The Journey to a Great Customer Service Experience

By Annette Franz

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Working in a call center, whether you’re on the phone or on the floor managing operations, means that you’re front and center with customers at all times. It also means that you know the importance of delivering a great service experience for your customers. If that’s not an area of focus for you, it certainly ought to be!

The customer experience is an area of obsession for many organizations today, and some of them are doing a better job of delivering on it than others. For many businesses, the call center and customer service lines are often the most-frequent point of interaction with customers, making it that much more important to understand the experience customers are having. In this article, I’ll outline how to best do that.

Let me first take a step back, though, and define two often-misunderstood terms – namely, customer experience and customer service – to ensure that we’re all on the same page. As you may or may not know, these are two very different things.

I define customer experience as (a) the sum of all the interactions that a customer has with a company over the course of the relationship lifecycle and (b) the customer’s feelings, emotions, and perceptions of the brand over the course of those interactions.

Many people confuse customer experience with customer service; they are not one and the same. Customer experience is actually the “umbrella discipline,” so to speak, while customer service falls under that umbrella. “Customer service is what happens when the customer experience breaks down.” That’s how Chris Zane, owner of Zane’s Cycles, defines or differentiates the two. I think that’s a great way to put it. Customer service is just one aspect, one touchpoint in the overall customer experience. It’s not only a department but also what we do to/for our customers.

OK, back to understanding the experience your customers are having. There are tools for this; I’ll name just two important ones for now: (1) surveys or other listening posts and (2) journey maps. It’s the latter, journey maps, that I’ll focus on for the rest of this post.

What are journey maps?

In simplest terms, journey maps allow you to walk in your customer’s shoes and chart his course as he interacts with your organization (via whatever channel, department, touchpoint, product, etc.) while trying to fulfill some need or do some job, e.g., call support, purchase a product, etc. The map describes what customers are doing, thinking, and feeling at each step in the journey. It allows you to identify key moments of truth, i.e., make-or-break moments or moments during which the customer decides if he will continue to do business with your or not, and to ensure that those moments are executed delightfully. The map is created from his viewpoint, not yours. It’s not linear either, nor is it static.

So let’s think about a customer service experience. It typically begins with the customer experiencing or Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

Be Sociable, Share!