Shep Hyken's Amazing Business Radio

Amazing Business Radio: Jeremy Watkin

Jeremy Watkin on How Listening to Your Customer Service Reps Can Give You a Competitive Advantage

Do you realize there is a hidden gem in your customer service department?

Shep Hyken speaks with Jeremy Watkin to discuss the strategies you can use to mine that hidden gem, which can give your organization a competitive advantage.

But first…

Shep Hyken discusses the power of the customer satisfaction survey. Just about everything related to the success of a business is tied to numbers, and the customer satisfaction survey is a big part of that. With the survey, it is important to ask the right questions, but even more importantly, to be prepared to do something with the answers you get. As Peter Drucker said, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

After Shep’s opening comments, Shep and Jeremy discuss how you can measure what the customer is saying through listening, and paying attention to your customer satisfaction or Net Promotor Score surveys, and the verbatim feedback that accompany them. It may also be through anecdotal comments they are making to your customer service department on the phone. It may be the comments customers are typing on your website when they are canceling their service. All of these comments can be used to give valuable insights into how we can improve our customers’ experience.

A few tips from Jeremy Watkin on improving customer service:

  • Create a Customer Service Focus Group

Jeremy suggests as a solution to create a focus group, not only among your customers, but also with your customer service department. You’ll never be short for material when you ask your customer service department for feedback on the pain points your customers are experiencing. The customer service department will happily share feedback from your customers. Ask them the right questions, and you will get incredible answers.

  • Customer Service Stop Words

There are a number of words that some people in customers say on a regular basis that simply turn our customers off. We must get away from telling our customers things like “Sorry, there is nothing we can do” or “Our policy prohibits us from taking any action on your behalf.” Sometimes the customer service rep may resort to saying, “No,” because it’s easier than trying to figure out a way to fix the customer’s issue. Here are a few “Customer Service Stop Words” to avoid:

  • Unfortunately
  • Policy
  • Can’t
  • Won’t
  • No

Any time you invoke policy, it is not going to sit well with the customer! Instead using phrases such as, “Let me see what I can do,” or, “Here is what I can do for you.”

Customer Service Support Tools

To help your customer service department do their job more effectively, consider artificial intelligence tools like Gridspace or Call Miner. These tools can ‘listen’ to how your customer service department interacts with the customer, and will give you ideas on how to improve words, syntax and cadence to make a better connection with the customer.

And, since many customers (especially millennial customers) like to solve problems on their own, consider the use of self-service tools like Solvvy (for email support) or Nanorep (for chat), a Frequently Asked Questions page or even a “how to” video on YouTube.

Jeremy Watkin is the Head of Quality at FCR, an outsource provider of customer service. He is also the co-founder and regular contributor to the blog Customer Service Life, where he continues to write about customer service, customer experience, and contact center life. Be sure to connect with him on Twitter at @jtwatkin for more awesome customer service and experience insights.

“Empathy is not about a statement saying, ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘It’s unfortunate that this happened to you.’ Empathy is about truly connecting with our customers, creating a human-to-human connection.” – Jeremy Watkin

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 What questions will this episode answer?

  1. Why is it important to respond to customer surveys and comments?
  2. What are some the words to avoid when responding to customers?
  3. What is empathy for the customer?
  4. What are some support tools we can use to improve the customer service experience?

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