Humanizing the Customer Experience: Recipes for Customer Success (Part 2) w/ Shep Hyken

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

How many times have you tried to interact with a chatbot on a website, only to find yourself talking in circles? You ask a question, it gives you an answer you don’t want, so you ask it a different question, and it gives you the same answer you didn't want.  


Either the chatbot is terrible, or you’re asking the question the wrong way.  

So do we toss AI in the garbage? Not by a long shot. 

On this 2nd part of our 2 part episode with customer service expert Shep Hyken, we conclude our conversation with Shep, and talk all about:   

  • Why we should be putting AI in the hands of the agent 
  • Why a simple change at the airline counter would revolutionize the entire industry, but nobody will do it.  
  • Why the customer isn’t always right 
  • How to deal with trolls as a customer service rep 

That's why the bars set high. Today,customers are smarter than before. They know what good services they know, whatthey can get from other companies and when they don't get it from thiscompany, they get disappointed. I call that the experience gap welcome to the conversations thatmatter podcast from uniform the podcast that dies into real conversations, a dthat are happening in contact centers around the world per ial experience, exciding interviewswith well known outleaders Ar compelling stories from industryacperts gain fresh insights on context, ind our best practices in more to graba geverage and tune N, as we get real with conversations that matter. Welcome back to the episode ofconversations that matter, a podcast from unifor eme host Ranic SAR intoday's episode. We continue a conversation with customer service,expert, Shephican and part one. We discuss best practices as well as howcustomer suxperience can be a philosophy and really a culturalmovement, an a company and part to we dive into Ai, as well as some practicaltips on how to deal with Irat customers, and we know we've all dealt with thatso enjoy this podcast and, as always, make sure to write your review on Applepodcast or your favorite podcast player. Take care this s great, it's a good conversation,so the next one. As you know, customers have a wealth ofinformation and dad in front of them. They are sometimes smarter than thebrand that they're calling into or that they're interacting, with least theythink they are the they think theyare I mean I do this to a bike shop to say, Heletona, whoever, whoever it isJaamazon, so they expect more right an and I think they also listen to how Ifeel we're comparing the services that they receive, based upon an amazingexperience that we had another company like this should be the same. Thisother company did this. Why can't you do that? That's what happens to that'swhy the bar is set high. Today, customers are smarter than before. Theyknow what good services they know, what they can get from other companies andwhen they don't get it from this company, they get disappointed. I callthat the experience gap yeah now, that's a great at's, a great term. Sothe question that I have I mean relate to: that is: How can data and AI helpthe customer service experience and meet those expectations? That's that's.The questions like the Dat is there for, for companies that are calling in andAI, hopefully can help kind of boost. Sure sure. So Ai is great an and a lotof times. PEOPLE THINK AI is there to support the customer in the form of achat. Bat. Okay, AI is also used by companies to interpret data faster thanthe human can interpret data, but I believe the same as a customer woulduse AI and a chatbot. Why not give the opportunity for the agent to use a I ina Chatba, that's agent to computer, not customer to computer, make sense yeah.The reason is is because oftentimes and I'll give you an example: I bought acomputer and then I needed a docking station and my question was: Does thedocking station when you plug in the computer and now you can use a keyboardand external monitor in a mouse? Will it also charge the computer? That wasmy question. Will the docking station charge the computer so the Little ChatBot box opens up? I type them my question and the responses whichcomputer do you want to buy, not which computer do I have which computer do Iwant to buy? I already have the computer I'm interested in the tockingstation. Will it charge the computer when I attach it to the docking stationor do I need a separate charging device yeah next response? What computer areyou interested in buying same same questions before, what's obvious sowhat's happened is apparently either the chat bats really bad chatback, forI am not phrasing the question properly. So now I'm frustrated. So I'm going tocall the agent the agent may know the...

