Customer Service Should Be Like In & Out Burger
In today’s highly digitized world, customer care is so much more than simply providing assistance and answers to your customers. It is a vital part of the promise your brand makes to a customer. It provides them with the confidence that they can rely on you, even when things might not go as planned. You know how In & Out Burger is famous for being quick, affordable, friendly and with limited options? Customer care should be just like that. “Huh? You’re comparing my customer service team to a fast-food chain?” Precisely. And we’ll tell you why.
Good customer care requires 4 key ingredients — it needs to be quick, affordable, friendly, and with limited options. And, with just 3 types of burgers, fries, soda and 3 flavors of shakes on their menu (with no individual item over $4), and service that is fast and always with a smile, In & Out has mastered the appetizing Customer Care recipe.
According to Harvard Business Review, “Most customers encounter loyalty-eroding problems when they engage with customer service,” with over half the respondents having to re-explain an issue, switching from web to phone, being transferred and having to repeatedly contact the company before resolution of the problem.
Customers who don’t get their issues handled quickly have the highest probability of abandoning their cart, researching a new brand for their consideration set, and/or churning entirely.
It costs about $1 per minute for the average call center to service a customer. Extrapolate that across multiple customer calls over the year and the cost is well in the tens of thousands. Traditional call center solutions cost $1,200 to $1,500 per agent. Take into consideration the per agent/per year maintenance fees, and the price becomes mind-boggling. Here at Teckst, we believe companies should not be charged for each agent on the customer service team. We charge on a per-engagement basis, not per text. That way you can get the job done in as many texts as your customers need — giving them top notch service without worrying about the costs that might rack up.
Another key ingredient is the tone of your customer care reps. Do they sound happy and friendly? Is it authentic? Disney is known for training their employees to be “assertively friendly”. In order to make every customer feel important, they are encouraged to actively seek contact with guests, and address them by name whenever possible. Online retailer Zappos’ call center employees undergo seven weeks of training on one very simple (yet elusive to many) skill: how to make customers happy. Zappos will do just about anything to please it’s customers.
A 2015 MCKinsey Study found that one single digital channel created the best customer experience (76% satisfaction) versus a traditional channel (57%) or a mix of the two (62%). A complex set of channels (Twitter, Facebook, email, phone, web chat, SMS, in-person) is overwhelming to customers because there’s no focused CX channel. Inherently, they’ll end up using multiple, which results in lower satisfaction. A large number of choices are also overwhelming for CX teams. In today’s digital world, measurement is key, and having a plethora of KPIs to measure becomes a daunting task. Keeping it simple is the best route. Studies show that SMS is the #1 preferred method of communicating with customer service, however almost no companies in the US and Europe have SMS capabilities.
Customer care encompasses every interaction that a customer has with a brand. If building relationships is important to the success of your company — and it should be — service is the key to delivering that promise you make to your customers. Keep it quick, affordable, friendly and with limited options. Your customers will be so pleased, they won’t even bother to ask for the secret menu.
Matt Tumbleson is the founder of Teckst, a startup based in New York City. Teckst is a software technology company focused on enabling better communication between businesses and customers through mobile messaging technologies such as SMS, WeChat, and Messenger. Teckst saves customer care teams more than 40% in time and money.