Amazon MayDay generated a lot of hype when it was launched. The ability to engage digitally in real time via video with a customer service agent personalizes the customer service experience. Davinci Virtual Office Solutions knows the importance of providing customers with real-time engagement through the channel of their choice—phone, live web chat, or email—through Live Receptionist and Live Web Chat services.
Unusual Customer Engagement Requests
Over the past decade Davinci Virtual Office Solutions has engaged with hundreds of thousands of client customers across a wide range of industries. These interactions range from the mundane to the unusual—sometimes better described as weird. Amazon certainly isn’t immune from the gamut of interactions that occur. For example, after releasing MayDay, Amazon published a list of the most unusual MayDay requests received; they included:
• 648 instances where people sang a song to the MayDay advisor
• 44 instances where the MayDay advisor sang Happy Birthday
• 109 requests for help to order pizza
• 3 requests for a bedtime story
• 35 marriage proposals
Humans Are an Inextricable Requisite
The human element that comes with live engagement provides customers with an experience that simply cannot be emulated through automated channels. Personalization of experiences through a unique human touch is often what prompts such unusual requests. Even with the recent advances with chatbots (through the use of natural language processing and artificial intelligence) and a growing desire on the part of customers for self-service, some occasions simply call for a human touch.
These yield better results when it comes to factors such as conversion rates, customer loyalty, and revenue growth. They also prompt usual customer requests like those Amazon delineated.
3 Things to Ensure Successful Customer Engagement
So how do you get to the point where your customer service agents—regardless of engagement channel—feel empowered to deliver a unique and memorable experience to a customer in every engagement? Here are a few things that companies can do to ensure this is the case:
1. Rethink how you measure your customer service agents. Operational efficiencies such as time to resolution take secondary importance. These are supplanted with breadth and depth of customer engagement and customer advocacy, measurements that have a much greater and longer-term impact on bottom-line outcomes—from customer retention, to organic revenue growth, to new revenue opportunities.
2. Make your customer service agents brand ambassadors. Assuming you have a good employer brand, you can work to ensure that your brand and culture are embedded as part of agent training and extends into how they interact with customers. For example, outdoor retailer Moosejaw, which is known for its nonsensical marketing approach dubbed “Moosejaw Madness,” provides customers with the same experience in its brick-and-mortar stores as it does online. A customer entering a store might be greeted with a Frisbee flying at their head and a “Moosejaw” holler from one of the sales associates; that same customer is greeted with a “Moosejaw” holler when they speak to a phone agent or live chat agent.
3. Empower your customer service agents. Outdoor online retailer Backcountry.com hires customer service agents who are subject-matter experts. Playfully designated “Gearheads,” their customer service agents are experts on specific outdoor activities (e.g., snowboarding, backpacking and hiking, fishing, rock climbing, etc.) that form an important part of their personal lives and talk, email, and chat with customers and write blogs and reviews on equipment used for those activities while at work.
As a result, when a customer chats with a particular Gearhead, they are able to see their headshot and read their BIO and list of outdoor interests. Gearheads are also assigned different customers and follow up with them on their purchases and talk to them about newly arrived products and their experiences with them. It’s no surprise that customers who engage with Gearheads spend six-times more than customers who have standard shopping experiences with the outdoor retailer.
Looking and Acting Like Bigger Counterparts
Davinci Virtual Office Solutions brings what multi-channel customer engagement used by large companies to small businesses, fast-growth startups, and solopreneurs. The combination of Live Receptionist and Live Web Chat services, enables these organizations to look and act like their much bigger counterparts.
Live Receptionists and Live Web Chat customer service agents are organized into different teams of approximately five agents. Each team is typically assigned 10 to 15 clients and they become experts—virtual extensions—of each client. The onboarding process for each new client ensures that the dedicated team is trained on the client’s brand and culture. Those same parameters are baked into how agents interact with customers.
Customer service agents have the ability to surprise, delight, and even protect a brands most valuable assets—your customers. An important lynchpin in this equation is empowering your customer service agents so that they have the tools and processes to deliver memorable moments to customers.
Unique Customer Service Agent Model at Davinci Virtual Office Solutions
Davinci Virtual Office Solutions determined to make this a fun and engaging experience for its customer service agents by creating a skill-based and career-path-oriented model for recruiting, training, and retaining champion customer service agents. Able to graduate through a tiered developmental color-coded program, starting with green, then yellow, followed by red, and finally the status of “Super Agent.” The program has proven highly effective, making it fun to be a customer service agent, while personalizing the customer engagement experience for every one of Davinci Virtual Office Solutions’ clients.
A highly engaged team of customer service agents means you’ll have a highly engaged customer base. And while it means you may sometimes get the “oddball” request, this doesn’t mean you’re failing to provide a great engagement experience. It probably means the exact opposite; that your customer service agents are acting as great brand ambassadors and turning your customers into brand advocates.