Shaping and Scaling the Customer Experience with Matt Lombardi

Shaping and Scaling the Customer Experience with Matt Lombardi TW

Listen and subscribe to our podcast:

In this episode of the Customer Service Secrets Podcast, Gabe Larsen is joined by Matt Lombardi to discuss the secrets of shaping and scaling the Customer Experience, especially during a worldwide pandemic. Tune in to the podcast below to discover how Matt successfully implements three tactics to build a successful CX program.

Step 1: Gaining Executive Buy-In

Head of Customer Experience and Strategy at ServiceNow, Matt Lombardi has developed a foolproof method to building and scaling CX teams in three simple and easy to follow steps. By identifying these three critical needs that CX leaders should embrace, he has helped lead teams to excellence. The first being getting executives to buy into the CX process early, preferably within the first 90 days. Matt says, “I think under investing in this area is both the most common mistake CX leaders make and it’s also the number one reason CX teams fail to get the resources they need to be successful.” When teams are able to gain executive support and investment, they are more inclined to succeed. As Matt mentions, “CX improvement opportunities can get hidden under massive growth,” meaning that it’s greatly important for CX leaders to develop and present an attention-grabbing business case to executives. In order to build a business case, there are two main areas leaders can turn for information. The first being understanding customer service metrics and how those metrics affect retention and growth. The second is to utilize customer feedback to improve the CX. “When you put those two pieces together, you can then start telling a really compelling story about how to drive long-term growth of your company.”

Step 2: Finding Value in Metrics

The second step of building and scaling a customer experience program is to “track and report on the value” the team brings to the company. A question some CX leaders might have is how to measure the effects CX metrics have on business revenue and customer retention. To this, Matt says that it doesn’t matter who in the company puts together the financial metrics about CX. What really matters is that CX teams have the right resources put into place beforehand so that those metrics are possible. This second step is especially helpful for leaders who are creating a business case to present to executives, as it adds monetary value to the team itself, rather than simple facts or statistics. On this, Matt adds, “Right off the bat you have to be balancing quick wins and longer-term, high-impact projects so that you can kind of create and show proof points along the way.” When numbers that demonstrate how much money is saved and how much money is earned, executives are sure to listen. Noting that no other part of a company has to fight as hard as Customer Experience to prove its worth, Matt urges CX leaders to push their business case to the executives to gain support from organizational leaders.

Step 3: Staying Relevant Through Adaptation

The third and final step to scaling a CX team is to stay relevant and to consistently look for areas of improvement. It’s no secret that the customer landscape is constantly changing. It seems that every day, there is a new customer need. Identifying areas of improvement can be done through listening to customer needs and modifying processes or products to better fit those needs. To further explain this step, Matt shares an example of a customer interaction his team used as the means to improve different aspects of CX. In this example, Matt discusses how some of their loyal customers had previously purchased only one product, but as the brand expanded and more products became available, they found that those customers also expanded their purchases with the company. He goes on to say:

So what we found was there were some major problems where our products were not integrating in a way that was meaningful and helpful for our customers. We also didn’t have a really good service experience. And so customers were then dealing with and managing multiple account managers across multiple product lines.

From this experience, Matt’s team was able to alter their processes in ways that helped them remain relevant to their customers. CX leaders would do well to identify areas for improvement that will contribute to their overall relevance with their customers.

To learn more about shaping and scaling the customer experience, check out the Customer Service Secrets podcast episode below, and be sure to subscribe for new episodes each Tuesday and Thursday.

Listen Now:

Listen to “Build and Scale a CX Program | Matt Lombardi” on Spreaker.

You can also listen and subscribe to our podcast here:

Full Episode Transcript:

Build and Scale a CX Program | Matt Lombardi

TRANSCRIPT
Intro Voice: (00:04)
You’re listening to the Customer Service Secrets Podcast by Kustomer.

Gabe Larsen: (00:11)
Hi, welcome everybody. We’re excited to get going today. We’re going to be talking about how to build and scale a CX program, even during a pandemic and to do that we brought on Matt Lombardi out of Customer Experience and Strategy at ServiceNow. Matt, thanks for joining. How are you?

Matt Lombardi: (00:26)
Hey, doing great. Thanks for having me.

Gabe Larsen: (00:28)
Yeah, really appreciate you taking the time. Give me the quick overview. Tell me a little bit more about kind of what you’re doing over there, your history and what you do over there at ServiceNow.

