The One Thing About Customer Experience Your Boss Wants to Know

Why making it easy for your customers is so important

When I meet Daniel, I know we don’t have much time to talk. Our coffees won’t cool enough to drink before he has to run back to the office. He’s the head of his company’s customer care and he immediately perks up when I ask him about his approach to care.
“The pressure is great to manage call time and keep it at low levels. But we’re missing the point” he begins. “The true metric is in solving your customer’s issue, isn’t it? Or better yet, future-solving their issue.”

What Daniel is referring to is the switch in business’ focus to make your customer experience completely effortless. In fact, he’s not the first one to come up with this idea. Zappo’s CEO, Tony Hsieh, doesn’t measure his customer service reps’ success by call time. He’s utterly against thinking of call centers as an expense that requires constant reduction. He recognizes a ”huge untapped opportunity” in them from both marketing and a customer value standpoint.

TV commercials by Zappos featuring puppets made to resemble the actual customer loyalty team members as they interact with the customers. They are famously not measured on sticking to the script, or on time of calls.

The untimed, effortless experience Daniel mentions is the sole reason customers stay loyal to a brand: “Your product is the start. Your customer care is the end. If we do an amazing job, we’ll make you happy. If we do an incredible job, we’ll still just make you happy. But if we screw up, you’ll dump us in a heartbeat. End of discussion.”
With added pressure to keep call times down, customer care reps end up solving a bunch of current issues fast. They are really efficient. A closer look at the “call per event” rate, though, isn’t so rosy. Reps are not effective. “So you helped your customer fast and now they are calling you back. They reopen the ticket and you are back to square one. Am I the only one who thinks this stinks?!”.

Daniel decided to take a different approach, the one embraced by Zappos, which is why I was eager to talk to him. He is no longer concerned about the call times (though he still keeps an eye out on them) but rather stresses effective solving of the issue a customer is calling with. That’s just one half of the story. The other half lies in anticipating what kind of difficulties the customers may run into once they hang up, or what he calls the future-solving approach.

“There’s a natural chain of events. If somebody buys a product, they will likely need a manual on how to use it. If they make a change to their account, this will likely impact access to services available to them, and they will need some help figuring that out. It’s a natural evolution of events and it’s often very easy to predict”.

Daniel and I are discussing co-browsing as part of the experience in a customer journey. He strongly believes that if he lets his team take their time when caring for their customers, this will make the experience more thorough and less frustrating for both parties. A customer will be satisfied and their future issues can be easily anticipated and future-solved. To thoroughly understand a customer’s online behavior, co-browsing is essential. “It’s incredibly useful when you struggle to figure out what your customer is actually seeing. If you can view their browser, in a split second you can understand what they are getting hung up on and address it immediately. You can also demonstrate how to access the fix, because you can take control of their screen and show them exactly what you are doing. Show them. Not tell them.”
As easy as that. Effortless experience is what customers, especially experience-focused millennials, are all about. Try Daniel’s approach and you may just get your boss dashing to your desk wanting to find out what’s your secret sauce.