This blog features a recap from the MaxContact podcast Talk Time which hosts key thought leaders to discuss emerging trends, industry insights, and innovative technologies that help contact centres optimise their customer experience.
When it comes to customer service, there’s no denying that people need to come first. But what does it have to do with achieving top-notch customer service?
On the fourth episode of Talk Time with MaxContact, Sean McIver speaks with James Vukashin, National Director of Contact Centres at Veezu. James shares his perspective on why people need to come first to ensure exceptional service, the importance of supporting hyper-local communities, and how to transform customers into brand advocates.
James is an accomplished senior business leader with a proven track record of successfully leading operational teams and executing strategic business transformations. He is deeply committed to providing exceptional customer service and is driven by a passion for helping people reach their full potential. Throughout his career, James has worked across various industries, including finance, retail, automotive, food, transportation, utilities, and telecommunications. His experience spans both in-house and outsourced contact centres, including BPOs and offshore operations.
Hiring the Right People
One of the key factors James highlighted for achieving customer service excellence is hiring the right people. Companies must invest time and resources in identifying candidates with the necessary skills and characteristics to thrive in CX-related roles, including empathy, active listening skills, and the ability to handle challenging situations.
Moreover, it’s crucial to hire people who can work collaboratively with cross-functional teams and have excellent communication skills to ensure a seamless CX across all touchpoints.
When recruiting for his team, James looks for a mix of reliable individuals with knowledge from various industries, good communication skills, outside-the-box thinking, and eagerness to learn. Having the right people on board is crucial in ensuring a great customer experience.
Additionally, employee satisfaction should be a priority for businesses as research shows that a good company culture increases customer experience by upwards of 75%.
Nurturing Customer Relationships
Building great customer relationships comes down to building trust with people by delivering consistently good service. James emphasised the importance of his team keeping their promise of providing high-quality service and doing what it takes to keep customers satisfied. Trusting his team is crucial in maintaining customer satisfaction. Moreover, it comes down to “putting yourself in the customer’s shoes.”
Furthermore, building strong, long-term relationships with customers can lead to increased customer loyalty, retention, and advocacy. To nurture customer relationships effectively, companies must focus on things like:
- Customer feedback;
- Proactive communication;
- Personalised touchpoints;
The Power of Brand Advocates
Transforming customers into brand advocates is a great way to encourage proactive support. These are people who are loyal to a brand and willingly share their positive experiences with others. Brand advocates can be a powerful force in creating a successful CX strategy.
However, to harness the power of brand advocates, brands must prioritise creating an exceptional customer experience that exceeds expectations. They must also build authentic relationships with customers, regularly solicit feedback, and show appreciation for their loyalty.
For James, the best way to achieve this is by taking a delicate approach, doing something proactive with them, like sending a thank you message, providing good service, or even asking them to review the service. Engaging with advocates through social media, exclusive events, and rewards programs can also help to grow these relationships.
Satisfied customers with a positive experience are more likely to advocate for the brand and help build a positive reputation. By cultivating brand advocates, you can create a sustainable and cost-effective marketing strategy, build long-term customer loyalty, and drive business success.
“In terms of basic roles in the contact centre, these are as important now as ever, and that’s because people like to speak to people. It’s because they trust it more than a computer or AI technology, want a quicker answer, or don’t like using technology.”
In short, achieving customer service excellence requires a people-first approach, hiring the right people, supporting hyper-local communities, building great customer relationships, and transforming customers into brand advocates. By following these principles, businesses can build a loyal customer base and maintain a positive reputation.
Listen to this episode of Talk Time with MaxContact and find out more about why people always come first in customer service and how to transform customers into brand advocates.