Customer Service Life Updates – April 2022
One of my favorite things about writing and speaking about customer experience, customer service, and contact centers is the opportunity to connect with others in the industry and talk about topics that are near and dear to my heart. In this post, I’ll share a quick rundown of some of these recent conversations along with a handful of articles I’ve had the privilege of contributing to. I hope you’ll have a quick look and listen!
I recently joined my friend, Rick Denton on episode 94 of his podcast. We talked about a wide range of topics — especially around listening to the voice of the customer. But the thing I love about Rick’s show is how he explores the crossroads of customer experience and travel.
When asked about my travel experiences I had the opportunity to talk about trips I’ve taken to Australia, Nigeria, and Bangladesh and how I lived with local families, ate their food, and got to know the local culture and customs. In retrospect, this was a wonderful CX lesson. There’s no better way to get to know your customers than to walk in their shoes and use your product or service from their vantage point.
Check out the article, Simplifying the Contact Center Agent Experience Starts with Observation on the Balto blog. In this post, I stress the importance of running from our ignorant ways as contact center leaders and observing our agents in such a way as to learn about their experience. Learn five simple steps for understanding how your contact center agents operate on a day-to-day basis and you’ll find opportunities to significantly improve their experience.
I recently spent some time going through the CX Mailbag with my friend Randy Ksar on the Conversations that Matter podcast. During our conversation, we went through a number of different questions — one of my favorites being “What skill sets are required when your role is focused on customer experience?” In my answer, I talk about important skills like casting a vision and mission for the organization, tying our work in any department to the customer, and finally, the ability to influence and manage change. When you think of essential CX skills, which ones come to mind for you?
I was interviewed by Debbie Laskey and we discussed a variety of topics related to customer experience on her blog. During the conversation, she asked me to share a great customer service story and I got to brag about my local True Value Hardware store which is no stranger to this blog. Recently, I was building a custom bike rack on a budget for my tent trailer. When the helpful employee at the door asked if I needed help, I said “No thanks.” But as it turned out I did need help and that same employee spent several minutes helping me find the perfect combination of nuts, bolts, and washers. It was a great experience!
I had no clue what to expect when I joined Brian Schiff and James Gilbert from Flip CX for a chat. Watch and listen to the full episode here. I had an absolute blast talking with them about ways to listen to the voice of the customer. During the talk, Brian had a fantastic insight about encouraging CEOs to carve out time to listen to customer phone calls and read emails and chats. If you want to get your entire company interested in improving the customer experience, this is a great place to start.
As a chronic “oversharer” I’ve found the topic of transparency to be a challenge when communicating with customers. What if they hold my words against me and sue our company for all we’re worth? I tend to err on the side of sharing as much as I possibly can when customers are frustrated or upset with the belief that they typically don’t have malicious intent and simply want all obstacles eliminated so they can do business with us. Transparency can often help to establish and reestablish customer trust in these situations. In this article on the CXAccelerator blog, I give a practical guide for being more transparent with our customers.
Other contributions to check out
Finally, here are a handful of other articles I’ve had the opportunity to contribute to that are worth a read:
- Top Opportunities for CX & Contact Center Leaders in 2022
- What is needed to make a hybrid contact center model work?
- Which metric is the most important at the contact center?
- What are the tech skills needed for contact center success?
- The 10 Pillars of EX (Employee Experience)