...answer off the top of their head, butalso the agent may know because of training. They know exactly how to askthat question to get the right answer: Giteness Yeah, so the Nice thing isthat support can go to the agent and then the agent can interpret based onwho their customer is and a little bit of information. They have few extraquestions they might ask they can give that customer. The exact right answernow here is what else is really cool about AI and supporting the agent if weare the type of company that has thousands of customers and many ofpeople listening do to the show. If we have that the the artificialintelligence will not only be able to help me give the customer betterquestion, but it'll also help me know who that customer is it'll. Look athistory, it'll, look at buying, patters, it'll, look at support patterns andit'll. Tell me a lot about this customer that I didn't know or couldn'tget even by asking a few questions. That's a really important piece. Secondthing is thea. I can also look at this customer and say this. Customer is justlike two thousand other customers who have bought the same products who havecalled about this exact situation. Not only this they're asking this question,here's the next question they're going to ask here's the next product that youshould suggest selling to them, so there's so much benefit to ai,supporting the agent versus the customer that I think we need to reallytake a close look as to how we're using I when it comes to ai an aunomation. IM an that's something hat that we work on a lot with our clients and from yourperspective, when you think of automation and customer service was thefirst word that comes to mind from an organization perspective. Well, youknow chat back yeah and how about from a Customer Perspective Froma? Well,that's whyt, I think, is a customer because there's I am now digitallygetting my experience rather than humanty human, but automation wouldmean also. I mean it would be easy for me to log on get information quickly,Amazon, so I mean you're, probably talking to the wrong person, becauseI'm Tooi'm too much into the industry to be able to give you a true example,but one of the reasons people love Amazon is because the moment they makea purchase, it confirms they made the Confort the purchase. Yeah, that'sright. It then lets them know when it's been shipped, it gives them thetracking information. So it's automated. Yet it's also putting some control intothe customers head and I'll. Tell you why this is real important n just amoment. I call it like the airline information example and then, of course,when the shipment arrives sometimes depending upon where it's you know theperson who delivers it takes a picture of it, and now you get an email thatsaid it's arrived. This is your door. Here's your package! If it's not there,somebody stole it nobut the seriously. I want you to think about theinformation that we provide. Customers through this automated process is agreat service experience if you've ever been to an airport and many times youare waiting for your flight, and you know the fight supposed to take off atthree o'clock in the afternoon. Well, it's now O and forty five and theplanes, not even here yet right and the agent hasn't said attention in the gatearea the planes going to be late. No, at this point, they'd say attention tothe gate area. In case you haven't looked at your watch, nothey shouldn't even go there. Whatthey should say is at about wo fifteen NOTTWOA, forty five fifteen minutes,befor the fight- they us say: Hey everybody, it looks like your inboundplane is going to be a little bit late. It will be arriving today at wo, hudredand fifty now we're going to get all those people off the plane and you will get you on by whatever timeyou've. Just given me information. That means I'm not going to have to go tothe agent and ask them and by the way, if the agent would do that, it wouldeliminate fifty people asking the agent the same question. How is it that theagent doesn't still blows my mind that...

...certain airline agents won't recognizethe value of getting on the Spoutspeaker Mangin? The announcement?Now, let's say, there's a mechanical all right now, I'm worried the plane ison the ground, I'm supposed to get on the plane, but it's nobody's boarding.The agent comes on and says we have a problem with the plane. Maintenance islooking at it. It's a little switch, it shouldn't be a big deal, but here'swhat I'm going to do so nobody has to come up and ask me what's happeningunless you are worried about connecting to a flight every ten minutes, I'mgoing to come back on, I'm going to give you an update that update. Maybenothing has changed, but if I have anything to know you're going to knowevery ten minutes, guess what happens, everybody goes someone's in control. You know I don'thave to worry about it anymore and you see. What's happened. Is We've givenwe've created this information base for the customer, creating this confidenceand obviously that's what that's, what Amazon does when they automate thatconfirmation process they give the customer information. Customers loveinformation yeah, so I yep all right, so we're going to go to a segment. Wecall your post. What do they mean? thit's, my Jimmy Falin, Pres Ketasinging, so we're Goinna talk about tweet that you've written where we findout what that post is, is all about so the first one that we have. That's notme by the way. That's that's my buddy Jeremy, yeah Jeremy and I used to worktogether and one of the things tha that he talksabout is in that that he talks about. I is the CX question of the day, so he'sbeen doing that quite often working with ha sx, accelerator and they're agreat group, so you wrote an in your tweet. You may not be able to makeevery customer happy, but you should still work towards showing you care.Even if the customer is a troll, you can still be respectful and it's notjust about fixing a problem. It's about restoring confidence, and that was likelast week's question it. What I remember that it's like what, if thecustomers a troll, so I believe customers are not always right. Inother words, you know you've heard that the customer is always right wrong,they're, not they're, not always right, but they're, always a customer. So youwant to let them be wrong with dignity and respect if they're, a troll andthey're just trying to cause trouble. You take the high road and you what youcan to essentially show some respect and leavethe door open, and there I mean the use of the word troll. Is You know thatmeans different things to different people? I'm just going to say that thisis the customer that doesn't seem to be t just wants to complain, complain,complaint, Right, they'r, looking for an answer, O resolution yeah. So Ithink the first thing is that you're going to show by the way my buddy jbear, who you should have on the show if you haven't already had on the show.He says that when it comes to customer service on Social Media, where you knowcustomers, post and then companies respond, it becomes a spectator sport,because anybody coan watch this right alrigh. So we want to watch. We want tosee number one went o see a quick response. The MOIE to we want to see anacknowledgment and t en some type of an apology and an offer to get somethingfixed when the customer starts to see a not that customer. But when othercustomers start to see that R, this company's really trying to take care ofthis person, this person seems to be a chronic, complainer, they're being alittle unreasonable. That's what we hope that others see as we respondproperly to this person, who you don't ever seem to want to make never seemsto want to be happy. Yeah totally I mean was social media. What I marriageand then what I've done in the past and I've seen great results is that as longas you re spuwn and as long as you acknowledge as long as you're kind ofopen about the the conversation, then people start having a real conversationinstead of just really just ntrolling or just really complaining. So so oneof the things you know I kind of alluded to this before I have certainways of engaging customers that I think are important, and I talked a littlebit about the question. Hey. You call...

