EPIC Customer Service Explained


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In this video, Alex Mead, Customer Service Experience Leadership & Transformation, explains what EPIC stands for in customer service.

What Is EPIC Customer Service?

So, each letter stands for a word:

  • the E is for Easy,
  • the P is Personalized,
  • the I is Intuitive, and
  • the C is Contextual.

So great customer experience should be easy, personalized, intuitive, and contextual.

A thumbnail image of Alex Mead
Alex Mead

I used to think you need all four, but I think they’re easy because they’re personalized, intuitive and contextual. But the one that’s missing without doubt is context.

Because if you think about it, most business’s brands force customers down the same linear path. So you have a chatbot, or you send an email, or you send a message, or you phone a call centre queue and hit an IVR.

If it’s about a new booking press one, if it’s about a delayed flight press two, etc. if you’re blue, silver, gold. And so you’ll go in the queue based on the type of issue you have and the type of customer you are.

But if you think about it, the flight I was on was late, so I’m going to miss my connection. And the connection I’m taking is for my daughter’s wedding where I need to be walking her down the aisle so I can’t miss the next flight.

Compared to the businessman, my flight’s late, I may not make that connection, what other options do you have for me? The context is hugely different, isn’t it?

Almost every human situation is different, but companies don’t allow context in their journeys. So what we need to get to is a place where, and it really does need to be a natural language interface I think, where the ChatGPT4, all this stuff could really help.

But okay, if a customer says, “Hey, I’ve just missed my flight, I may miss my connecting flight. I really need to be there because I need to walk my daughter down the aisle.

Somehow we need to pick that up with analytics, and think right, that’s different to the businessman’s “what options have you got for the next connecting flight to New York? I’ll sit in the lounge and drink champagne for the next 4 hours.”

But no company thinks that. That’s why context is the most important aspect. But if you think about why is it easy?

Because when you’re a customer in that situation you want to get a solution that serves you, rather than an answer.

And even a lot of the AI chatbot engines say okay you can go to our website for your new flight options. What, you’re sending me to a website? I’ve told you what my issue is. If it’s low context then I’ll expect you to give me something not amazing.

EPIC Customer Service - Easy, Personalised, Intuitive, Contextual

But if I’ve told you the context for me is really huge, then I want you to treat that differently. And then if you think about personalization, you’ll be asked what flight are you on? Which airport did you take off at? What?

You know all of these things about me. Remember this thing called a passport.

And when I made the booking, you know my age, you know my sex, you know everything about me. Probably a lot more than you will reveal.

But you make me answer these questions that you should already know. And even I’ve seen, okay what time did your flight land? You don’t know? You’re the airline. So personalizing it is important. And then that’s where intuitive comes in.

If a customer starts to reach out imagine, Oh my flight has been delayed by 2 hours. I’m either on the plane using the onboard Wi-Fi during a chat or I’m phoning you, maybe as I’ve just landed or about to board, intuition would say, we can see that customer’s flight is going to take off 2 hours late and they may miss that connection.

So let’s assume that’s why they’re contacting us and give them something amazing. Okay, Alex, we’re really sorry, you won’t make that flight, here’s your options for the next flight, press here to confirm. And think of those principles for every interaction, we don’t experience them, they don’t happen, do they?

And that’s why I say customer service is just getting worse because that sounds like a pie-in-the-sky vision and it’s actually not that complicated to deliver, but I don’t see any companies treating me that way personally.

If you are looking for more great insights from the experts, check out these videos next:

Author: Alex Mead
Reviewed by: Robyn Coppell

Published On: 16th May 2023 - Last modified: 15th Nov 2023
Read more about - Video, , , ,

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