Matt Lombardi: (00:35)
Sure. Great. So I’ve been building and scaling customer experience teams for the past decade. It is a passion area for me and at ServiceNow, I joined about a year and a half and I’ve really been focused on one critical question. How do we create a world-class customer experience and how do we create the most satisfied, loyal customers out there?

Gabe Larsen: (01:03)
Love it, love it. And then outside of work, I usually like to ask, do you have any hobbies or crazy stuff, but I was curious about the name Lombardi. You go back to the famous coach or no?

Matt Lombardi: (01:16)
Yeah. So there’s family lore that we do, but I have not seen the proof yet, so I can’t make that claim.

Gabe Larsen: (01:24)
Well, that doesn’t count then. So any kind of hobbies outside of work? Any crazy stories outside of the name?

Matt Lombardi: (01:30)
Yeah, so I’d say the last six months or so, have been pretty wild as they’ve been for everyone. My husband and I have a three-year-old daughter. And so kind of taking her out of preschool has been a really fun, wild ride and that’s really taken up most of our free time and has been a full time job slash it’s been full of really funny happenings. So –

Gabe Larsen: (02:05)
And then she’s currently out of school right now as well?

Matt Lombardi: (02:10)
She is, yes.

Gabe Larsen: (02:10)
Well, good. We’re all fighting the same fight, man. More power to you. Good luck with it. But there are some pros, right? You do get to see her more, well there’s some pros and there are some cons let’s leave it there.

Matt Lombardi: (02:20)
There are a lot of pros. I think that there hasn’t been a day that’s gone by where she hasn’t made a cameo on my Zoom meetings and where she hasn’t cracked up my entire team.

Gabe Larsen: (02:30)
Yeah. Hey, we just had it happen. We had my seven year old to jump in here, so Matt, thankfully he’s ready for it. This is take two for our podcast here. All right, well, let’s jump into the topic at hand. Obviously a lot of wealth and experience, but as you think about CX, how did you start to craft this and shape it is you wanted to really scale from where they were and where you want to go?

Matt Lombardi: (02:54)
Yeah, so that’s a good question. So in my experience, building strong CX teams and really growing them, I found that there are three critical needs that every CX leader has to embrace. The first one is getting executive buy-in early and often. And in my experience, this is the number one priority that has to happen in the first 90 days.

Gabe Larsen: (03:27)
Right.

Matt Lombardi: (03:27)
Number two is track and report on the value that your team is creating for the business. And that ties in to number one, but there’s a lot of balancing of quick wins and longer-term, high-impact projects that you have to be constantly juggling and think about. And then number three is continuously adapt and improve to stay relevant. And that’s especially true now when our customer needs are changing every day.

Gabe Larsen: (04:03)
No kidding, right? Yeah. Amen to that. Well, let’s double click on each of these for a minute. I mean, number one, I feel like a lot of CX leaders, maybe it’s gotten a little easier with all the commotion that’s been going on. But certainly, if we were kind of polling our audience not too long ago, CX executive buy-in, talking different languages, getting necessary funds, misunderstandings, speaking different languages, these were all things that really came out as we were asking, again, the audience for sample talk tracks. How did you go about that? Any examples, stories or recommendations people should take to make the knowledge of reality?

Matt Lombardi: (04:41)
Yep. Yeah, absolutely. And I think under investing in this area is both the most common mistake CX leaders make and it’s also the number one reason CX teams fail to get the resources they need to be successful. So when I’m thinking about the last few times, I’ve led and grown a CX team, including at ServiceNow, there’s really one big question that I focused on for my first 90 days. And that was, how can I create a business case for investing in CX? And especially at a company that’s taking off like a rocket ship. That adds an extra layer of complexity because CX improvement opportunities can get hidden under massive growth. So I tend to be a bit of an impatient person. And so it takes a lot of discipline to not immediately jump in to CX improvement initiatives, to actually step back and focus on that one question. So there’s a few steps that I like to take to help answer –

Gabe Larsen: (06:02)
Yeah. Double click that on that, if you can. How do you think about a business case? Because I think that’s where we want to go.

