With Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens set to debut in just a few days’ time, we couldn’t be more excited. The decades-old space saga is sure to send us on a new, fantastical adventure, complete with lessons on friendship, family and the Force (and of course, lightsaber duels).
In the midst of all this excitement, we realized that there were a few things we could learn from Star Wars about customer service. So now, we’re bringing insights from a galaxy far, far away a little closer to home.
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda
Yoda gives Luke this advice when he’s training in the swampland of Dagobah, but you don’t need to be in a galaxy far, far away to learn from these insights. That’s because in customer service, your job is to do, and do not. Do whatever is in your power to solve the customer’s problem. Don’t leave them with a bad experience. You can’t just attempt to do something, you need to follow through and be consistent. Then be able to provide good customer service you will.
“Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.” – Princess Leia
When a customer comes to you, they may have tried using a variety of different channels to get help and might be at their breaking point. They really are counting on you to help solve their problems. In fact, a Zendesk study found that 88% of customers said problem resolution was important to them (89% said speed of resolution was important as well). Take a look at past customer interactions to help inform your current interaction, increasingly the likelihood that you’ll be able to solve their problem, or at least direct them to a person who can.
“Great, kid. Don’t get cocky.” – Han Solo
Being able to solve a customer’s problem quickly and effectively is a wonderful feeling. However, one good experience doesn’t define them all. As customer service Jedi Shep Hyken states, you need to provide a consistently great experience: “Confidence comes when the customer knows what to expect, and gets it every time.” One great experience can help build the foundation of a great relationship between company and customer, but only consistency can ensure that that bond stays strong.
“I find your lack of faith disturbing.” – Darth Vader
Customers have lost faith in customer service agents’ ability to help them—just look at the Comcast cancellation call and the fallout that followed. Perhaps this is because customer expectations are pretty high. Research has found that over 60% of customers expect agents to be more knowledgeable, and 37% expect to be able to contact the same service representative regardless of the channel they use. But don’t lose faith—most customer service agents do a great job of meeting customer needs. In fact, in response to a demand for omnichannel customer service, 35% of agents are now multiskilled across various communication.
“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi
In customer service, it can be easy to get distracted and solely rely on metrics to gauge your performance: CSAT, NPS, etc. However, while these numbers are a good benchmark, each interaction is unique and deserves to be treated as such. The average handle time might be under three minutes, but if a customer will need more help than can fit into that timeframe, you have to set the numbers aside for a moment and recognize that good service can’t always be quantified.
“You have that power too. In time you’ll learn to use it as I have.” – Luke Skywalker
Just as a padawan needs training before he’s ready to become a Jedi, so do customer service agents need training to provide great service to customers. Over 30% of agents think training would increase their engagement and loyalty. In addition, 29% of employees believe the ability to learn and get trained quickly is an attribute that is important to their employer. By taking time to focus on the employee experience and develop their skills, companies can empower agents to empower customers through regular training, one-on-one support sessions and more. It’s a win-win!
“Judge me by my size, do you?” – Yoda
With the rise of cloud-based products and SaaS model pricing, companies of any size can now provide great customer service. For small, growing companies, establishing a close working relationship and providing great service is crucial, as that will be how you maintain and grow your customer base. For bigger companies with a larger customer base, it’s still important that you don’t let great customer service fall by the wayside. Even if you’re dealing with a high volume of customers and working against preset metrics, make sure each interaction still has that human touch.
“No, I am your father.” – Darth Vader
You didn’t think we wouldn’t include this one, did you?