In this blog post, Stanley Munashe, Account Manager at Huble Digital, explains why customer service has become increasingly important for company success and explores four companies we should all be learning from.
“Customer service should not be a department, it should be the entire company”.
- Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.
My name is Stanley and I’m a Digital Marketing Account Manager at Huble Digital. My daily work life is all about “Customer Service Experience”. This encompasses managing customer relationships, client meetings, contact reports, client escalations, and motivating the whole client service team to get the best results for our clients — or as we call them, “our partners”. After working with a customer for 3-6 months, you form a partnership that can last a lifetime (and maybe even survive a pandemic).
Over the last few months, customer experience has become increasingly important. People expect more from the brands they engage with and want responses instantly. As someone who works closely with clients to help them help their customers, I've seen a lot of businesses re-evaluate how they meet the needs of their audience and delight them. For many - and rightly so - the question is: "What is digital customer service experience in 2020, and how is it modelled and delivered properly?"
Here are a few companies that I think have managed to answer this question, or are at least taking the time to listen to their customers.
“Your customer does not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
We’re all familiar with the slow and painful “death by email”, with overflowing inboxes and unnecessary correspondence. Slack alleviates this with a platform for quick-and-easy collaboration and communication: you can create group channels to discuss work, leisure and all the impromptu conversations we often need to have, set up meeting reminders, and even share files!
They have made their product seamless, mastered the art of teaching their target audience why they need it and, most importantly, listened to feedback from their customers. This translates into a highly efficient and responsive customer service function. Imagine calling a customer service helpline and the first thing you hear is, “you are caller number 243”. By the time you reach a consultant, you either don’t know if you still want help or have already made up your mind and found another provider.
Uber have established themselves as a company that wants to get their customers where they need to go, no matter what mode of transport is available. We’ve seen all the options from Uber Moto in India to Uber Helicopter (the helicopter ride from Manhattan to JFK). If you want to get somewhere and avoid driving, Uber have positioned themselves as the go-to transport option.
Uber have listened to their customers on a few key issues:
Trust: Customers can get to know who their driver is before they get in the car: how many trips they have done, how long they have been working with Uber and where they are from, as well as languages the driver is fluent in and their Uber App score.
Security: Uber allows the customer to share their real-time location with family and friends, as well as the car model and license plate number.
Data: Collecting data is one thing, using it is another. Uber have managed to leverage data to analyse and meet high-volume demands. This has allowed them to implement dynamic pricing to incentivise drivers to be customer-centric and to meet requirements at all times.
Thought Leadership: With their scUber campaign, they allowed users to book a submarine ride along the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The barrier reef has been badly impacted by climate change. Uber’s initiative helped bring awareness to the masses and raise funds for conservation efforts.
I personally get anywhere I need to go with Uber; it is a trusted app with all the security measures in place to make me feel secure.
“There is only one boss. The CUSTOMER. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”
Personalisation is one of the most important elements in creating a customer-centric experience - and one company doing it right is Netflix.
Unlike many in the TV/Cable industry, Netflix have pioneered and are perfecting what I call “Highly Focused, Customer-Centric Personalisation”. They provide a viewing platform that offers a consumer-friendly interface powered by accurate personalisation. Their ability to use advanced model algorithms to serve viewers with recommendations based on their preferences, as well as what they and others have watched, is remarkable. And as it turns out, 80% of watched content on Netflix comes from its recommendations.
Netflix, employs a team of designers, data scientists, and product specialists who control the algorithms and analyse how subscribers click, watch, search for, play, and pause videos. They use this data to fine-tune the company’s mostly invisible, top-secret personalisation technology, which determines the titles that appear on your home screen. Netflix may not be aware of your race or gender, but the company knows something more personal: your taste in movies and TV.
Netflix rolled out a “Skip Intro” button, which takes viewers past the opening credits & straight into the episode. Some creators did not appreciate having their work ignored, but fans heralded the feature as “the greatest invention of 2017”. And personally, I love that button.
Technology, like everything else, is not perfect. Customers appreciate being forewarned of a system outage as this allows them to plan around it.
So when Adobe expected an outage due to an AWS (Amazon Web Services) issue, they took to social media (Twitter) to forewarn their customers. They ultimately responded to customer service complaints before they even began.
Adobe also reinvented its customer service experience when they found that 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience. They realised the importance of not only having personalisation but also of building multi-channel, multi-device customer journeys to improve their global customer experience.
With this ecosystem, their analysts can use data to track, analyse & optimise a customer’s experience across different devices. This makes it possible to engage with customers more effectively and create a seamless, multi-touch experience.
“The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but exceed them — preferably in unexpected and helpful ways.”
- Sir Richard Branson
The key elements to getting your customer service experience right in the digital age are quite simple when broken down:
Key turnaround times
Listen to what your customers are saying
Build trust and security
Data is king. Leverage the data you collect, analyse it, and implement changes that increase efficiency and productivity
Grow industry expertise & thought leadership
Personalisation is key
Provide a multi-channel seamless customer experience
These are but a few pointers that I have come across as a Digital Marketing Account Manager at Huble Digital.
If you want to improve your customer service, that’s something we can help you with.
Our mission is to transform businesses using the HubSpot Platform. We believe that customers are the core of our business and that great customer experience, keeps our customers happy and builds partnerships that can last a lifetime and survive a pandemic.