Matt Lombardi: (06:08)
Yeah. Yeah. So, I think that the first step is to understand how it’s possible years and years of customer satisfaction metrics impact retention, upsells, and cost to serve. Once you have that down, and I know that can be a lot of work, connecting a lot of dots across different silos, but when you get there, you then need to move to a phase number two, which is to drill into customer feedback. Lots of unstructured customer feedback is ideal to understand what levers can be pulled to improve the customer experience. And then when you put those two pieces together, you can then start telling a really compelling story about how to drive long-term growth of your company. And at that point, the power of experience management becomes clear.

Gabe Larsen: (07:09)
Yeah. Yeah. I mean that first part of just tying the soft measures to the hard measures, like how much does call time or handle time or NPS or whatever, it kind of, or customer truths, how does it all affect top and bottom line metrics? Is that, did you work with your finance team on that? Did you do it yourself? Like how do you, how do you tie those? Because I think that’s the gap. We know we care about revenue for example, or the CEO cares about revenue or the financing, ARR or whatever that metric. And we care about voice of the customer effort score, NPS, but –

Matt Lombardi: (07:51)
Yeah. And then, so my position on this is it doesn’t really matter who gets that job done. What’s most important is before you start leading this kind of endeavor, you need to make sure the other right resource is in place to actually do that work. And that should be a top priority first hire is getting someone with the right business acumen who knows how to do that kind of modeling to support your business case. And so for me, just looking at my team’s trajectory over the course of this pandemic, we’ve more than doubled over the last six months. We’re going to continue to grow into next year. And a large reason for that is because we built out the right business case.

Gabe Larsen: (08:45)
You nailed it on the, I can’t, I almost don’t want to go passed this one because I just feel like it’s, you can’t, you just can’t win if you don’t do this and you don’t do it right, you guys. So the first one was, and now I’m forgetting because I was going a little bit deeper, but you kind of said get the metrics and tie them to, this hard metrics tied to the soft metrics. And then what were, what were you, there was a part two to that. Apologize, I –

Matt Lombardi: (09:06)
Yeah. Yeah. So get the metrics, number two, understand what levers you can pull that then create a better experience and impact your bottom line. And it’s when you meld those two together where you can make that business case.

Gabe Larsen: (09:23)
Okay. Then that feeds nicely into number two, which was really tracking and reporting, I assume, on some of those levers. So that now we’re getting kind of a continuous flow. Is that correct?

Matt Lombardi: (09:32)
That’s right. That’s right. And so it’s one thing to know if I can convert my unhappy customers into happy customers, this is what the bottom line impact is going to be. You need to take it to the next level to understand these are the top customer pain points that are slowing down our growth. And these are the ones where I think we can have the best ROI. Once you have that full story together, and you bring the executive team on board to get full alignment on what the top opportunities are, that’s when you can start having some fun.

Gabe Larsen: (10:13)
Yeah. Interesting. Interesting. And are there certain metrics that you find that are more important that you try to kind of watch or you found to be interesting in your own business that you’d be open to share?

Matt Lombardi: (10:24)
Yeah, sure. So, I mean, I think for me, it always comes down to what is the top-line CX measure for the entire company? And for me, that’s often NPS, it doesn’t necessarily have to be, but then taking it down a few levels and understanding what is driving that top-line score. And there it’s, typically around what is driving value for customers and figuring out, what kind of metrics will help you get there.

Gabe Larsen: (11:04)
Hmm. Got it. Okay, so you get those kinds of tracking and metrics is the big second piece, right? And that’s tying into this bigger business case vision. You make sure you get the right metrics, understand where the strengths and weaknesses are and dive into that. That number three was this iteration concept. That’d be good. Double-click on that. How have you seen that affect your business? What some examples there?

Matt Lombardi: (11:27)
Yeah. So there’s a few things that I think about there. I think just simply building the case, getting executive alignment around what things should change, where resources should be spent, and then being able to show what kind of bottom-line growth that will lead to that, that is that is really the first and most important thing that you need to be focused on as a CX leader. And what I see time and time again, is CX teams that fail to connect what they do to revenue growth and cost savings that executives actually care about, they can expect to see job cuts. Especially during times when companies are looking to tighten their belts. I see, again and again, CX teams are often the first that get snipped. So once you get the organization kind of moving in the same direction, it’s then, kind of my point number two, is focused on tracking and reporting on the value that your team is creating for the company. So what I think about there is, and I think I referenced this already, right off the bat you have to be balancing quick wins and longer-term, high-impact projects so that you can kind of create and show proof points along the way. And so, yeah, so for me, it’s kind of, what’s interesting about being a CX leader is I think there’s no other role in the organization that is forced to prove its value again and again, continuously. If you’re in sales, your numbers kind of show what kind of value you’re adding. In CX, you really need to do that hard work of rolling up the sleeves and prove it every day, every quarter.

