Customer Service Tip of the Day: How to Implement Human-Centric Customer Service

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Human Centric Customer ServiceDo you know what one of the most chal­leng­ing issues fac­ing call cen­ters and large cus­tomer sup­port ser­vice providers is? It’s not the com­mon irri­tants you may typ­i­cally think of, such as high-employee turnover, upset cus­tomers, or lack of qual­ity agent train­ing. While these are all dif­fi­cult chal­lenges, they’re not the main chal­lenge – they’re actu­ally often caused by the root prob­lem, which is:

Anonymity.

Yes. Anonymity. What do we mean by that? Anonymity occurs when your cus­tomers feel that that they are an issue, not a per­son. They are not an indi­vid­ual, but rather an inter­change­able entity that could be any­one. They have been reduced to a com­plaint, a problem.

Anonymity occurs when you have a cus­tomer ser­vice approach that is based on issues. If your agents are just pulling cus­tomers from a queue, and all that your agents see before they speak to a cus­tomer is: A customer’s name, issue reported, the customer’s con­tact info, and the issue’s sta­tus, then chances are, your agents are going to be solely focused on the prob­lem instead of the cus­tomer – the cus­tomer becomes anony­mous and will be treated accordingly.

To com­bat issue-centric cus­tomer ser­vice, today’s Cus­tomer Ser­vice Tip of the Day may be a new idea to work into your vocab­u­lary and prac­tices: Human-Centric Cus­tomer Service.

Issue-centric cus­tomer ser­vice is based solely on solv­ing prob­lems, rather than cap­tur­ing a customer’s story. If you only focus on get­ting a prob­lem solved and mov­ing to the next per­son in the queue, you lose out on the oppor­tu­nity to cap­ture more infor­ma­tion that could assist with improv­ing your product’s fea­tures or your service’s capabilities.

In con­trast, human-centric cus­tomer ser­vice is based on peo­ple and their sto­ries. Agents are pre­sented with dig­i­tal pro­files that include back­ground infor­ma­tion about the cus­tomer, the customer’s his­tory with your com­pany, and per­sonal infor­ma­tion. Your cus­tomer ser­vice reps get a chance to “meet” the cus­tomer prior to help­ing him or her, which increases the chance that your agents can build a con­nec­tion with the per­son. A more per­son­al­ized approach leads to a warmer inter­ac­tion, helps fos­ter empa­thy, and, with a full his­tory on your cus­tomer, it allows your agents to engage in cross-selling and up-selling oppor­tu­ni­ties based on spe­cific prod­ucts that could be a good fit for a par­tic­u­lar customer.

How to imple­ment the cus­tomer ser­vice tip of the day

There are numer­ous prod­ucts on the mar­ket, such as desk.com, which offer cus­tomer rela­tion­ship man­age­ment (CRM) solu­tions that go beyond basic infor­ma­tion and allow you to cap­ture details on a plat­form catered to human-centric cus­tomer ser­vice. Whichever prod­uct you end up choos­ing, make sure that your agents are trained prop­erly on how to work with the pro­gram, and that you work with them to develop a per­son­al­ized approach to han­dling cus­tomer issues. A great tool, after all, is of lit­tle use if the user doesn’t under­stand how to man­age it.

With a rich CRM pro­gram that cap­tures a customer’s per­sonal infor­ma­tion and his­tory, along with ded­i­cated train­ing that is focused on rela­tion­ships, rather than issues, you will be chang­ing your company’s par­a­digm from “putting out fires,” to “build­ing loy­alty,” and most impor­tantly, your cus­tomers won’t feel that they are anony­mous when they call your company.

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