In the modern consumer landscape, customer service is more important than ever. At Talkdesk, our mission is to revolutionize the customer experience. To that end, we host a Customer Spotlight webinar series to explore advances in this field.
We invited Samuli Zetterberg, CEO and Founder of Surveypal to share his wisdom with us on Tuesday, September 1, 2015. Surveypal is an online customer survey platform that helps companies of all sizes gather actionable feedback from their customers. Zetterberg is the author of a book called “Feedback Automation,” which provides companies with guidance on how to respond to customers empathetically and effectively.
Zetterberg spoke with Talkdesk’s chief operating officer, Gadi Shamia, who is responsible for growing and scaling our company by ensuring that our customers have a superior experience.
Shamia began the webinar by tracing the evolution of customer service up to its current state, in which customers demand effortless service in real-time. Twenty years ago, he said, phones were the only method of communication between companies and customers, aside from in-store consultations. Ten years ago, there was a shift to email, which some thought would eventually replace phone support. At present, “things are changing back to a phone-centric customer service,” he said.
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Consumers are getting more and more real-time service across many arenas, from DoorDash to Uber. Tech news site Re/Code reported extensively on this phenomenon in its Instant Gratification Series. When it comes to instant gratification customer service, the best option is the phone, said Shamia. Conveniently, the evolution of the cell phone has put this technology in everyone’s pocket at all times.
“We’ve gotten so used to using our phones for everything – even when our laptops are ten feet away. Typing a long, comprehensive email to support is much harder than picking up your phone,” said Shamia.
In the age of the impatient customer, companies have taken to bragging, sometimes without basis, about their excellent customer service experiences. Shamia cited a statistic from Lee Resources that illustrates the “huge disconnect” between the way companies and consumers perceive the quality of service they provide and receive, respectively.
80% of companies claim that they provide superior customer service, yet only 8% of their customers agree.
Surveypal aims to bridge this divide by collecting and aggregating survey data for organizations to review and improve their customer service practices.
“Typically the way that we work with our customers is to help them to better understand the customer journey,” said Zetterberg.
This is achieved by measuring different interactions via surveys. The surveys often measure Net Promoter Score (NPS) which is a simple metric that rates the likelihood customers to recommend your brand to others. Surveypal’s surveys can come through many channels and can be sent at different points in the customer journey, though they are often used as an immediate follow-up.
“At Surveypal, when we think about surveys, we think their real purpose should be to trigger the conversation and to consider it to be more like a dialogue between the company and the customer, instead of research,” said Zetterberg. “If you get any type of feedback from the customer, the survey can be the opening for that conversation.”
Surveypal itself often uses the phone to follow up with their customers. Their rationale is that they “really want the customer to feel that [they] consider their concerns personally and on time.”
For Shamia, this explanation is the central argument that distinguishes call centers from other customer service platforms. Phone support is real-time, personalized and human. The call center agent is able to hear the tone in the caller’s voice. Problems can be discussed and resolved in minutes.
Zetterberg and his colleagues at Surveypal use Talkdesk’s cloud-based call center software to ensure that they provide excellent customer service.
“Customer service is a really high priority for us at SurveyPal,” said Zetterberg. “What we say is that you don’t only get a customer survey platform, you also get the pal who is willing to help you whenever you have any questions.”
Surveypal maintains this aimable image, in part, by reaching out to customer’s preemptively over the phone to ensure satisfaction. They have integrated Talkdesk’s software with Salesforce and Zendesk to give their customer service agents access to extensive information about customers before they are on the line.
“What’s great about Talkdesk,” said Zetterberg, “Is that we’re able to see all of the conversation in our CRMs so we can keep everything in sync. That’s really helpful when we have these conversations.”
Zetterberg went on to describe how these integrations were easily set up within Talkdesk. “It’s pretty much plug and play,” he said.
Shamia explained that this functionality was one of the motivating factors behind the creation of Talkdesk.
“We integrate as many customer solutions as possible so when the phone rings, the agent on the outside understands the customer journey immediately,” said Shamia.
Talkdesk’s software is intuitive, flexible and powerful. Improve your company’s customer service today. Get a live demo and see the difference real-time support can make.