From script to human:
The switch to wintertime not only means an extra hour’s sleep (or for night-shift workers, an extra hour’s work), but also a period of reflection. For example, many people rethink the status of their energy contracts, a process that inevitably leads to contact with a customer service centre. In an age where digital bots and scripts are often the norm, customers crave the human touch. The question is: how do we facilitate real conversations in an increasingly automated world?
The customer service revolution
The person behind the service:
There is a person behind every conversation. Customers appreciate a personal touch, which can be critical to building loyalty and increasing Net Promoter Score (NPS). According to a Salesforce report, customers who feel valued are seven times more likely to recommend a brand. An authentic interaction can be the difference between a one-off transaction and a lifelong customer.
Hiring: look for the right skills
When building a customer service team, it is the soft skills that make the difference. Empathy, active listening, and adaptability are essential to building authentic and effective customer interactions. As Jim Rohn, a well-known business philosopher, said: “The effective communicator is someone who understands the other person’s problem.
So, what exactly does an authentic, good conversation look like? How do you make sure your people strike the right chord when they can really make a difference?
The traditional script can provide a safety net, but it can also be a barrier to genuine human interaction. It is important to coach a team that thinks outside the box, encouraging them to make empathetic and informed decisions. By creating a safe environment where people are encouraged to learn and grow, you build customer service that adds real value to the customer experience. A binary rating system of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ does not fit; it is about fostering a culture of trust and continuous improvement.
Real conversations, real results:
While technology is increasingly central, maintaining the human factor in customer service can be a differentiator. It is not just about answering questions, it is about building valuable relationships. A 2020 study found that scripted responses from customer service agents was one of the main causes of customer frustration.
Wintertime symbolizes more than a seasonal change; it reminds us of the value of personal interaction in an increasingly digital world. If we have the courage to let go of scripts and invest in authentic, human conversations, we can create customer service that not only meets, but exceeds expectations. This perspective on customer service is a spur to embrace the human factor and invest in real conversations that make a lasting impact. We would love to meet with you to discuss how we do this every day for many prominent brands.
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