Why You Need to Prioritize Customer Service Efficiency Now, With Gabe Larsen

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In this episode of the Customer Service Secrets Podcast, Gabe Larsen dives into why CX efficiency is a must for any company that wants to be successful, especially in the time of the modern customer. We find that so many leaders fail to be customer-focused and often lack the tools necessary to be effective. Tune in to the full podcast to learn more so you can be prepared for any situation.

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Defying the Odds in Crazy Times

Life doesn’t come with a handbook and no one can predict catastrophic world events that alter the course of business forever. That’s why it’s so important that CX teams are adaptable and that leaders equip their agents with the tools they need to be successful regardless of circumstances. Gabe explains that when big events like global pandemics happen, customer service inquiries skyrocket across all industries, and underprepared teams fall flat and end up losing customers. As Gabe says, “Being efficient and effective, it’s just not really optional,” meaning that either you’re prepared for customer surges and can take their inquiries head-on because your staff is properly trained and equipped, or you’ll lose customer and employee loyalty

To keep up with the challenges of running your business in crazy times, Gabe suggests that teams need to be able to connect with each other wherever they’re working from. If they’re at home, they should be able to tap into AI to handle smaller, more easily resolved customer issues. “With the right technology agents can focus on building relationships with customers. They can automate routine and mundane tasks. They’ll produce happier agents. They’ll produce better experiences for your customers.”

The Most Valuable Traits of Successful CX Teams

Wondering what it takes to make your brand stand out against the competition? Well, wonder no more! Gabe gives listeners the most common and valuable traits he sees with successful CX teams, traits every leader should instill in their organization. The first is empathy, which is the ability to see things from your customer’s perspective while providing support. Engineers and UX designers need to have empathy for the customer while designing a product, just as CX agents need to practice empathy when speaking with their customers. 

Two is personalizing service for a better experience. Customers want to feel valued and what better way to do so than using data to your team’s advantage? AI and data collection equip agents with the necessary information to personalize the experience and to make customers feel listened to.

The third trait of successful teams is their ability to provide service quickly. This ties into number two through the importance of equipping agents to do their jobs better with the power of data and AI. The benefits of these awesome tools are limitless, as they give customer insights the agents wouldn’t typically see otherwise.

Lastly, Gabe emphasizes omnichannel support, as this allows agents to meet their customers on whatever channel they’re most comfortable with. Adding to this, flexible policies and proactive outreach give agents the ability to lead how they see fit, all while still providing a fantastic experience within the proper context.

To learn more about CX efficiency and why it’s important now more than ever, check out the Customer Service Secrets podcast episode below, and be sure to subscribe for new episodes each Thursday.

Additionally, check out our five-step guide on how to develop a more efficient and effective CX strategy at your organization.

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Full Episode Transcript:

Why You Need to Prioritize Customer Service Efficiency Now with Gabe Larsen

Intro Voice: (00:04)

You’re listening to the Customer Service Secrets Podcast by Kustomer.

Gabe Larsen: (00:10)

Welcome everybody to the Customer Service Secrets Podcast. You got your host, Gabe Larsen. Today, we talk about why customer service efficiency is truthfully more important than ever. Now, even during the best of times, businesses, have to strive to be more efficient. There are always things to improve upon. Always more customers to service, always proactive outreach too. But sometimes I find when circumstances shift somewhat quickly and businesses are asked to do more with less, it really brings to light the importance of this idea of efficiency in overall customer service. Now, we did a survey of over 150 customer service professionals to better understand how they are being impacted by the pandemic, how their business is adjusting as a result, what customers are expecting during their greatest times. Now, one thing that became abundantly clear is that being efficient and effective, it’s just not really optional.

Gabe Larsen: (01:25)

Now across industries, customer service teams are seeing about a 17% increase in customer service inquiries during the global pandemic. Now phone inquiries are seeing the largest uptick with a 34% increase, followed by email, 28% increase. Web, 24% increase. Now social channels were being impacted the least with only a 7.2% uptick. Now not only are companies handling more conversations, but they’re also doing it largely in a remote environment. As we know, 39% of respondents reported difficulty working remotely and 23% reported that they did not have the correct tools in place to successfully work in a remote environment. Wow. Look, it’s essential to have a customer service efficacy strategy and really the correct technology in place to handle bursts of activity and enable productive remote work, for tools that leverage AI and intelligent automation to power self-service and low-level information gathering. Those ones become extremely important.

Gabe Larsen: (02:44)

Why? Well, this will free up agent time for more high-level and urgent support while allowing customers to get their questions answered instantaneously. With the right technology, agents can focus on building relationships with customers. They can automate routine and mundane tasks. They’ll produce happier agents. They’ll produce better experiences for your customers. Ensuring that the technology you have in place allows for collaboration between remote team members is also extremely important. It allows you so you can pull in necessary individuals to solve customer issues quickly. You should be able to manage your team with confidence, even if you can’t be right next to them. Having a view into what your agents are working on, and truthfully being able to intervene if necessary, I think is one of those foundational points of successful remote CX teams. And maybe most importantly, your customer service platform should be easily connected to all of your agents with that basic internet connection and a standard browser.

Gabe Larsen: (03:50)

Now, how are organizations adapting? I think some of the circumstances that we’ve seen change around this whole pandemic have driven some real changes for organizations. Now, unfortunately, 63% of CX organizations reported a need to cut costs during the global pandemic with 46% reporting a need to reduce staff. Yikes. All of this means customer service efficiency, it has become even more important. 59% of respondents said there is a need to adopt more automation for efficiency. 56 said there is a need to invest in new technologies. And unfortunately, customers aren’t giving businesses a break when it comes to speed. Quick service, it’s one of the top three most valued customer service attributes during this time. Doing more, doing more, doing more with less, it’s the name of the game. So put the tools in place sooner rather than later, to adjust to these different changes.

Gabe Larsen: (04:56)

Now, what do CX teams need? Here are a couple of stats. 63% of CX organizations reported the need to cut costs. We mentioned that one. 46% of CX organizations report the need to reduce staff. 90% report they need to adjust policies. 56% report the need to invest in new tech. 59% report the need to adopt automation and 80% report the need to reach out to customers proactively. What do you think the most highly valued customer service attributes are in order of importance? Here they come. Number one, is empathetic service. That continues to be. Number two, is personalized service. Three, quick service. If they want to, empathy, it still is on top of that. Next, flexible policies, proactive outreach, and then omnichannel support. They want to meet you where they are, right? While the current environment, I mean, it changes and it continues to change.

Gabe Larsen: (06:06)

It’s still important to properly prepare for extreme circumstances if and when they do occur again. We don’t know what the future holds. That’s one thing we’ve learned over the last few years. Am I right? You can certainly check out more of these great tidbits that I went over today in a report that we had published called How the Global Pandemic is Impacting Customer Service Organizations. But I wanted to just take a minute, dive into that idea of why customer service efficiency is more important than ever. So thanks everybody for listening and has a fantastic day.

Exit Voice: (06:55)

Thank you for listening. Make sure you subscribe to hear your more customer service secrets.

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