Technology and the Customer Experience

Technology and the Customer Experience

Customer experience takes a big chunk out of the Breather priority cake. Getting good and bad feedback is the best step to making our app better and to making sure our customers have the greatest experience. Our Director of Customer Service, Kurt Wilson, gives us a few insights on how technology facilitates a better customer experience.

I’ve been working in customer service and sales for the last 20 years, and there’s one common goal that I’ve seen every company trying to achieve, an exceptional customer experience.

Exceptional customer experience is hard to achieve because, until recently, the Customer Service Professional had only anecdotal information about the cause of the breakdown and no data support.

What the customer to Customer Service Professional relationship was missing was the technology to track that anecdotal information. Taking the burden off both the customer and the Customer Service Professional to track and provide that data.

In most cases, once that customer has to call you, you’re already in a deficit. As I tell all my new hires, no one calls in to tell you how good you are. Generally speaking, customers are having an issue that needs to be solved. Of course, that’s what customer service is about, the ideal would be to fully understand the why and the what behind that contact. Having this information is not only critical to be able to provide feedback to other departments to prevent that issue in the future, but to be able to assist and coach the Customer Service Professionals.

In a traditional contact centre, contacts would be measured through the IVR (that annoying selection process where you mash the keyboard until you get to a live person), or it would be through reviewing contacts or through focus groups with the customer service professionals or by sitting down and listening to calls/reading chats. All of these options are okay, but they really don’t allow a company to understand exactly what is happening, instead it creates this fuzzy idea. Furthermore, this fuzziness also means that any feedback from the services teams to other departments are often not regarded as high-priority because the feedback is often seen as anecdotal.

Fundamentally, the customer service team is one of the most important customer feedback loops that a company possesses. I am fortunate enough to work for a company that understands this. Breather has allowed me and my team a free hand to build the structure that allows us to not only collect, but disseminate information to the rest of the company so that we all are apart of the solution.

The primary tool that we use is Zendesk, and every single phone call, email, chat, social message, basically everything is routed through it. Although Zendesk is a fantastic ticketing tool and provides tagging, the out-of-the-box version on its own doesn’t provide the level of detail that we needed or wanted.

So what we’ve done is made a few hacks and included additions that allow us to do the things that we want to do (and I could talk about those forever), however, the one addition that’s most pertinent to this article is the addition CloudSET Conditionality. What this app has allowed us to do is build a tiered tagging system that allows us to capture the data that we need to effect change in a very real way.

This tagging system obviously needs to balance the burden on the CSP to fill it out, versus the level of detail required to make certain and lasting change. The way that we’ve leveraged CloudSET is to create a series of conditional fields so that there is a natural and intuitive path to capture the data. For example:

Our tagging system allows us to know very detailed information about the the issue, what happened, when it happened, where it happened and who it happened to, not to mention all the other system information that we collect as well. All this information is gathered and entered in Zendesk at the end of every contact. This means that we don’t need to ask the customer in IVRs, surveys or another other feedback mechanism WHY they are contacting us because it’s tracked. This removes the burden from the customer of having to provide the same feedback in multiple channels, and at the same time we’re creating a database of customer issues that we can slice and dice to provide insight into what happened.

Even more important than collecting the data, is the ability to USE the data and report on it. The contacts that we tag are all stored in the database (don’t worry folks, no personal data only info pertaining to the reason of the contact) which we can query through Good Data and subsequently build a series of automated reports. These reports, with insights, are shared with the Operations teams in market and the Product team at HQ so that we can take the necessary steps to resolving issues before they happen.

What we ultimately want to do is ensure consistency as the network grows, and further to that, anticipate potential issues ahead of time when we launch new markets. We are fortunate enough to have the infrastructure in place to do this. Ideally, through technology and feedback, we consistently reduce or even eliminate any predictable issues for our customers.

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