Having worked with clients across industries and around the world – one thing about customer service is clear: the more you know about your customers and their experience, the better you can anticipate and serve their needs.
I’m sure you’ll agree that as a customer, it feels good to be acknowledged by name and appreciated for your business. On the flipside, being asked who you are, what you bought, or why you’re calling, can feel like a slap to the face. If you want to deliver “wow” and streamline the entire support process, don’t ask, know!
How do you go from asking to knowing? We’ve put together a few approaches based on our experience and while the end results may seem like magic to your customers, no rabbits or top hats are required. While you read, ask yourself “how does our support team score on each of these options?” and let us know how you do!
1) Be Prepared
Stop asking basic questions by making sure your support tool (hopefully something as powerful as Service Cloud) has all the core customer data (names, contact info, sales history, etc) available for your agents. To get that data all in one place, you may need complex integrations to other systems and sources of data. While no set of customer data is ever perfect, that’s no excuse for not consolidating what you have and making it available to your team.
Good UX Means Good Business
In a world where technology is rapidly advancing and user expectations are rising, it’s no longer enough to have an average user experience; to delight your users and surpass your competition you must strive for the exceptional.
2) Be Empathetic
Knowing vs asking is not just about having the right data available – it requires empathy and an understanding of the customer journey. That means your entire support team should use your product as much as possible and experience issues firsthand. But don’t stop at support – every part of the company has an important role to play: sales, product, engineering, even finance. That’s one of the reasons making everyone do customer support when they join is an incredible idea.
3) Be Smart
If you’ve made it this far – you’ve got the basics needed to ask less and know more. If you’re like me, though, you will never be satisfied with just the basics! That’s where smart use of technology comes in. Recent apps like Next Caller and Klink, for example, turn the concept of caller ID on its head and save you the trouble of storing detailed contact info for every customer.
By far, the best recently released app that supports my “don’t ask, know!” philosophy has to be FullStory, allowing you to track every customer interaction on your site or product so you know exactly where the experience broke down.
Bottom line – keep your eyes open for possibilities and don’t be afraid to challenge the methods or technologies you currently use to track customer data.
Each one of the approaches above takes time, thought, and plenty of effort to be successful, but I hope I’ve impressed upon you the importance of knowing as much as possible about your customers and their experience. If you were reading along and evaluating your own support team – let us know how you did! Feel free to give us a shout with your comments or let us know if we missed something big.