Customers want a good experience. A big part of that is exceptional customer service. Don’t confuse the two. The experience is everything from navigating a website, to how easy (or difficult) it is to reach a salesperson, to the way a product is packaged (think about how cool iPhone or iPad packaging is), to the availability of parking spaces, to how friendly the employees are, and beyond. It includes everything. And while many people think of customer service as a department that reacts when the experience goes wrong, my definition is much broader.
Customer service is philosophical. It’s part of the culture. Everyone, from the CEO to the most recently hired employee, is part of customer service and, for that matter, the customer experience. Every single employee has impact on either the outside customer, an internal customer, the experience the customer receives—or all three. I thought it would be interesting to get a deeper understanding about what customers want—and don’t want.
When it came to contacting what people often refer to as the customer service department, respondents appreciated when agents demonstrated knowledge and expertise. We’ve learned that there are two levels of knowledge. The first is that customers want agents to know about the products and services the company offers. They want answers to their questions and a quick fix to any problems or issues they have. In addition, customers want agents to know who they are. With all the technology available today, there is no reason that every agent—or any other customer-facing employee—can’t have access to basic information about the customer that would enhance the experience. Just knowing a little history about customers’ past purchases, buying patterns, issues, etc., can go a long way in giving agents information they can use to give customers a better experience.