Here we are in 2022, a decade full of opportunities and challenges no one could have conceived only a few years ago. Our families need us, our friends need us, our countries need us, and hidden amongst these needs is an implicit truth more important now than ever: our customers need us. Imagine the cashier wearing a contagious smile, or the support email which asks how you and your family are doing? These moments of kindness, compassion and empathy are in this day and age a brand’s greatest asset.
We can implicitly understand the importance of caring for your customers, but for several years now, the data has been showing much the same:
- A customer is four times more likely to move to a competitor when facing a service-related issue rather than a price or product-related issue.
- From a purely financial perspective, it will cost six to seven times more to bring in a new customer than it does to retain an existing one.
- If a customer has one negative experience it takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for it.
- 70% of buying experiences are simply based on how the customer feels they are being treated.
What is Compassionate Customer Service
Compassionate customer service is taking an interest in the customer’s problem and treating everyone with dignity and respect. This could be implemented by using empathy and understanding the changes in a customer’s tone and voice.
Treating your customers with compassion and empathy are now must-haves, not should-haves. And the uncharted waters of the global pandemic have emphasized this fact even more. The global pandemic has led to digital-first communications now being the default between customers and businesses. It’s less common to go into a store with a problem — the primary means of getting your problem solved is through phone, email, chat or social media. Therefore, the main cues a customer service representative uses to understand a person’s emotions (body language, tone, etc.) have been stripped down significantly.
Organizations must take this opportunity to invest in the heartbeat of their brand’s resilience, and taking care of your customers is where you must start. Below are the different areas in which your team can develop a heightened approach to compassionate customer service:
Imagine you are running a pet grooming business, and supply your staff with hedge trimmers and power hoses, how happy do you think the pets and their owners will be? The same logic is fundamental in how you support your front-line support agents. Ensure they have a full-spectrum, omnichannel view of customer history, enabling them to treat people as valued individuals.
Having full context on an individual level means customers are effortlessly understood. It’s important for agents to have the context they need to pre-empt and solve problems and exceed expectations. It is then that they are equipped to provide compassionate, human-centered support.
Lead by example. Before expecting your employees to provide world-class, compassionate customer service and support, you must prepare them and care for them at “home”. Think about things like compassion training, support coaching, platform training and any other form of investing in your customers’ caretakers.
3. Tone & Language
With human interactions, one can utilize body language, notice visual queues and react in ways simply not possible in the digital realm. For all online or voice support, tone and language are crucial to achieving positive, efficient and compassionate customer service.
When it comes to supporting your agents, who take on challenging and pressure-filled conversations regularly, brands can leverage an internal knowledge base (IKB) , multi-language tools and short or “canned” responses. The IKB offers answers, support, and advice on dealing with any number of customer service scenarios, offering an agent their own repository of self-help in a predetermined language and tone. Multi-language tools such as snippets, in conjunction with shortcuts in Kustomer, offer agents contextual, error-free, multilingual canned responses which are simple to use and provide perfect tone and language, enabling agents to support customers worry-free.
4. Customer (Human) First
Remember that each customer is not a ticket, but a person with needs. How is their day? How are they feeling? Start and end each interaction with a compassionate human touch, and your customers are sure to notice the difference. Just like a smiling cashier, or happy delivery man, these small details can make a world of a difference.
5. Understand Emotions
What is the general sentiment of your customers? The way in which you interact with a customer drastically shifts if, before starting on the conversation, you already know how they are feeling (natural, positive, very angry, etc). With Kustomer IQ, sentiment analysis takes zero human effort and allows for segmentation or prioritization of negative sentiment. “I understand that you’re not so happy right now, I’m here to make things better.” Proactive and compassionate messages like this can make a world of difference.
6. Reporting & Analytics
Once you’ve built up a repository of customer interactions, analyzing and understanding themes and patterns becomes essential for resiliency and customer success. What are your top five contact reasons and how can you create proactive solutions to these key customer challenges? Through these insights, could you begin to develop deflection strategies?
7. Artificial Intelligence
You understand why your customers are writing in, you’ve built better operational/product efficiencies to resolve some inbounds, but will always get questions such as “where is my order?” (WISMO), cancellation/refund requests, etc. With the advent of Kustomer IQ, you can now deflect such repetitive questions and enable your customer to walk through quick and easy self-service. This allows them to receive the fastest resolution and decreases overall inbound demand on your customer service teams.
8. Routing & Assignment
With the remaining inbound conversations, it is important that the customer’s query gets to the right agent as efficiently as possible. It is incredibly inefficient to have humans manually delegate support requests when a queues and routing system can do this quickly and efficiently. This allows managers to focus on other priorities, and strengthen the team’s overall experience. Conversation Classification allows you to proactively tag or assign contact reasons to conversations and use this prediction to route the conversation directly to the required team. When done well, this will allow your team to resolve all issues within their scope and mandate, not wasting time rerouting or escalating conversations meant for other teams or departments.
We hope it is quite evident that empathy, compassion and an authentically personal customer experience will add priceless qualitative and quantitative value to brands and customer experience across any vertical. In this day and age, humans want to be treated like individuals. When these practices are combined with a technologically sound support system, organizations will see decreased inbound requests, increased brand advocacy, and provide an enjoyable experience for both customers and customer experience specialists.
So how do you transform your customer experience strategy from a one-size-fits-all approach to a one-size-fits-one? Get our free guide which can show you why personalizing your support strategy is crucial for your business — and how to do it.