...me because you hope that I can help youwith your problem. That is a great question. I call it the that's rightquestion and it's a diffusion of anger question, and so what I want to do israndy. If you come at me and you say, Hey, I'm really upset and you know I'mtrying to start the conversation off first thing I want to do is to thingsacknowledge and apologize. You know and you can do them in either order. I'mfirst of all, thank you for bringing that to my attention. I can understandwhy you would be upset. I would be upset. If then happened to me as wellone 'l apologize. This isn't the way our company likes to do business.Something like that. You know those aren't the exact words, but you get theidea. Yeah t the next thing that comes out of my mouth can be a question. Sothe reason you picked up the phone you've waited on hold and I apologizeyou know. I know it was only a few minutes, but I wish we could haveconnected immediately. The reason you called me today is because you hopesomeone like me can take care of the problem. Is that right, you're going tosay that's right, I'm Gointo say yes, I'm your guy! Today, okay, and so let'sgo ahead and dive into this. So I get a complete understanding yeah. I amgetting you to be on my side. I've asked you some questions. You'V saidYes to my by the way: it's okay, if they say no, if no is the correctanswer, exact sobut, you want them to be. You want to be able to acknowledgethat whatever the answer they give, you is a correct anser and because, whenyou start to get them in, it's just a technique to get you into alignmentwith this person. You know it's like a conversation, starter, a thoughtstarter just you know, move you into alignment and once you're there, andthis person really believes hat that you're there take care of them andyou've been properly trained and empowered to deliver. Tu We've got ityep yeah, that's Toaly chows. They they see a path right, the Yat. They knowwhere the end is, and they see that you're going to take them there to thepromise land. As I say that promised land all right. We talke a lot aboutwhole times and eliminating them, and so I love this tweet that you haveeliminating long hole times. Don't waste your customers time? If you mustmake them wait, let them know for how long and give them the option of beingcalled back Su thoughts o on that yeah. I think this is pretty standard. Nobodywants to wait on hole. This is a total waste of time. You know you could haveasked me a question earlier in the conversation when you asked me about abad experience, turn good. I could tell you about a bad experience that gotworse so so d and it was all due to the whold times yeah. Okay. So first of allI was put on hold and I was not told how long the hold would be and afterover an hour, and you got music plan. So I'm doing my work, Whil the musicplan, O dit, just disconnects yeahhet's Hav, it so many times yew. Howfrustrating is that, so we've got to start all over again, so thereistechnology out there that number one that says hey your whole time is goingto be such an Tuch. There are x number of callers in front of you, your calmernumber, whatever and every few minutes it comes back to confirm that I'mmoving up the que back to that airline example. Every ten minutes are get onthe loud speaker and tell me what's going on, even if nothing new is goingon and I feel better about the whole situato right. Okay, so the same thingis happening there, but you know and then of course, the option of the callback is great and when it's your turn or the call back at a predeterminedtime after mean ai is able to determine you know, we've got x number of callerson hold. We got x number of agents, we know how long the average call is. Weknow about how long it's going to take for us to get back to you. That's easy,provide the information, give them the options, and it will be great now for a short break. Let's learn moreabout UTIFOR UNIFORM S. The global leader in conversational service,automation, COMPANI's vision is to disrupt an outdated customer servicemodel. I originally gap between human and machines, an voice, a an automationthat every voice on every call is truly Hurd for more information about you,wwwfordo email, podcast at uifocom, for...

