Niamh Reed

Live chat is not a silver bullet for CX issues

Technology is too often treated as a plaster for customer experience issues. Companies turn to software tools in the struggle to deliver great CX – particularly when those tools are popular options. For example: Company A is lacking when it comes to delivering a great...

The IKEA effect and the importance of personalisation in online experience

You probably already know the value of personalisation in customer experience. But do you know about the IKEA effect? The IKEA effect is a phenomenon in which consumers place a higher value on things they have helped to create. That is, the fact that...

Live chat and customer anxiety

Customers come in all moods and mindsets. Some are confident, some are angry, some are calm, some are anxious. And when it comes to customer service, some contact channels are better suited to different moods than others. Customer anxiety, in particular, is tricky to...

From tapeworm to rape: cautionary tales of chatbot tuning

Even the best and most advanced chatbots can find themselves out of their depth. For most, this results in an error message and a second attempt. For some, it leads to concerns, public discussions or even outrage. Two prominent chatbots have recently blundered and...

The decline of support tickets

Support ticketing systems have long been a foundational aspect of the helpdesk. They allow agents to collaborate, prioritise and manage every support query they receive. Now, we’ve entered an age suffused with real-time conversation and fast resolutions. More customer contact channels allow for live...

Learning styles and the importance of versatility in customer service

Versatility in customer service comes in two forms. The first is the ability of the agent to adapt their explanation. The second is the ability of the customer to choose the most appropriate channel for them. Different people learn and understand the world in different...

Using empathy as your customer satisfaction currency

It’s a common belief that customer service is all about solving problems. A good customer experience comes from delighting customers with solutions and rewards. Meanwhile, a bad experience comes from not finding a solution to the problem. It is (of course) true that solving...

The Three Billy Goats Gruff and the customer journey

Do you remember the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff? In it, three goat brothers longed for the grass on the other side of the river. But the only way to get there was a troll-guarded bridge. After making the effort to...

Customer service conversation killers

In a customer service context, conversations are more fragile than we might initially think. Agents are from Mars, customers are from Venus. In support interactions, this often manifests in crossed wires, missed meaning, and a sour service impression. The simplest mistakes — the wrong word...

An idle brain: customer service enemy number one

Our brains hate being idle. It's why we get annoyed if we must wait for something, but not when it takes us longer to work towards that something. Unfortunately, idle brains become particularly irritable during customer service interactions. Think of how much you hate...

Common hurdles to customer service accessibility

Customer service accessibility is too often viewed as just another buzzword for businesses to throw around. In reality, accessibility is not a buzzword, or a bonus, or a boardroom trend. Accessibility is a cornerstone of great customer service. For the customer, support is only ever...

Customer service worst practice: everything you shouldn’t do when supporting customers

There are a few things that you absolutely shouldn’t do when supporting customers. Being deliberately insulting, swearing and simply not responding are all obvious contenders. But there’s more to the list than these obvious no-nos. While there’s plenty of material out there giving great...

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