Hi Errol, tell us about yourself and your background.
I am an operations consultant where I assist my clients in creating internal operations consistency, leading to good experiences for both internal and external customers. My customer experience journey began as an agent on the phone a loooong time ago (lol), then progressing into management, and eventually into starting a consulting company.
What is the biggest misunderstanding about customer experience, in your opinion?
The biggest misunderstanding about customer experience, in my opinion, is that the experience begins when the customer calls, arrives, orders online, emails or chats. I believe a company predetermines the customer’s experience by the way it chooses to train customer-facing employees along with whether or not the company is focused on examining and improving the processes that impact customers. When employees are properly trained and the processes are both employee and customer-friendly, the customer’s experience should be positive.
What are some of the newer CX companies/solutions you’re keeping your eyes on right now?
As I have several clients in the Property Management industry, Rent Bridge has caught my eye as it helps companies to incorporate automation into their day-to-day processes, which in turn leads to internal consistency.
What can companies do to improve customer loyalty and retention?
I feel that companies can improve customer loyalty and retention by:
Ensuring that customer-facing employees are properly trained (product/service knowledge, customer service skills) and properly managed. Well trained and objectively managed employees have a tendency to stay with a company, which leads to customers receiving a higher experience level as the retention of well trained/managed employees means they have a higher level of product/service knowledge, which leads to customer loyalty, which then leads to customer retention.
I believe that a company’s ability to retain customers is directly connected to its ability to retain employees. Getting customer feedback expediently after the customer interacts with the company.
Making sure the product/service provided to the customer is of high quality.
Allowing ease of user experiences for customers when they choose to self serve.
Remembering that metrics should be customer-focused. Customers are not interested in how many widgets you make per hour or day. They’re only interested in how long it takes to receive the one that they ordered.
What do you think is most relevant and why: CSAT (customer satisfaction score), NPS (net promoter score), or CES (customer effort score)?
Well, when thinking about these 3 metrics, they’re connected in the sense that the CSAT and CES metric results can certainly drive the NPS metric result. When the CSAT and CES metric results are high, the NPS metric result more than likely will take the same path.
How can companies better use social media in the era of customer-centricity and personalization?
Companies can better use social media to engage with customers. Give customers the opportunity to become fans of the company by posting about products/services and encouraging customers who’ve had great experiences to do the same.
What is your opinion on AI-based chatbots to handle customer support?
In my opinion, AI chatbots must be able to effectively/efficiently address customer support requests. The customer should not feel as though they are going around in circles when utilizing the chatbot. I wonder how many companies are measuring how many customers start with a chatbot but eventually seek live assistance?
Last but not least, what is your favorite CX metric?
My favorite CX metric is retention because the results – positive or negative – should encourage companies to get the story behind the retention number. Why is the number what it is? What is driving the number?