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You Are Not Your Customer

Our Intelligentics team was recently coaching a client’s customer service agent for the first time. She exemplified one of the common struggles we encounter in our assessment and coaching of front-line agents. She thought that her customers were just like her. Most people don’t stop to realize it, but we all tend to let our egos assume that we are “normal” and whatever you like or don’t like as a customer must be the same thing that all of your customers think, as well.

In this particular case, our newbie CSR was struggling with the expectation of making sure that the customer didn’t have any other questions, or expressing to the customer that you’re ready and willing to help if they need anything in the future. As with all of our assessments, we don’t stipulate how a CSR says, writes, or expresses it as long as it’s there to be clearly received by the customer:

  • “Anything else?”
  • “What other questions do you have?”
  • “Any questions?”
  • “What else for you?”
  • “If you have any questions let us know.”
  • “If you need anything, you know where to find me.”

There are multiple reasons for the consistent inclusion of this service skill for this particular client. Intelligentics’ research of their customers showed low satisfaction levels for resolution, courtesy, and professionalism. Most importantly, making sure all questions are answered or issues resolved is the number one key driver of satisfaction for their customers. And, even if the customer has no more questions or issues, a simple “What else can I help you with?” is a professional and courteous way to leave the customer with the impression of wanting to serve them.

As the coaching session continued, the CSR reported a conversation she had with a family member. She explained to this family member that she found the notion of asking the customer if they needed anything else was redundant, unnecessary, and the most overused question in business. The family member balked and explained that they always expect a company to make sure their issues are resolved and not doing so significantly diminishes their satisfaction. That did it. “It’s not what I want,” she said, “but if it’s that important to customers then it’s not that hard for me to do.”

We then got to share some data with her. In the year since the implementation of our Service Quality Assessment with its on-going assessments, web-based agent feedback, and quarterly coaching, the following improvements were realized in their customer’s satisfaction:

  • Customer Satisfaction with Resolving my Questions improved by 13.5%
  • Customer Satisfaction with Courtesy and Friendliness improved by 9.6%
  • Customer Satisfaction with Professionalism improved by 11.2%

There you go,” the CSR said looking at the data. “It’s not something I care about, but obviously our customers do. So, I’ll keep doing it.”

Exactly. You are not your customer, and assuming so may just be the disconnect that is keeping you from meeting and exceeding your customers’ expectations, keeping them coming back, and retaining them long-term.

We at Intelligentics would love to help you and your team find out what is driving your customers’ satisfaction, assess where your team has opportunities to improve your customers’ experience with each interaction and help train them to bridge the gap.