Being a customer experience leader is a tough job for anyone, whether you’ve been at it for one day or your entire career. It seems like the stakes are always changing and keeping up with the latest trends seems like an impossible task. Well, if you’re short on time and in need of some tips for improving the customer experience, look no further. Here are some expert insights from four of the biggest names in customer experience.

Shep Hyken knows what he’s talking about when it comes to customer service. As an award-winning customer experience speaker, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author, and the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations, Shep’s one of the founding fathers of modern-day customer service practices. Here’s one piece of advice from him on how to create great customer experiences.

Tip 1: Approach your customer

Shep worked in retail during his teenage years, aiding in his exposure to this idea:

“When I was working in retail, you would walk to [the customers], you’d ask to help them, you don’t wait for them to come to you. You know, [it’s the] little things”. 

Little things like approaching the customer and reaching out to them first can boost the convenience of the customer’s experience. Shep’s book “The Convenience Revolution”, explains the importance for businesses to create convenience in order to differentiate themselves from their competition. One of the main themes of the book is that the most favored companies are the ones that make it easy for people to do business with them. 

“The experience businesses bring should be frictionless and it should be all about convenience.” -Shep Hyken

Tip 2: Provide easy-to-reach support 

Contact center industry expert Brad Cleveland attests to the importance of enabling customers to easily reach agents for support, summarized in his blog, 10 Ways to Boost Customer Self-Service. In order to build and bolster the customer service channels of your contact center, you must provide strong support that customers can access as needed. This support can come in many different forms. Cleveland explains:

  • “A clearly identified way to exit an interactive voice response system or mobile app; 
  • Prominently displayed contact numbers and links on your website and within apps;
  • Chat, click-to-talk, or co-browsing capabilities; and 
  • Posting access numbers and alternatives in relevant social communities.”

As a well-known industry consultant specializing in contact centers, Brad emphasizes the importance of providing consistent and useful support for customers across all channels.

Tip 3: Align company processes with the ideal customer experience

With countless awards, roles and years of experience within the contact center industry, Colin Taylor has proven himself to be a credible customer experience expert. In a recent interview, Colin expressed his idea of aligning your company’s procedures with the expectations of the customer: 

“If everyone is not aligned to the same rules and objectives...the chances are that we’re conveying schizophrenic messages out into the market place, confusing the daylights out of our

customers because we’re all pulling in different directions.”

Without proper alignment of business procedures, customer experience can become very inefficient. Having alignment across all departments allows for a more seamless and more successful customer experience process.  

Tip 4: Use emotional intelligence

The ability to understand and react correctly to the emotions of your customers plays a big role in customer service. Justin Robbins is a frequent industry author, 8x8 content marketing strategist and featured expert for the New York Times, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Fox News, and numerous other media outlets. Justin explains his thoughts on emotional experience in a recent interview:

“I think that’s [emotional intelligence] incredibly important for people who are in a customer service role...What are the skills that we need them to bring to the table? What we really need is someone who has a deeper level of emotional intelligence and the ability to navigate the gray.” 

Customers want to feel they have been valued and taken care of on a professional level. Understanding and responding to a customer’s emotional needs will help leave them with a positive experience they will remember.

Bringing it All Together

Customer experience is part art, part science. To succeed in the profession and to best serve customers, it’s essential to be proactive, provide easy-to-access service options, align processes and policies with the desired customer outcomes, and leverage emotional intelligence. Following the advice of these industry experts will put you well on your way to delivering outstanding customer experiences.