the product.
She used the F5, a B2B cyber-security company, as a reference and explained how businesses can continue to deliver exemplary customer service despite the hindrances posited by COVID-19.
Francine discussed how crucial it is to support leaders to identify the friction points and then address them by making improvements and amends accordingly. A fruitful CX program is structured on customer engagements, smooth communication, effective advocacy, and prudent insights. She explicitly talked about three essential ways in which an organization could build a successful customer experience. These ways are:
- Finding the Right Balance – Striking the balance refers to communicating a particular kind of information to customers. For the F5 company, Francine talks about creating a balance between notifying customers of threats and creating cherished memories. Such a balance can only be achieved through effective communication.
- Profits are Secondary – Francine recommended that as employees we should empathize with the customers as their lives to are gravely affected by the pandemic. So, instead of focusing on the money-making strategies, the support team should genuinely be concerned for the customers. It is important to lead with a human-first mindset.
- The Internal Strength – It is imperative to build a customer-first mindset that not only prevails in the support team but is backed up by the executive leadership. Francine claimed that a team of professionals and experts is not enough to execute productive customer support. It would require executive support and assistance too.
3) Does Losing a Customer Sting? Now no more!
This post is written by Jim Tincher and it truly encapsulates the raw emotions felts by a B2B company when they lose a sale, they worked hard for. But it also shows them a light at the end of the tunnel so that they can improve their customer service and avoid any such loss in the future. He introduces us to the Voice of the Last Lost Customer. Then he signifies how businesses can manage the VoLLC. The guidelines were:
- Frequently talk to salespeople – As a CX leader make sure that you take the feedback of salespeople under review. If the salespeople don’t feel safe sharing their opinion, you may expect trouble. It will become difficult for you to manage and improve your customer service.
- Go on account calls – You can obtain a holistic view of what your customers need as salespeople talk directly to customer executives and VoC channels are majorly concerned with the users.
- It can be a blessing in disguise – Though sometimes the sales’ VoLLC is not on the mark. They may not target your major customers but the sales they bring in can be considered significant.
As a CX leader, most people would target customer loyalty. But it is beneficial to focus on VoLLC too.
4) Can You Measure Value for Customers?
In her post, Maxie Schmidt talks about her latest report, “How to measure value for customers?”. She starts by stating that most organizations fail to determine whether customers gain value from engaging in business with them or not.
She explains that customers acquire value from a business when they get more than what they are giving up. Value for customers does not stay constant, rather it changes frequently like needs. Maxie however, encircled the value for customers in the following four major dimensions:
- Functional: defines the purpose
- Experiential: takes into account the interactions
- Symbolic: refers to the meaning
- Economic: discusses the financial aspect
She capitalizes on the major incompetence of businesses and how they fail to measure value for customers. This usually happens because they are either making use of unreliable and inaccurate metrics, or they have limited knowledge about how customers gain value and which value drivers are most important.
Then she suggests effective ways in which businesses can overcome the factors that inhibit the measuring of value for customers. These tips are:
- Integrate quantitative research and locate the key drivers of value: She explains how the feedback and data alone cannot determine customer value. We need to make use of research tools and understanding the four dimensions.
- Define a practical measurement per value driver: In this approach, the CX professional either needs to come up with new data sources and metrics or they can make use of existing data sources. Their aim should be to not pose a burden on customers.
- Reckoning a competitive value gap: By acquiring competitive data CX analysts can focus on the key drivers and draw a comparison of their performance and their competitor’s performance.
5) Customers are Humans, not Consumers
Jim Tincher shares his unique and compelling perspective regarding the prevailing customer experience strategies opted by businesses. He begins his blog post with a riveting quote that read: “A consumer is a statistic. A customer is a person.” This quotation inspires his entire post as he staunchly believes that businesses should offer a more personalized experience rather than focusing on the profits.
In his blog post, he shares some insightful tips on how businesses can please their customers. These are as follows:
- Being specific is not always the smartest option
Sometimes choosing a highly specific term or label can get you in great trouble. So, maybe sometimes sits prudent to generalize.
- Treat customers as normal people
Customers are not some consumers who prey on your product. Treat them with empathy and be genuinely concerned for them.
- Perspective is important
It is very important to change the perspective of the audience based on the strategies we incorporate and the labels we choose.
- Look out for unintentional bias
Under this heading, Jim mentioned an example of how the term producer was replaced with a financial professional based on the connotation associated with the two.
- Choose your words wisely
Jim laid great emphasis on how we label, and term things, and people can change the entire narrative of the situation.
I hope you enjoyed my favorite picks of Top CX Blog Posts for October 2020. For me, all of these posts were very fascinating and riveting. To see businesses, stay headstrong, and continuously improve to offer impeccable customer service and experience is truly amazing. Mostly all companies are being customer-centric and are trying to stay tenacious in these difficult times.
If you have a story or an experience to share with our audience, please feel free to contact us. Comment below or just the link of your blog post and we will feature you in our upcoming sessions.
Will meet you all next month with another enthralling batch of top CX posts. Till then stay healthy and safe!
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