Customer experience isn’t about experience at all. It is about relationships – Interview with James Dodkins of Pega

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Today’s interview is with James Dodkins, CX Evangelist at Pegasystems. James joins me today to talk about some new research that Pega has just conducted, some of the results, the big trends and shifts that are driving the future of customer service and a webinar (registration link) that they are holding next week (Oct 4th) as part of Customer Service Week.

This interview follows on from my recent interview – CX professionals extol the importance of empathy towards external customers but often overlook its importance with internal ones – Interview with Jack Springman – and is number 441 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.

Here’s the highlights of my chat with James:

  • Pega has recently conducted some new research which has found that the entire customer service landscape is changing.
  • The future of customer service is going to be focused on generating sales.
  • This is a foundational shift not just in customer service itself, but in the purpose of customer service.
  • It’s going to be about delivering the best service you can so that your customers want to buy more stuff.
  • Zig Ziglar: “If you help enough people get what they want, then you’ll get what you want.”
  • If you help people solve the problems they have then you build a relationship, you build trust and credibility, and then the sales will flow as a result of that.
  • Customer experience isn’t about experience at all. It is about relationships. It just so happens it’s the experience that helps build the relationship.
  • One of the big findings in the survey was that in some markets, millennials and Gen Z’s are already the largest group of consumers.
  • These two groups together represent, the first two generations of consumers to grow up digital digitally native.
  • Their digital native tendencies will drive a radical reshaping of what constitutes good customer service.
  • In fact, the shift has already happened, we’re taking time to catch up with it.
  • There’s six main elements that apply to pretty much every experience: easy, fast, convenient, trackable, personalised and predictive.
  • Those six things together are really going to make up customer service in the future because those six things are the core elements to really, really good customer experiences.
  • There’s no excuse anymore for service not to be proactive. It’s what people expect.
  • 54% or orgs. said that their biggest customer service challenge was moving from reactive to proactive and preemptive.
  • However, 76% said it was a priority for the future of their customer service.
  • One tech company we worked with managed to achieve a 56% reduction in their average handle time by taking a more proactive approach to their service.
  • Check out Edward T Hall’s 1966 book The Hidden Dimension about how we make human connections and relationships.
  • Figure out how to forge relationships that otherwise wouldn’t have been forged.
  • Thinking about proactive service. Imagine if you extended that by a dimension and included your customers in it. What about if we thought about it not from a problem perspective, but from a relationship perspective, and we were proactive about the relationship?
  • There’s a potential opportunity to stop thinking about proactivity solely in a service domain and to think about it also in a relationship domain.
  • James best advice: Talk to your customers.
  • James Punk XL brand: Disney

About James

James DodkinsJames Dodkins is a Customer Experience (CX) Evangelist at Pega and a multi-award winning expert on customer service. He is also a two-time #1 Best Selling Author and the Ex-host of Amazon Prime’s weekly topical CX show, ‘This Week In CX.’ In his role at Pega, James researches the mindsets, principals, and philosophies of companies that deliver what he calls ‘Rockstar’ customer experiences, and shares best practices through training programmes, video content, and keynote talks. Previously, James was an award-winning rockstar, playing guitar in a popular heavy metal band. He released albums and performed on stages all around the world.

Check out Pega.com, say Hi to him on Twitter @JDODKINS and connect with him on LinkedIn here.

Oh, and do check out and register for the (free) webinar here: Trends Driving the Future of Customer Service.

Photo by 愚木混株 cdd20 on Unsplash

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