Gabe Larsen: (13:47)
How do you keep that kind of iterative mindset? I mean, it is hard. You do it once and you don’t, you let it stay stale. How have you found ways to kind of continue to innovate, continue to iterate and continue to find those kinds of ways to improve the customer experience?

Matt Lombardi: (14:00)
Yeah, so I’d like to keep track of both smaller proof points as well as larger showcase items. And so I’ll give you an example of a sort of smaller proof point example. So a strong NPS program should be the engine for your customer reference program. So one easy way to show continual improvement in value, it can be as simple as tracking how many references are generated as a result of CX, and then how many deals have been closed as a result of that. So that’s just one tiny proof point that can be really powerful as you’re kind of building out your larger ROI story. And then thinking about a bigger example, at a previous company, my team identified a really puzzling CX problem. So we identified a trend that showed that our largest, happiest customers who at the time just had one product, as soon as they started to expand and purchase other products, and they became even larger customers, they all of a sudden became a lot less happy. We saw that churn was becoming a bigger and bigger problem. And so that’s obviously the kind of worst case scenario when you’re trying to grow your largest customers. So what we found was there were some major problems where our products were not integrating in a way that was meaningful and helpful for our customers. We also didn’t have a really good service experience. And so customers were then dealing with and managing multiple account managers across multiple product lines. So our research and our work ultimately led to a services transformation project that then ultimately led to incredible retention growth and customer experience gains that we could see through NPS and other metrics.

Gabe Larsen: (16:25)
Awesome.

Matt Lombardi: (16:25)
So that’s sort of a larger example that takes a long time to actually be able to prove out what value you added. But having those smaller proof points along the way goes a long way towards continuing to prove out your team’s value.

Gabe Larsen: (16:44)
Yeah. I appreciate that. I like the approach, Matt. I think it’s well thought out. It’s nice and structured. Thank you for the example. I think that definitely highlights some of the areas you focused on and found that are necessary to win. So as we wrap, if somebody wants to get in touch with you or learn a little bit more about some of these thoughts or suggestions, what’s the best way to do that?

Matt Lombardi: (17:07)
You can reach me through LinkedIn and I’d be happy to connect.

Gabe Larsen: (17:13)
Cool. Cool. Awesome. Well, we’ll make sure we put that in there. Again, thanks so much for joining. Fun talk track on shaping and scaling the CX organization and for the audience, have a fantastic day.

Matt Lombardi: (17:23)
Thank you.

Exit Voice: (17:30)
Thank you for listening. Make sure you’re subscribed to hear more Customer Service Secrets.

 

Your Help Center Software Could Use a Facelift. Here’s How.

Two people discuss selecting a new help center software while working on a computer. Modern help center software aims to streamline customer service professional workflows.

Growth creates growing pains. And often, high-growth brands struggle to scale their contact centers while also managing an influx of shopper queries, such as returns or locating an item. Balancing these forces — scale and volume — often starts with reviewing your help center software and removing manual, time-consuming tasks, including sifting through queues, escalating issues and processing transactions.

What Is Help Center Software?

Simply put, help center software enables conversations between customer service professionals and shoppers, who submit support inquiries. The software fields, stores and organizes these queries and displays them to the agent. Within this interface, staff have access to a variety of customer communications and data, allowing them to make more informed decisions. Perhaps most importantly, help center software powered by AI and machine learning can automate agent work and process inquiries without agent intervention, freeing up agent time to tackle more complex requests.

As DTC markets grow — and with them, consumer expectations and inquiry volume — technology must keep up. Modern help center software eliminates low level tasks and deflects repetitive questions, empowering customer service professionals to be more focused and reducing per-contact costs. What makes great software? Read more below.

Why Focus on Help Center Software?

Few business facets are more important than customer service. Speaking about 2021 customer service trends, Allegra Ubbes, a senior advisory specialist at Gartner, summarized the market this way:

“Customer service and support leaders face increased pressure from leadership on the role of the service function in improving operational excellence and growing the business. Given this environment, it’s unsurprising that customer service and support leaders’ top 2020 priorities are rooted in customer experience (CX), managing talent and data.”