...weep at you now back to the doco right. So next one I was just kind ofnearing dear to our culture and kind of have ive been taught us given backright. Whe' not become part of a cause or participate in in a charity.cousomers love when they, when the places they do business, will get back.It's a good carman. I mean it's not just a Carman, it's something thatyou'R taught. At least I was tiught at earliy really on for my parents interms of giving back to the community yeah, and so you mentioned the cult ofthe customer, which is the most recent book, which is actually a rerelease ofa book. I wrote twelve years ago with updated stats and facts, but one of theguys in that book that I profile is Richard Branson. Okay, Richard Bransonhas you know, Virgin Airlines and then quite a few other companies, but one ofthe companies he has is virgin. Unite, which is the charitable arm of Virginand the I don't know millions of dollars that they raise for charity,and it's not that you have to raise millions. You have to show that youcare about something beyond yourself, because some some customers will rallybehind you and be your customer and be a part of your community because theylove what your charity is. Other is just love that you're willing toparticipate and give back at any level and I'll give you an example of one,that's really powerful about how how important this is. First of all, aphilanthropy in an organization is altruistic, but at the same time it's amarketing expense. Let's just put it right out there. It's really nice whenwe do these things and give you great example, so one of my clients is aretail chain and their stores are actually owned by individual owners forsome of there fairly small fifteen thousand square feet and every once ina while, a large big box store will top up right next to them. That's a hundredand fiftythousand square feet. Now this happened in Houston, Texas, justoutside of Houston storeas been there for years, big BOCX store goes up tentimes the size. Their advertising budget, though, isn't ten times theadvertising budget for every dollar that this original small store spent onmarketing and advertising through media. This big Bock store spend thirtydollarthirty times more forevery dollar Tis. So this is what the guy does. I can'tafford to compete in this level yeah. So I'm going to just stop advertisingaltogether. You know what I'm going to do in Stati, going to take all thatmoney and I'm going to start sponsoring little kids, baseball teams and SOCREteams I'm going to go if the church is having a dance, I'll pay for the sodas,you know or whatever yeah. You know now get involved in the community at agiveback community level, and that's how I'm going to spend my marketingdollars there. You go and he was wildly successful with this strategy. That'sawesome! That's so awesome o here, love that it's good Karma. I like that. Iwrote that Al Right, so more people need to do it. Give back all right. Next one is not from you, but I just wanted tokind of end on this, never understood why good customer service was so hardever. This comes from a from David looks like he was tweeting united,which you know I can understand. I'm Abeniai Tran for a long time. So Oh wow,the airlines, they do have a tough time, don't they and even when they do itright. I mean I happen to be very happy with my airline yeah. So they've donegood for me and you know, there's no doubt every once in a while, I'm upset.So here's the thing about customer service. It's not rocket science, it'scommon sense! That, unfortunately, is not so common and what happens isthere's processes and that are put in place to protect the companies from afew tiny, tiny percentage, maybe even less than one percent of the customersthat are out there are evil. Okay, it will sfeel from you AI, give you agreat example, Guitar Center one of my...

