"Customer Service is Sexy!" That's how the day kicked off in New York on April 28 at our second CX Summit. The event brought together about 100 founders and executives from some of the world's fastest growing and most disruptive companies to discuss innovation in customer experience and the future of customer support. With 23 great speakers from companies including LinkedIn, Harry's, Shopify, GE, Turo and Simon Property Group, there were a number of topics and sessions for attendees to choose from. Unlike your typical conference, our CX Summit was filled with honest discussions on real challenges, a behind-the-scenes type look at a lot of the issues facing hyper growth companies today.
The first presentation was a panel on future-focused, innovative products that are aiming to improve the customer experience. The panel included DigitalGenius, a Human+AI customer service platform that automates and increases the efficiency of customer support conversations, Gorgias, a smart learning chrome extension that helps with automated templatized responses, Kustomer, an intelligent CRM platform focused on the customer, and Troops, a tool that seamlessly uses commands in Slack to update and pull information from Salesforce.
Later on in the day, we had a workshop with Jordy Leiser from StellaService that talked about the flip side: humanizing the customer service experience. StellaService recently launched Stella Connect, a tool designed to help customer actively collect customer feedback on the performance of their teams to understand how their customer service reps (CSR) are performing. The focus is really on how satisfied customers are with the human connection and experience they receive. A feedback email is sent to a customer immediately after the service interaction occurs that includes a photo and bio of the CSR they interacted with. They are prompted to rate the experience on a star system and provide further qualitative information, ultimately choosing a reward for the CSR if they did a good job. This information flows directly into the real-time dashboard for each CSR with hopes of motivating and rewarding the individual as well as providing visibility to management.
Here are a few more key learnings from the day:
- Remember the Rule of 10 - When your business is scaling quickly, things change in the blink of an eye. Think of the rule of 10. When solving an issue, look for a solution that can address the issue when it is 10 times in magnitude. Issues scale up faster than you can plan for or even imagine. If you have to make a decision, before you set anything in motion, think about whether your decision will be the same in 10 hours, 10 days and 10 months.
- Demand Culture in Your BPO Partner - Don't underestimate the importance of culture when choosing your BPO provider. Culture drives positive retention scores, and brings in better recruits. Employees are more engaged, and have a greater concern for customers resulting in higher CSAT scores. Additionally, companies that outsource with a BPO should be engaged in the whole process and visit their offshore team regularly to develop relations with everyone. Not only are a company's relationships with their customers important, but a company's relationship with their customer service team is also extremely important.
- Unite Cross-Functional Departments - Although two completely different departments, customer service and engineering can gain a lot from working together. Bugs and issues logged with the customer support team ultimately filter back to the engineering team to fix. For the engineering team, having all relevant information and data pre-filled is important for them to complete their roles. For the customer support team, having the issues fixed is important to them. Having the customer support and engineering team interact with one another creates appreciation for each of their roles.
The day ended with an inspiring presentation on how company culture is important in providing a great customer experience. Think of company culture like a stool. Hiring the right people is one leg on the stool, providing a good working environment is another leg and having the proper skills and training is the last leg. All three work together to build a strong company culture and ultimately, a high performing business. Without the right people, a strong company culture and the skills and training necessary to do a good job, your customer experience is likely to suffer. The customer experience starts from within. And your company culture starts with your people and your management.
So, yes, the future of customer experience can be a bit overwhelming. But if we can agree to not settle for the monotony of generic customer support and break through traditional norms, the future will certainly be revolutionary. We are pleased and thankful for the coming together of brilliant minds in the space to tackle these challenges and strive for greatness.
See you in October in San Francisco for our third CX Summit.