Adding to their analysis, Gartner surveyed service executives about their priorities. Topping their lists: digital channels and functions. “Customer service leaders feel a distinct pressure to meet customers’ expectations for digital service channels and keep pace with competitors’ service offerings,” analysts write. “As a result, service leaders spend a disproportionate amount of time adding or integrating channels.”

However, research finds this creates a “costlier, more complex network of channels to manage without improving the customer experience and insufficient reduction in live volume.” Put another way: not every help center software – and the channels they facilitate – can power the sleek shopping experience that buyers want. On the contrary, that software may damage customer relations and the company’s bottom line.

Make Friends With Customer Experience (CX)

Simply sidestepping help center software all together isn’t going to solve this issue. Indicators suggest brands can anticipate a sustained surge of digital customer queries. And the National Retail Federation (NRF) found there’s a good chance 2020-based forces have permanently altered the CX industry. As such, brands should take notice.

Training their sights on the November-December holiday season, NRF found retail sales rose to $789.4 billion, an 8.3% increase over 2019. Online and other sales outside of traditional brick-and-mortar stores grew 23.9% over the previous year as well.

Greater sales activity creates a cascade effect on business operations: starting with increased urgency placed on customer service professionals and their tools, such as help desk software. How great a spike in activity? Just under 70% of respondents said they fielded more customer queries in 2020 when compared to the previous holiday season.

And there’s a price tag attached to excellent CX. Researchers found an overwhelming 86% of buyers said they’d pay more for a product when that shopping experience comes with superior customer service. When there’s demand for — and more money to be made — with great customer service, avoiding help center software isn’t an option.

Help Center Software of Your Dreams

Alright, so those are the stakes. But what factors should a customer service professional weigh when evaluating different help center software? Look no further than software that leverages the latest technology to make agents more efficient and effective.

Additionally, there are five pillars of every modern support software:

Holistic Customer View. See the whole picture. Often answers are found by combining information from different sources. Opt for a software that uses a holistic customer view, and displays every item of internal and external data into one actionable interface.

Powerful Automation. Give your agents more bandwidth to focus their energy on pressing tasks with AI and machine learning, which completes small, easy tasks that don’t require a human touch.

True Omnichannel. Endlessly toggling between engagement channels burns valuable time and energy, which could be spent delving into customer queries. Choose a help center software with omnichannel features that empower agents to switch between channels without ever leaving the conversation.

Sentiment Fluency. Customer service can be a huge source of data. Let AI do the hard work. Software with sentiment fluency interprets shoppers’ feelings and turns them into actionable insights.

Customization. It’s a bad idea to add tools that aren’t a good fit for your operation. Cumbersome solutions burn resources, and can ultimately harm a customer’s shopping experience. Choose a software that seamlessly integrates with your existing operation.

Help Center Software Solutions

Want to see these fives pillars in action? Check out Kustomer’s customer service CRM platform for managing high support volume. When there’s a surge of customer queries, not just any help center software will do. Delve deeper into this topic, and discover how artificial intelligence can reduce time spent on minor tasks and create a more enjoyable shopping experience for customers.

 

Video: How to Deliver Stellar CX Remotely

Woman engages with customer service queries at home on laptop.

Have you and your teams struggled with the transition to remote customer service, and want more control on how you’re delivering a stellar experience to your customers? The Kustomer Platform bridges the gap between addressing accountability problems (are my agents really working?), giving you a seamless way to track important data points about your customer.

What is Remote Customer Service?

With an uptick in people working from home and being online more than ever before, consumers need and expect customer support 24/7. Your remote customer service agents should do everything an in-house CS rep can do: take calls, process high-level customer questions, and be attentive to your customer’s unique needs. The good news is, your brand can offer a completely remote customer service experience and you don’t need to rent costly office space to deliver an exceptional experience.


Here Are 4 Simple Ways To Deliver Stellar Remote Customer Service:


1. Easy Access

  • All you need is an internet browser and standard wifi, and you’re good to go!

2. Seamless Collaboration

  • Through easy integrations, you can loop in cross functional teams and use tools like Notes, @mentions, followers, and more.

