Customer support, FAQs, call centers…these are just a means to an end. How to become customer-centric and how to bring your team Onboard on this journey.
This week I had the pleasure to interview Aurore Lanchart, a customer experience professional here at Station F in Paris. Aurore is working at Clind the app that makes you learn new things every day, remember what matters, and share it with the people you care about 🙂
“We are nothing without our customers”.Aurore lanchart
Great entrepreneurs provide value for others, that is a simple fact. We cannot exist without our customers. History is full of companies that have tucked their heads down and avoided talking to customers. Yes, history, because these companies did not last long. The services industry is based on the interactions with the customers, the attitude, honesty, the willingness to help…and the 21st-century digital revolution brought that to scale. Consumers now prefer brands that show care for their customers, and rightly so. 70% of millennial business owners will take their business elsewhere after just one bad customer support experience, according to salesforce.
Customer Experience, the beating heart of your company:
This renders Customer Experience to be the beating heart of every company, linking all the departments, from marketing to product, to sales. CX helps us understand the people who are buying into our value propositions. Why they do it? How they experience the product? and how they talk about our product?
1.Who: by investing in a customer-centric culture, we get to connect with the people that love our product. Thus, we understand who they are. The implications here are huge, this helps us sell to them. Knowing who is your customer may sound easy but is truly a trivial process.
2.What: we as entrepreneurs have a vision for the world, we do our best to bring it to fruition. But the market always wins. Only by talking to customers that we understand what the “true” problems are out there. No business model nor product ever survives the first contact with customers, let alone product features. Customer experience management can serve as the starting point for feature ideation.
3.How: Business can be summed up in two islands and a bridge. The two islands are the market and the product, and the bridge between them is the “go-to-market strategy”. Investing in Customer Experience can help us understand where to find our customers, how did they hear about us, and how to market to distribute the product to them, thus fueling our growth.
Bringing your team onboard:
1.Support calls: these calls can be a gold mine. Many experts go to the length to argue that every employee within an organization should spend some time doing support calls, to have empathy for the customer.
2.Shadowing on calls: on the other hand, Aurore came with an interesting concept. Where engineers and staffers can sit on the calls and shadow customer support agents. This both guarantees that they are involved enough in the process without taking away from the craft of the support agents.
Paul English, Kayak CTO once mentioned “The engineers and I handle customer support. When I tell people that, they look at me like I’m smoking crack. They say, “Why would you pay an engineer $150,000 to answer phones when you could pay someone in Arizona $8 an hour?”. If you make the engineers answer emails and phone calls from the customers, the second or third time they get the same question, they’ll actually stop what they’re doing and fix the code. Then we don’t have those questions anymore.
“Treat your customers as you want to be treated”
It boils down to a simple fact, it’s all about the human connection. People can get angry, but you have got not only to be understanding but to provide them with an outlet to dissipate that anger and focus on problem-solving. According to salesforce, users now are more leaning into self-service tools to find answers, and they prefer to let the human call be the last resort, no one wants to be a burden.
Tools and hacks to improve the customer experience
Many companies provide FAQs, Forums, Social media accounts…in the hopes of giving people the answers they need. For scaling software companies, Aurore argues that chat-based products like Intercom can deliver great value for both the support team and the customer, but needs change as the company scales, which brings the need for more sophisticated support and ticketing solutions like Zendesk. Hardware companies find themselves not finding the right tools for the job, or resorting to solutions built for software. We at Onboard have built the right tool for hardware makers. As it is a one-stop-shop, including ticketing, instant chat, and product manuals. Integrating Onboard is very low friction, all you need to do is just design your product manual (which you probably already have in PDF or DOC)on our platform and we will handle everything else for you on the cloud.
Who am I and why you should trust me?
Well Hi! I am the founder of Onboard, and I spent 5 years of my life working on 3D and spatial UX, basically the art of human interactions with 3D digital objects. I joined forces with my friends, and our expertise as technical founders lies in cloud software,3D, and CRMs.And we built Onboard just for you, click here and we will build you the first manual ourselves 😉