5 Takeaways on Customer Care from SOCAP 2019

5 Takeaways on Customer Care from SOCAP 2019

Last week customer care professionals converged in Tucson, Arizona for SOCAP International's Re-Imagine Conference. There were a number of speakers, including Reviewbox Founder & CEO, James Horey who led discussions on integrated customer service strategy and exceeding customer expectations. Here are the top takeaways from the conference.

1. Plan ahead.

Sheryl Connelly, Global Trends Expert and Futurist at Ford Motor Company, reminds brands that the consumer experience is rapidly changing due to the increased access to technology. Companies that are nimble in adopting new hardware and software quickly will be at the forefront of the consumer's mind. To do this, companies have to plan and strategize by accessing where they are, knowing where they want to be, and create an environment to execute your strategy.

2. Be flexible.

Traditional brick and mortar retailers have faced a lot of challenges in eCommerce, including an evolving consumer and advancing technologies. The path to purchase has shifted, with most customers doing research in-store and then eventually buying online. Consumers expect immediacy and their demands are getting bigger which ultimately challenges the existing supply chains. Amazon is leading the way by driving small value items to your house, improving delivery quality, and 1-day shipping. Consider how customer service teams are structured and if they are facing every consumer outlet - nationally, regionally, in-store, and, especially, online.

3. Create and execute effective customer experiences.

Brands and retailers need to reflect on this question: Are we easy to do business with? Today's consumer wants a relationship built into every transaction. They have high expectations including rapid response time and easy access to information. Social media has provided an easy outlet for the consumer to evangelize a brand or target it with complaints. In order to execute effective customer experiences, customer care teams need to align people, processes, and tools. Consumers want to be understood and to have their needs met. Issues should be resolved quickly and effectively to ensure consumer success. Exhibit to the customer that they have value.

4. Utilize customer feedback.

Embrace consumer feedback. From voice of the customer to online product reviews, customer care teams hold the key to the consumer for their brands.

  • Listen to the customer feedback (through surveys, product reviews, inbound call centers, etc.)
  • Identify pain points on their consumer journey, product issues, packaging issues, and embrace brand wins.
  • Make improvements to the product and enhance the consumer experience based on feedback.

5. Support your customer care teams

Customer care teams are the front lines of your brand often dealing with unhappy customers and troubleshooting problems that your customers may be facing. It's important to develop an engaging and supportive culture for your associates that reflects the way customers should be treated. Companies are creating new environments within their workspaces to promote stress reduction, product knowledge, and employee recognition. Outline clear metrics for associate accountability and educate team members on common issues, customer profiles, and conflict resolution.