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Back to Basics – Customer Experience

  • May 14, 2021

Customer Experience

If you are not taking care of your customers, your competitor will. Bob Hooey


SmartenUp - Customer Experience header

We sell great products, of course we have a great customer experience!

A misconception many have is that the customer’s experience comes at the end of the service being delivered, or product being sold; but in actuality, that’s just one small part of it. 

Your customer’s experience starts the moment they discover your brand. The stronger your brand, the better your results. Poor brand equals poor results… You get the gist. 

Not only does a strong brand and solid customer experience warrant raving reviews, it may  even have a direct correlation to increased revenue. According to studies, customers are willing to pay up to a 16% price premium for great customer experience. 

Salesforce, widely recognized as the leader in business CRM, gives organizations the tools they need to connect with online clients and provide a seamless, fast, effective digital customer experience. This is made possible thanks to an extensive integrated collection of cloud-based solutions. Think Experience Cloud which focuses on providing tools to optimise customer service, such as a knowledge base, self service portal to name a few or B2B Commerce which bring together the benefits of in-store and online shopping, and integrated easily with reliable data science for accurate forecasting, Salesforce makes it possible to provide a consistent customer experience, no matter where or when customers may purchase.

When reading a statistic like the one above on customer experience, can you genuinely say your company is doing everything in its power to deliver an exceptional customer experience? That is, without completely burning out your workforce. Be honest.

Yeah okay, you make a point. But that’s why I’m paying my employees – to work and take care of my customers.

Of course, that’s exactly what a salary does: it buys the time of the people that in turn make your business function. But is it functioning optimally when it comes down to your employees too? Hear us out. Negative employees are like a worm in the metaphorical customer-experience-apple. Slowly, bit by bit, eating away all the good stuff – leaving you with an apple that may look nothing short of fantastic externally, meanwhile rotten to the core.

There are many factors that play a role in the general state of your employees’, but as this is a topic much too vast to cover in one blog post, we’ll focus on what we know: the tech. 

Extensive, repetitive and unnecessary manual processes have a major impact on your workforce’s morale; and more than you might expect. Studies have shown that 92% of employees indicated that technology would increase their work satisfaction.

To get back to our example of Experience Cloud above, this powerful customer experience platform integrates fully with other Salesforce platforms such as Sales and Service Clouds for example, with quick access to customer information, employee groups, and collaboration tools. This elevates employee experience, to the same level as quality customer experience.

Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients. Richard Branson


Customer Experience - Example


Let’s use a practical example to demonstrate further:

Let’s continue to have a look at how SmartenUp has used tools to enhance their customer’s experience. If you haven’t read our blog on Business Automation, and our blog on Team Collaboration we suggest you reference them first and continue with this example thereafter, as this example is only part of a whole series.

Whilst Posh Wash’s customer base started off small, it is rapidly expanding. Currently customers can either phone, WhatsApp or email Posh Wash after which a Customer Agent gets in touch with them to capture all information not already provided or saved by an Agent on the system such as, address and items of washing that needs to be picked up. 

Job orders

Different price lists are also in existence depending on whether Posh Wash are running a special and Customer Agents need to make sure that customers are being charged the correct prices at the time of their order. Another obstacle faced here is accurately pricing an item of clothing for pickup. Given that South Africa is a diverse country, a t-shirt may be interpreted as a shirt, whereas these are 2 different pieces of clothing which are priced differently, which can result in miscommunication and also loss of profits. Addresses provided are also not always accurate which results in delayed pickup and drop off of orders. 

As not all customers are great and equal, a lot of time is spent between when a customer wants to place an order, and when the final order detail is processed. 

By designing an order form and customer portal for Posh Wash, this solves an array of obstacles:

  • If customers can log onto a webpage from either their phone or computer where they create an account, their information is captured for all future orders. Order history is also available so that they can easily repeat an old order with1 click and without having to fill in a completely new order form each time. 
  • Because you can design validation rules on the information provided, addresses can be validated before they are saved. 
  • Items of clothing can also be selected from a picklist (together with a short description or picture of each item), ensuring that there is a standard for job orders and services provided by Posh Wash, which can be displayed together with the pricing for each item. The pricing can also be changed depending on whether Posh Wash is running a promotion, which can be changed and implemented in real-time. This eliminates the need for the use of price lists which may become outdated. This results in a better customer experience and less inaccuracies which results in better profitability and more streamlined operations. 
  • Orders can now also be assigned to Service Agents using a process or assignment rules automatically, without being dependent on a Customer Agent to ensure that a job order is properly assigned. 
  • What is more, is that all of the above can occur without the assistance of Customer Agent, thereby saving resources and making a better use of the time of Customer Agents, potentially reducing the amount of team members required as Posh Wash’s customers base grows. 

Customer queries

It is also the responsibility of Customer Agents to follow up on customer complaints and after service queries.Customer Agents also work in shifts to deal with complaints and after service queries, as they come in to a dedicated email address. However, some customers’ queries have slipped through the cracks during shift changes, and because the Customer Agent dealing with a query may not be the same as the Agent that dealt with the customer order, it can take a while to obtain relevant information in order to resolve a customer query and have a happy customer.

By building a Customer portal, customers can easily log queries and complaints by linking them with a specific job order. The customer portal now also contains a FAQ section which can constantly be updated and adapted based on customer feedback and questions. 

This system helps Posh Wash in the following way:

  • A ticket system is implemented where every customer query is assigned to a central que where they can be assigned to a specific Customer Agent either manually, or automatically through a set of rules, for example, where higher value clients can be assigned to a specific Customer Agent or group of Agents, or they can be assigned to the Customer Agent who dealt with the job order, to ensure that queries are dealt with more efficiently. Rules can also be set into place where a “ticket” is escalated if a Customer Agent has not been in contact with a customer who logged a query after a few hours, thereby ensuring quality control.  
  • Because it is a central system with more detail and data, no query is lost, as it is not dependent on a specific Customer Agent or shifts. What is more is that Thandi can now monitor this process, including which Customer Agents deal with the most queries, resolve them the fastest, and what type of queries they deal with to ensure that her team is also run effectively.
  • By having a FAQ section and system, this also greatly reduces the queries logged from customers, as it provides a platform for customers to be provided with easy to find answers without having to speak to someone at Posh Wash. 

Tune in next time to see how important Information Management is when adding all of these elements together. If you haven’t read our previous blog posts, you can find them here.






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