By Paul Scott, Chief of Platforms & Partnerships, ClearPoint.

I think we can all agree that Customer experience (CX) has never been more important than it is today. It drives loyalty, advocacy, differentiation, and even revenue.

Customer teams are in a fantastic position to be the customer experience engine, but they continue to be squeezed by “Do more with less.” “Be more productive.” “Your budget’s cut.”

Thanks to our friends at Salesforce, I have consolidated 25 practical tips and tricks organisations can take to improve their customer experience.

  1. Know where your customer is. Know what the time zone is, the season, the weather etc. Know who your customer is — Google them. Know what the context of their problem is. Read their customer emails.
  2. Take the time to connect with customers. In today’s connected world, you should know what products I use and who I am. Take the time to recognise that and not just treat me like a number.
  3. Make sure all information is available and that it’s tailored to the person looking at it, especially if it’s a paid service. Information should be easy to find
  4. Make everything as personalised as possible, so the customer feels like he or she has a dedicated agent each time.
  5. Make sure your service teams are well-trained. Invest in your people as well as your technology
  6. Quit treating support like an afterthought. It’s a part of your sales cycle, and should not exist to exclusively upsell
  7. Hire people with a deep sense of empathy. There is nothing worse than help from a customer service person who seems to not care, not listen, and doesn’t really want to help
  8. Listen, listen, LISTEN! A customer’s situation may not be cookie-cutter, so listening helps service agents determine the real problem. This saves time, as the clarifying statements/questions/discussion often take up the most time on a call/chat
  9. Measure what matters most. Does the number of case closures really identify excellence? Does it matter how long it is open for? Identify how you want to determine success from your customer’s perspective, then design your metrics.
  10. Own the issue. If you didn’t ship something on time, admit it. If the wrong size was sent, apologise. Don’t make it the customer’s problem
  11. Prioritisation is critical. It may sound difficult to prioritize while keeping customer satisfaction levels high; however, it can be done. Leverage interpersonal skills to demonstrate compassion, and even the person at the end of the list will be satisfied with your streamlined workflow.
  12. Staying organised is key. Knowing where to find the answer is more important than trying to know all the answers off the top of your head.
  13. If you don’t have a knowledge base (even an internal one), push for it. Having a place where you can reference common issues will make life much easier for everyone.
  14. Make sure you have the right information at the right time based on the type of customer service request it is.
  15. Getting an immediate picture of the customer and the service request at the moment the customer calls or puts a request in allows you to deep-dive into particular areas of the customer’s details
  16. Know your system interface inside and out. Find the quick actions/clicks and stay organised
  17. First-call resolution with proper information is best. If something needs to be escalated, make sure the escalated party can resolve it
  18. Don’t make using self-service a requirement to open a case. You can deflect more cases by offering them as an option without making looking at them a gate to getting to support
  19. Make sure you have great search functionality in your self-service portal
  20. You can’t just set up ‘self-service’ and expect it to be used. It will only be used if people find it beneficial, with quality content within it.
  21. Make it easy and fast. Don’t put a lot of burden on your customer. A big form asking for lots of information before a ‘case’ could be submitted is likely to be ignored. Having to click many times to find information will cause the query to be abandoned. Quick, easy, and simple rules the day
  22. Remember that to the general public and to your customers, your company is one entity. If you try to subdivide self-service experiences by division or department, you’re putting your governance structure ahead of customer interaction
  23. Keep it simple! If I can’t get what I need in less than five minutes, I will give up.
  24. Make it easy, efficient, positive. You can develop ‘fun’ ways for customers to use self-service portals or websites
  25. Make it easy from wherever customers are — any page or any spot in an article — to switch from self-service to logging a service request. Don’t make people navigate through three screens from where they are, to logging a case

For more information on how to improve your Customer Experience, check out our Salesforce page

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I hope you have found my analysis useful, and have new insights you can action to make a difference for your customers.

Reach out to me if you want to discuss!

By Paul Scott, Chief of Platforms & Partnerships, ClearPoint