Customer Experience News & Trends

4 tips for better service from front-line, award-winning professionals

To make your customer experience better, invest in only one thing: your people. They can improve everything from satisfaction to sales. Here’s proof from the front line.

Companies often invest in the newest technology — after all, customers claim they want speed and convenience — to improve the experience. But research continues to show that customers’ interactions with employees impacts their level of satisfaction most.

In fact, more than 75% of customers say that service is the truest test of how good a company or brand is, according to an Aspect Software study.

That’s why Safelite AutoGlass emphasizes, encourages and trains employees to give customers a personalized experience. Then the company celebrates the greatest examples of that and helps everyone in the organization learn new ways to impress customers.

Here are three of their top stories — from winners of the company’s International Exceptional Customer Service Award — and lessons everyone involved in the customer experience can use:

1. Connect first to understand better

Even with the growing number of ways to get self-help, customers still call companies more than anything when they need help.

So making a real-time human connection early in a conversation is vital to the success of a call and the overall experience. No one knows that better than the reps at Safelite’s Central Contact Center. They took overflow calls from the United Kingdom for six weeks to help their colleagues “across the pond.”

They had to quickly get familiar with different dialects and language uses — such as “windscreen” instead of “windshield” and “postal code” instead of “zip code.” And they had to start taking calls at 3:30 a.m.

But taking the time to learn about differences and acknowledge them helped the team connect with and handle 40,000 customers — plus win the company’s highest service award.

“It was a very positive experience,” said Jenny Guroy, director, sales center contact center operations. “Very hectic, but that’s the world we live in.”

2. Know your stuff — and share your stuff

When customers contact a company, they want courtesy and expertise. The person they talk to needs to be nice and know the right answers the first time.

Luis Bucksbaum, a Safelite Tech in Iowa City, IA, prides himself in practicing his craft of helping customers by solving their problems.

“He impresses our customers so much that there are several of our larger accounts that send Christmas cards to him personally every year thanking him for all he does,” says his Safelite manager Bill Seibel.

But he also believes in helping his colleagues so they have more skills to help customers and make experiences better. His co-workers call him a “powerhouse” when it comes to assisting them — whether he’s giving new employees tips or stepping in when anyone needs help to get a job done.

That kind of collegiality improves overall customer satisfaction.

3. Do something they least expect

Customers have grown to expect great service from Safelite. They don’t expect — but truly appreciate — this unique token of appreciation that District Manager David Cahill suggested:

Cahill and his employees work in an area where there are a lot of active and retired veterans. He wanted to show those customers appreciation for their dedication to our country. He knew about valor coins that the military awarded and discussed a similar idea with a colleague who was a veteran.

“We just wanted to find a way to build our relationship with our military customers” Cahill said.

So he and some colleagues designed a coin, had a lot made and gave them to technicians to give to military customers. One side contained a thank-you message to the military member. The other side was a Safelite logo. Cahill and technicians practiced shaking hands so the logo was upright on their hands. Then, when they shake and release, the thank you message is facing the customer.
Now employees throughout Safelite are giving their special Valor Coins to customers, making those customers feel appreciated.

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