...favorite stories to go to Y. U Youeah OAbo, I liy, Guitar and and Guitar Cener used to have a system that when youwalked in there was a desk and there was somebody behind the desk saying.Let me if you're, if you've got a bag or purse a if youv got a box with an IT,they look at it, they inventoryit and on the way out. They check to make sureit's the same. Everything in the box is the same as Wi tain with yea. Basically,the Checkg Tho see if you're going to steal. I can't remember how manymillions of dollars that they spent to keep people from stealing, okay, butwhatever they were spending was far more than was actually being stolen anddollars. So you understand what was happening. They were inconveniencingevery single customer that walked through their doors for the sins of afew, and we have to be very, very careful that we don't trap ourselves inthat, so the airlines. Unfortunately, you know, I always tell you it doesn'tmatter if it's an airline, if you call a support number and you don't like theanswer that you' got. You really believe in your heart that you're right,not that you're angry and you think you're you know, should BEU. You knowyou know m blood from a stone. But if you really think Thay'r right say thankyou hang up the phone call back in another agent, because you'll probablyget a different answer, hat's Ir, because if you really think that you'reright and they're wrong and your heart there's a chance that this person isn'tbeing properly trained to empathize and be flexible where others might be ableto, which is one of the reasons. You sometimes speak to a supervisor. Who isable to make things happen? and that bothers me, because here's my take onthis, if you're an agent frontline agent at the airline in person or onthe phone dealing or even on a check, we should empower people and if wethere's this philosophy, that's in one of my books. That says one to say yesand to to say no one to say: Yes means I'm on the front line. I get to say yes,but if I can't say yes- and I think I have to say no now I got to go getpermission from my manager. However, if I'm confronted with this situation thatI haven't been confronted with before, but commonsense tells me, I should beable to do this. I'm thinking to myself it's not going to hurt the company it'sgoing to make the customer happy it's not going to cost to sitty money. Whyshouldn't we be able to do this right, I'm going to go ahead and do it then I'got to go back to my manager and say this is what I did today that I doright and if the manner just says that's beautiful, then I know that Ican do that from now on. I don't ever have to say anything. The managershould be smart and say I'm going to share this with the rest of the team.So they know what to do. The manager might say. That was a really greatthing to do. You know what I do one other thing on top of this. I mightconsider doing when this situation for the next time, but no matter what thisagent will never have to go back to his or her manager to ever ask that samequestion again and we will build up a knowledge base within our our agents,heads as well as we'll start to create processes on paper that show there's aline in the sand. You don't want to cross, but everybody's allowed to getright up to the line F, necessary, yeah, T', Svery, true, repetitive, motion,atwas and no matter whether it's collcenters or or sports, it practicemakes perfect right and so perfect practice makes perfect. VR, that'seefily right there you go so one other comment. T T I want to make on this isthat I actually did a very, very short speech and I jokingly said to my client,my client. As you know what we're running ont the time I don't thinkyou're going to have any time, take it up there I go. I can do the speech. Iknow I'm supposed to do forty minutes, but why don't I do this speech? Willyou give me fifteen twenty seconds sure what ae you goin Ta do in fifteentwenty seconds watch I walked out. I took the appause, so I only have a veryshort time to talk to you about customer service to words. Be Nice,Mikedrop, walk off the Stageto, a long thi speeches t so be nice is reallycommonsense, but the reality of is it takes a lot to be nice. You got to bepolite. Please thank you. You got to...

...remember to say those things. We havecertain ways of empathizing an ways we are taught to empathize. All of thatgoes toward the ban ice category. There's a lot to being nice rather thanjust being nice is so toly. I hope this is helpful yeah. This is been superhelpful. I appreciate the time today it's really been an autortime speakingto you. I followed you for a while Linkedin and twitters and seen a lot ofyour videos, and so it's been great. Thank you. So, to kind of close off want to give you, theair waves tell people how to connect with you if they want to cact with you,Oh wow, wow, okay, so hicancom hykemcom easiest way to go shep Dat TV. If youwant my youtube channel, there's more than six hundred videos, all thesecustomer service tips enjoy Hem show them at your meetings. Make them. Youknow, conversation starters to hopefully do deliver better servicewhen you're at Hicencom. There's a report that I just came out with. It'scalled the to thousand and twenty ACA, which stands for achieving customeramazement and it's my version of a study on what driving af betterexperience, customers they are willing to switch faster than ever. If youdon't give them that experience, what are they willing to pay more for itsconvenience, specifically convenience? It involves delivery, they'll pay up.You know. Ninety percent of your customers will pay more money ifdelivery is involved, but a very high personage, like seventy percent ofcustomers, will just pay more for a better convenient solution. Example goto a hotel, you got the mini bar in your hotel room. You got the SodaMachine just down the Hall Sota Machine Sodas are three dollars. Many bar sodasare ten dollars, and every morning the restack in the mini bar with more sodas,it's just more convenient yeah telli so anyway can go on and on goon an no.No that's great. No, I appreciate you sharing all that kind of freeinformation out there. So great tips do'Leve will put U in the shownuts allthe links to your website and your social profiles. Thank you so again,Shep. Thank you again. I wish you best luck in in two thousand and twenty, andhopefully you get some more time to play, guitar and May Piano to well. Thank you very muchand and wishing the best for you and everybody WHO's watching and listeningtoday. Thank you. Riaht, thanks Mo, you have been listening to theconversations that matter podcast by uniform, make sure you subscribe to ourpodcast on your favorite podcast player and raisn revew, to enable us to creata relative andvaluable content for your business. If you' like to learn moreabout conversational sirfise automation is uniforscom, have a Great Tame.

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