In the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray plays dreary weatherman Phil Connors, doomed to repeat his conversations and interactions again and again until spurred by the revelation that he can change everything simply by improving his interactions with other people.
Having to repeat yourself again and again is no holiday, especially when it comes to customer service. Forrester research analyst Kate Leggett in a recent blog, says, "Customers dream about personalized, contextual, proactive customer service experiences.... They want each interaction to add value and build upon prior ones so that they don't have to repeat themselves and restart the discovery process."
So how does an organization ensure that their customers never have to repeat themselves in a customer service version of Groundhog Day?
- Listen intently. When interacting with customers, create a personal experience; call the customer by name, and listen intently to the information they're providing so that they never have to repeat themselves.
- Note what's important. Utilize customer service software to document each customer's product or service information, specific support issues, past customer service interactions and all-important feedback.
- Employ agile channeling. Keep a record of your customer service interactions across all your communication channels using a unified system. If you don't, you'll frustrate your customers by making them repeat their information every time they reengage with your organization via a different channel, and your staff will waste time by gathering the same data over and over.
- Don't let your customer service be shadowed by daily repetition. Publish answers to common and repetitive customer service questions in an online knowledgebase so that your customers don't have to ask (and your staff doesn't have to answer) the same questions again and again.
- Adjust your future actions based on what you've learned. Use the information and feedback you gather from each consumer to improve the way your organization interacts with customers in the future. Make it an early spring for better customer service!