After a few years in the world of customer success and experience, I’ve come to the realization that I am now a CX snob – I steer clear of companies who I know have a bad reputation for customer experience and gravitate towards those who I know are excellent.
Luckily, working at Sparkcentral means you get to work with dozens of companies who put their customer’s experience first. Being in the CX field for a few years means that all of my decisions go through a vetting process:
- Does the website feel customer friendly? If I open a website and it’s clear to me that they are trying to avoid me getting in touch with them as much as possible and hide important information – PASS.
- How easily can I sign up? Get stuck somewhere or need to switch channels to complete the process? PASS.
- How easily can I contact customer service? Is it only phone, email, or the kind of live chat that has me wait for 10 minutes and doesn’t let me take the conversation with me? What are their response times on social? Do they offer in-app messaging or WhatsApp? If you don’t offer an easy contact solution, again – PASS.
Gartner has long called customer experience the new competitive battlefield and they’re right – I find myself making decisions every day based on my experience with a company.
How I put myself in my customers’ customers’ shoes
As a Client Partner at Sparkcentral, I am the single point of contact for our customers. This means that I need to get to know their business inside and out so I can provide them with the best customer experience. That’s right – it’s a CX double feature – I have to consider how OUR customers experience our service as well! To do this, where possible, I try to be my customers’ customer.
This means, for example, that every time I go to a city with a citizenM hotel, I stay there. The last time I stayed at the Schiphol location, I walked into my room after a long day (flying back and forth to Prague in 1 day to visit another valued customer) to this lovely little personalised note:
After a long day of traveling since 4 am, that note certainly made my day. When I walk into any citizenM hotel I feel like the employees there are old friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. They are open, friendly and genuine. This hotel should be the benchmark for CX, in my opinion.
CX makes or breaks my desire to do business with a brand
It’s not just hotels and retail where I make decisions based on my CX experiences, it’s also in the utility sector. I switched power companies based on my experience with a particular client of mine – I knew they had in-app messaging and are happy to help with every question asynchronously so I could pick up the conversation any time convenient to me. After a year of using their services, I was so happy with the experience that I committed to a 2-year contract – all arranged over in-app chat!
Of course, this goes hand in hand with the question we posed a few weeks ago about whether consumers actually want a relationship with their brands. As a Client Partner, I see the relationship as reciprocal. My customers have a relationship with me, and in turn, I try to have a relationship with them where possible. I fly Emirates from Brussels Airport, ride with Careem when in the Middle East, and for those customers whose products I can’t try out I read reviews, and test out everything I can to help me fully understand their customer experience strategies. This knowledge then translates into my work with each customer and helps me personalize the service I provide them.
Being my customers’ customer is key to providing top-notch customer success. It may have turned me into a CX snob (which to me, is the new norm), but that only drives me to help my customers achieve their strategic goals even sooner!