Bringing Sexy Back to Customer Service

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As 2015 approaches, customer care organizations are setting priorities and thinking outside of the box on how to deliver amazing customer experiences. Customer service is becoming a differentiator for many businesses. How are they doing it?

Maria Hamm, head of customer experience and customer service at DHL Freight Nordics and Baltics says she’s “bringing sexy back” to customer service by starting with her staff.

“Proud, engaged and motivated staff work with passion, “ said Hamm. “We have a lot of customer insights already, but I would like to empower our staff to take more ownership, make improvements quicker, and act proactively when possible.”

What does “sexy” mean for customer service? You can inject some spark into your customer service with these seven sexy attributes.

1. Compassionate
The first step toward compassion is being able to listen intelligently to your customers. You’ll never know what they find appealing if you can’t detect sentiment that goes beyond rankings and ratings. Find out what your customers think is “sexy” by making sure you’re gathering free-form feedback from multiple channels, and looking for key themes.

2. Proud
Hamm says that one of her key priorities for 2015 is helping the team to feel proud about the work they are doing. “Bringing sexy back to CS for me is making sure I have a proud department which is recognized in the organization. For too long CS has been a department of young unskilled staff, with low salary and a high turnover of staff. Today many people, especially in DHL CS are very skilled and the turnover is low but the assumption of the department remains. We need to shake that image off.”

3. Personal
Get personal with your customers. Even if your business hasn’t invested in tools to help you understand each customer’s unique needs, a small bit of personalization can go a long way. Calling a customer by his/her first name is often an unexpected and welcome touch.

4. Consistent
While consistency might not always be sexy, lack of consistency is a definite buzz kill. Think about the various channels by which your customers interact with you. Call center? Website? In-store? Social? If your brand has a super slick and sexy website, but you ignore them on social media when they have a complaint, then the sexiness of the website may no longer matter.

5. Fast
This one may be a no-brainer, but failure to get it right will definitely annoy, frustrate and even anger your customers. Hamm emphasizes the importance of acting proactively. Customer service staff can only be proactive when they are aware of common complaints and potential issues.

6. Unified
From an internal perspective, customer experience becomes sexy when it’s everyone’s job—a common mission that’s part of the company culture. Organizations that work in silos and do not share customer feedback data are missing the big picture of customer experience.

7. Energized.
If senior management isn’t excited about delivering superior service, then employees won’t be motivated. Energy is contagious. It will spread throughout the organization if properly cultivated.

If your customers are feeling “turned-off” by your bland customer service, ignite them in 2015 with these seven sexy ingredients.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Number 2 is a big one. If people don’t feel respected in their role and there is no room for growth or advancement, it leads to unhappy agents, which is a turn off for the customer. Customer service is one of the most important departments in a company and the employees need to feel valued.

  2. Diana, that is so true. I recently had to call into a customer service center regarding a holiday purchase I made online. The woman who answered my call sounded like she was on the verge of quitting her job. As a result, I was very turned off and will probably not be shopping at that site again.

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