A brand’s reputation for customer service can make or break customers’ decisions to give them business. Customer experience (CX) has become a buzzword for brands across sectors, and providing a high-quality CX is imperative in today’s fast-moving, low-loyalty, consumer-driven climate. Companies must differentiate themselves with a CX that makes interactions simple and seamless for the customer. Gone are the days when customers were willing, albeit begrudgingly, to repeat their account information and their issue to several agents through multiple transfers. Consumer brand-loyalty is already low and a poor CX can sound the death knell for each bad experience.
According to the International Council of Shopping Centers’ (ICSC) survey on brand loyalty, price and value are still king. Driving loyalty to specific retailers in 2017 are price and value with nine out of ten (92%) loyal customers ranking this the top reason, followed by product/quality (79%) and variety/selection (71%). Technology has enabled consumers to be better informed about pricing and availability. While companies can easily compete on price, quality and selection, customer service is that intangible that will push some to the top and others to the depths. In fact, as ICSC noted, 82 percent of consumers will buy elsewhere if they experience poor customer service or rude employees.
Sign up for CX and call center insights delivered weekly to your inbox.
While shifting your focus to customer experience is crucial, and learning new ways to improve will set your company apart from the others, the heart and soul of the experience your customers have is the agents they interact with. They must be as competent as they are caring, and they must care. Being a customer service representative, or agent, is a demanding job that can often feel thankless. The agents often take on the brunt of customers’ frustrations, and if your CX is not where it should be, an already frustrated customer may be pushed to a breaking point and take out their frustrations on the agent they speak to. Despite these challenges, most agents still have a strong desire to help customers and care about resolving issues. Are you hiring people who care to be your agents – the representation of your brand? Or, are you just filling seats?
The following blog, Part Four in a series focused on the individuals behind the headset or desk, highlights a clever and resourceful solution to a potential nightmare! This story was submitted to Talkdesk and included as part of our 11 Stories of Brilliant Customer Interactions to Inspire Your CX Team.
Costanoa Lodge’s general manager uses a quarter to find a guest’s missing diamond ring
It was 5:30 pm and I was just wrapping up work at Costanoa Lodge when I saw a guest walk up the driveway. She had a worried look in her face. I rolled down my window and asked if everything was alright. She said no, then asked if I had a metal detector. I said I didn’t think we had one and asked what it was for. The guest said she was at the beach parking lot across from the resort and she had lost her wedding ring. I could sense the panic in her demeanor. I said, “Let’s go and look together. Maybe a second set of eyes will help.”
We drove to the lot. As soon as I stepped out I realized this was not going to end well—the parking was a mix of fine gravel, small rocks, weeds and dirt and the area was vast. She said she had put the ring on the roof of her car to wash the sand off her hands and must have backed out with the ring still on the roof. She said she suspected the ring had fallen somewhere on the ground. She showed me where she was parked and we walked back and forth scanning the ground for 20 minutes, even crawling on our hands and knees to get a closer look at some areas. Alas, nothing materialized and the light was fading. We were about to give up in the dusk when I said, “show me again where you placed the ring.” She indicated the roof gutter line on her car. I reached in my pocket and pulled out a quarter. I said, “let’s try to recreate it and see where the quarter falls when you back out.” We did. I stood back and watched as she backed the car up. To my surprise the quarter didn’t fall off the roof at all, rather when she moved it rolled down the left side of the windshield and vanished beneath the hood. I yelled to her to stop and pop the hood. She looked confused but popped open the hood of the car. I lifted the hood open all the way and there was a gorgeous diamond ring precariously set just above the engine next to my quarter.
Want to create your own inspirational customer stories? The first step is to set the goals you want to achieve in your CX organization. At Talkdesk, we use data-driven insights to drive a customer-centric experiences that make customers feel understood by the brands they interact with. Check out these success stories from our amazing customers to hear it firsthand.