It’s hard to believe the way businesses used to tack on customer service to their products as an afterthought. It was as if to brazenly say, “We know you’re not going anywhere.”
It seems that’s the only thing they knew for sure. Unfortunately, when it comes to the details that really matters, these companies are mostly clueless. They don’t know who their customers are, what they’re trying to achieve with their product, what they need to get more out of their products. You know, the really important stuff.
Luckily for customers, a business like that will have a hard time surviving in today’s customer-centric environment.
A new bar is being set by some amazing businesses today, and while it looks like they’re going above and beyond, it’s set to become the new normal. The new standard of customer service is high – and it looks nothing like what you’ve seen before.
The single view of the customer changes everything
Imagine what’s possible when you have context. Interactions can be individual and incredibly precise.
Now, look at the way support teams are able to use this data to achieve real-time results:
“Insurance giant Nationwide puts a lot of stock in its customer experience, so they knew they needed to find another way.
One of the best stories they told me was about a customer whose RV broke down on vacation,” Pisoni says. “The local broker told him he wasn’t covered, so he called Nationwide corporate.” It was a complicated problem, and the customer service rep didn’t know how to solve it; in the old model, the case would have taken days. rep posted the issue internally, got colleagues involved from claims and product, and they figured out that not only was the guy covered, he was also eligible for emergency funds. He was on his way without a huge bill in three hours.”
- Both customer service team + company have access to a complete customer history
- Multiple teams collaborate using the same up-to-date information, from product to payments
- They’re able to ditch the script and actively work across the company to resolve the matter
This remarkable case shows that the individualized support experience is becoming the norm, rather than an exception. Armed with information and access to one another, teams are more agile than ever.
If that seems like a time-sensitive story, try this scenario that took place on a Virgin Train:
A 16-year old kid on a train to Glasgow used the bathroom and realized there was no toilet tissue left. Nightmare.
Think about all the moving parts that had to come together behind the scenes to get this kid an emergency roll of toilet tissue.
First, it would have had to catch the eye of an eagle-eyed social media manager who would have to respond quickly. They would have to start forming a super quick game plan. They’d have to coordinate with train staff and perhaps even ground staff. The toilet tissue deliverer would have to get the all the critical details fast (not a second to lose!) in order to have a successful final hand-off.
All this leads us to one conclusion:
This seismic shift is made possible by having a single view of the customer, but that’s not all it takes to deliver standout service.
Much of what great support requires goes beyond just “knowing your customer.” It’s about putting together lots of moving parts and bringing together multiple teams and elements to deliver quick, individualized help. This requires quick thinking, speed, and an unprecedented level of collaboration across a company.
Having a single view of the customer is both a great power and a great responsibility. We may have all this incredibly valuable intelligence, but it’s no competitive advantage until you become truly responsive to your customer, especially when they really need it.
This blog was written by Nandini Jammi. Nandini is part of the growth team at Kayako, where she’s helping build the global customer support community. You can find more insightful posts for the customer obsessed on their blog.