In BPO, we often talk about how we deliver the best possible customer experience. We focus on training knowledgeable and empathetic agents, we run and rerun staffing simulations to ensure minimal wait times. These things are important, but, for the most part, once a customer is reaching out to us, it’s already a ding to the overall customer experience. Customers want an easy experience that works as it should and is intuitive.
In short: the best experience means I never have an issue, the product has all the features I expected, and I never have to spend my time reaching out.
I recently purchased a pair of sunglasses from a brick and mortar Warby Parker. I was annoyed to learn the specific glasses I had gone to buy were out of stock but they would ship them to me for free in about a week. I tracked the package and noticed the day it was scheduled to be delivered; it was still about 2000 miles away with no expected delivery date.
I would have to wait even longer for a product that I thought I would be able to walk out of the store with a week earlier. Frustrated, I opened my email to find my receipt so I could call and share my frustration with WP and see if there was any information they could share. As soon as I opened my inbox, there was an email from them. It read something to the effect of:
We are sure you’ve been keeping an eye on the delivery status of your glasses that were to be delivered today. We have, too! We see they did not make it on time… we are not sure why that is, but we are looking into it. In the mean, we’ve refunded $10 on the purchase. Also, we will continue to watch and if they are not delivered within a few days, we will send you another pair on us!
Wow! This is brilliant on multiple levels. It’s great for the consumer, it’s great for the company and the brand. Let’s break down the beauty of this approach:
Diverted the call
Analyzing call drivers and determining which type of support issues can be deflected can create a better CX and reduce support volumes (i.e. save money) for the company.
In this case, WP sent me an email before I could call, which worked wonderfully. Depending on your top call drivers, other solutions are improving self-help articles to include how-to videos, like Zoom has done.
If you have a product where people are often contacting to give suggestions/ request features, perhaps try a virtual suggestion box. Not only do you divert the call, but you also get empirical data on what your customers want.
Anticipated my frustration and resolved it
A popular support center metric is first-call resolution. It makes sense as to why we measure this… if the customer has their issue resolved upon the first call, they have received the correct information from the agent and know what to anticipate next.
They spend less of their time trying to seek resolution, and the company is spending less money trying to resolve that ticket. Win-win.
However, what WP did was to take this a step further. It is a no-call resolution. They knew that a delayed package would result in contact, so they sent me an email answering all my questions (when will I get my package? What if it still doesn’t arrive at all?) and a nice surprise of a little money back.
I knew, that even if I hadn’t gotten my glasses in a few days, Warby Parker was aware of it and would ship new ones and send me an email letting me know. I was never going to have to reach out.
They created a brand ambassador
Obviously, this purchasing journey did not go perfectly. There were two times along the way that I was frustrated. However, as a reasonable person, I understand that out of stocks and shipping issues arise. Between their thoughtful proactive communication and the fact that their Lindley sunglasses make me feel like Rihanna, I am a customer for life.
Don’t get me wrong, customer support is critical. I’ve built my career on it. When a customer contacts, it is an opportunity to turn a negative experience around, retain that customer for life, and create an ambassador to recruit even more customers for you. During that phase of the customer journey, we should absolutely focus on creating the best possible experience which requires a focus on hiring, training, workforce, coaching, and all the complicated operations of a support center.
However, being smart and proactive with call driver analysis, and listening to the voice of your customer, can sometimes prevent that interaction from even being needed in the first place, which is truly the ideal experience.
Photo by Pablo Fernández licensed under Creative Commons.