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In episode 45 of the Customers Who Click podcast I spoke with Charlotte Purvis about all things customer service.
I always feel like brands understand how important customer service is from the customer care perspective but fail to look beyond the obvious and how it could improve their business. All they see is fixing customer-related problems or identifying delivery issues; so not something that directly impacts the revenue.
But, customer service agents speak 1 on 1 with your customers on a daily basis. Other than customer interviews, this is the closest you’ll ever get to getting raw, unfiltered feedback. Not just basic feedback, either - a source of ideas and unbiased observations on how to improve your customer service.
You’ll learn what messaging and what experiences are important to them, and this will go on to affect your advertising, your on-site experience and the post-purchase experience. The best thing? It costs you nothing except a little of your time. Think of it as an investment. And if you’re a marketer, and you’re not close to customer service, you need to change that urgently.
Charlotte is a highly-rated speaker and consultant, offering programs on customer service, business communication, and leadership development to some of the best clients in the world - in church, corporate, and campus settings. She’s also an author of The Customer Service Formula. You can connect with her on Twitter or head over to www.charlottepurvis.com
03:05 - 10:34 - How to Address Customer Service in Current Climate - We’re facing a global crisis so it’s more important than ever that brands take a step back and listen to their customers like they have never done before. It’s not just one area of the world that’s currently struggling but all of us and so this is your chance to speak to your customers on a different level and find out how they are coping and if there’s anything your business can do to make it easier on them.
Going a step further, pick up the phone and experience your company’s customer service yourself. There’s nothing more annoying than getting in touch with customer service only to be told the person you’re chatting to is unable to help and the list of excuses begins as to why they’re unable to help with the query.
11:26 - 19:00 - Myths and Misconceptions about Customer Service - Customer service belongs to one department. It’s something I touch on frequently actually, companies siloing their teams where in reality, they should all be working together like a finely tuned machine. Every single person in the organisation is an unofficial or official, customer service representative or customer service professional. Another misconception is that customer service is just about the process and procedures - it’s about the customer, first and foremost.
19:20 - 28:12 - Common Mistakes Brands Make with Customer Service - The first mistake often begins during the hiring process for customer service representatives because companies don’t ensure candidates and their phone manners are a good fit for the brand culture and values. Another common mistake happens when company leaders either undervalue the power of customer service or think it’s all about procedures and process, rather than the customer which leads to the whole company taking it that way too.
34:10 - 37:25 - Upcoming Trends with Customer Service - Having a multi-channel approach to customer service. Customers today can reach out to companies via email, live chat or social media so not via phone ONLY. Each channel must be maintained with the same care and attention, especially when it comes to written support because the tone of voice can make a huge difference in written communication.
37:38 - 39:50 - Charlotte’s Marketing Pet Peeves - Marketers must talk less and listen more. Too often companies focus on telling their customers how wonderful their company/product is forgetting about the most important thing: how can the product or service help customers solve their problems? People only care about things that are beneficial to them and how it can help improve their own lives.