Getting EPIC Customer Service Right

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In this video Alex Mead, Customer Service Experience Leadership & Transformation, outlines what companies have to do to get EPIC customer service right.

How to Get EPIC Customer Service Right

A thumbnail image of Alex Mead
Alex Mead

There should be no such thing as digital transformation, digital is just a channel. And if you think about it, you can have the most amazingly attractive websites and you can have natural language, but to me, everything in customer experience needs to start with a foundation.

And the foundation is you need a CRM system, something to record all the interactions on, and you need that CRM system to be linked to other backend platforms so you can pull meaningful data through. But what you need to do is make sure there’s a foundational structure.

And it’s a crazy rule of thumb, I’ve no idea how it happens, but I’ve never been in an organization where there are more than 6 to 8 primary reasons why a customer wants help. And if you think about primary and secondary, we’ll stick with the airline.

Okay, is your question about a flight you’ve booked, a flight you want to book, or a flight you’re about to take, a flight you’re on, or a flight you’ve taken. It will only be one of those, won’t it, so think about it, it’s one of those.

And then you click ok it’s a flight I’m about to take. What possible secondary questions could you have from that? And then a flight I’ve already taken. Okay. What possible questions could you ask about that? It could be a delayed flight claim. It could be a lost bag. It could be how do I get a taxi at the airport.

You know, think of all these things and create that hierarchical tree for primary reasons, secondary reason, and if you need it, tertiary reasons, make that the framework of your CRM systems.

Every interaction is recorded with a primary, secondary, and potentially tertiary reason. So a customer that goes to your website, or your app, talks to a chatbot, needs to have the same structure as your CRM system.

Is your question about a new flight, an existing flight, a lost bag? And you can just click those two (or three) icons and then you already have 90% of the reason why that customer wants to talk to you.

And that’s when you have to be intuitive and say, right, this customer is asking this about a flight they’ve already taken and a lost bag claim or lost bag update. What do we already know about that? And it’s terrible, ah yeah, we can see the customer raised a complaint two days ago, you know, so think about that.

EPIC Hierarchy of Contact reasons

But then that’s the nuts and bolts. It’s the foundation. But then going to context, what if someone says in that lost bag is my daughter’s wedding dress. That’s a different context to I lost my bag with my pants and underwear and socks for holiday in Magaluf.

And you know, you have to put the foundation in before you do the clever stuff on top, because otherwise every customer’s going to say they have the most complicated issue in the world. It’s so stressful for me.

So put the foundation in and then think to yourself, think of the personas, the types of customer situations you have. Not every customer, but the customer situation.

A mother with three toddlers and a baby who’s stuck at an airport, flying economy class is going to have different needs to a businessman who is sat in the business lounge. But they can have the same type of issues.

So think of all the situations where you have the primary and secondary contact reason and then what are the potential golden moments in that. Missed a flight, the thing that they need to get the next flight is vitally important.

And then you can make the call on is this something we should do something special about? Sometimes you may say no, sorry we can’t help, it’s not our fault, or it’s not in our realm of capability to fix it. But you need to identify those and then build everything around that structure.

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: 6th Jun 2023 - Last modified: 15th Nov 2023
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