Hi Garyfallos, tell us about yourself and your background.
Operations Manager of Tuff Pupper and CEO of Icy Melon Marketing agency, with 8-year background in Digital Marketing and E-commerce. Have managed successfully the expansion of numerous brands on Amazon’s platform. Self-taught digital marketer and holder of a bachelor’s degree in International Business and Economics.
2. What is the biggest misunderstanding about customer experience, in your opinion?
Biggest misunderstanding: Customer experience and customer service are not synonyms. I come across a lot of people that seem to confuse the 2 as the same concept. Customer experience begins from the moment someone enters your sales funnel, regardless of where specifically that is. Customer service is confined within Customer experience and focuses on solving a specific customer-related problem plus communication.
3. What are some of the newer CX companies/solutions you’re keeping your eyes on right now?
Any solution that can deliver on mass personalization at scale will definitely be the next big thing. We have to compete against giants like Amazon and we don’t have the same resources. Searching for something that somewhat closes the gap reliably and predictably.
4. What can companies do to improve customer loyalty and retention?
Focus on reliable, consistent experience and establish efficient SOPs that will ease all customer service stress from customers. It starts with clearly communicated rules and understanding that sometimes rules are made to be broken but only in favor of the customer. Don’t focus on re-inventing the wheel. See what works for the leader of your market and the standards that have been set. Meet them. Only then try to improve them
5. What do you think is most relevant and why: CSAT (customer satisfaction score), NPS (net promoter score), or CES (customer effort score)?
By focusing on CES and how easy your clients perform certain actions when interacting with your brand, you will improve both CSAT and NPS as a by-product. We never focus on just one metric though.
6. How can companies better use social media in the era of customer-centricity and personalization?
By creating custom audiences and offering the right experience to the right group of people, at the right time. There is no one size fits all. If we take advantage of all the data social media give us, we will be able to understand the complete customer journey, reduce cost and improve the efficiency of our operations. Never rely on one channel though and always aim to own the data.
7. What is your opinion on AI-based chatbots to handle customer support?
It is a proper way to segment customers based on their customer service preference. Some prefer to speak directly with a representative. Others think it’s a waste of time. My preference is to provide a fast route to a direct chat because I still believe in human interaction. Chatbots are not so evolved at this point or maybe customers have not adopted them completely yet. Start with bots and transition to representatives. Follow what the market leader does if possible.
8. What was the best movie you saw that has come out during this past year?
I really liked “The Gentlemen”. Ι am a huge Matthew McConaughey fan and I loved the pacing of the movie. A solid film all around.
9. Last but not least, what is your favorite CX metric?
Does customer satisfaction count? I love that one!