3. Easy Oversight

  • Remotely manage your CX tool with confidence.
  • Quickly get a bird’s eye view of customer service agent availability & capacity.
  • Jump into active conversations and manage queue assignments easily.

4. Stay Efficient & Effective

  • Finally! You can leverage a true omnichannel CRM to create a detailed picture of every customer and help them stay engaged on any platform.
  • Easy automation of repetitive tasks.
  • Access all the data you need in just one place!

Want To See What Effortless Remote Customer Service Looks Like?

You can request a 15-minute live intro call with one of our representatives here, or you can see the Kustomer platform in action by getting a behind-the-scenes look here.

 

Get to Know These Common Customer Service Problems and Solutions

Benchmarks: What We’re Seeing For Average Handle Time and First Resolution Time in Q2 & Q3 2020 TW

As the direct-to-customer market grows, many brands continue to adopt traditional approaches to customer service and stumble over the same obstacles again and again. How should customer service professionals rethink client care? And where should brands even begin this process? Let’s unpack some common customer service problems and solutions.

Below, we outline common obstacles, such as adapting to new customer preferences and gauging success, and cover modern solutions.

Customer Service Basics: What’s the Problem?

Despite popular wisdom, a majority of buyers do not want to speak to a support agent. That’s according to a survey by market research company Forrester. Analysts found most customers simply want accurate, relevant and complete answers to their queries. Why does this matter?

Returning to the study, more than 50% of U.S. adults said they’re likely to abandon their online purchase if they can’t find a quick answer to their question.

Speaking to only those one-in-two shoppers for whom speed is a factor, whether or not a brand closes a sale depends on how quickly customers can locate answers related to a product.

Delving deeper into this topic, 70% of adults said valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer service.

Customers are increasingly using self-service and agent-assisted digital communication channels for customer service, which apply less friction to the shopping experience, Forrester researchers write.

Examples of these channels include:

  • Web or mobile self-service.
  • Online forums or communities.
  • Live chat.

Of course, now’s not the time to unplug and retire the landlines. What this report points to is a more nuanced, tech-forward approach to our customer service problems and solutions — an approach that is more vital now than ever.

How Did COVID-19 Shift Customer Service

COVID-19. Social distancing. Virtual connections. With an eye on the upcoming year, Forrester suggests customer service centers will adapt to a shifting market, one shaped by the pandemic. There’s a “need for a more empathetic service experience,” analysts write. Additionally, customer service will become a lifeline for an estimated 33 million consumers.

“With U.S. unemployment peaking in April [2020],” they write, “millions of individuals found themselves struggling to pay for food, bills, and other necessities.” They suggest responsible organizations provide high-quality, emotionally sensitive customer support in a form that meets customers’ needs.

Concurring with the above trend, Forrester predicts a sharp, 40% spike in virtual customer support cases, placing greater scrutiny on brands and greater urgency on their support agents to meet shoppers’ preferences: namely a demand for self-service and agent-assisted digital communication channels.

Finally, Forrester projects the creation of hybrid store/contact center roles. While brick-and-mortar stores have been hurt by the pandemic and subsequent social distancing guidelines, they haven’t been erased. Assuming a hybrid posture towards customer service problems and solutions creates the greatest opportunity for brands to meet shoppers’ needs.

Tackling Customer Service Problems and Solutions

As we covered in a previous blog post, customer service agents who aim to improve their care face a unique challenge. So often, the starting points for new solutions are major issues that may be intangible and tricky to define, such as:

  • Inefficiency.
  • Feeling ineffective.
  • Immediate need to deflect conversations.

Equally challenging is gauging the benefits of your customer service. Of course, a five-star review on a public forum is a clear sign. Generally speaking, these kinds of signals can be few and far between, creating gaps of time without concrete feedback to indicate how well a service center is performing. Where should you look to get a sense of how your service is affecting consumers?

First, look within. Everyone benefits from excellent customer service, not just shoppers. When buyers are happy, that can radiate to an entire organization, boosting morale and — potentially — translating to sales. And in that way, a company’s bottom line becomes a clear, tangible gauge of customer service efforts.

And second, check your workloads. Customer service takes time to perform, especially when done well. As such, professionals may find themselves overburdened when fielding a large volume of easy to answer conversations, and unable to attend to more serious cases. Often, giving agents the freedom to deflect avoidable queries is a matter of implementing tech solutions, such as self-service and agent-assisted digital communication channels.

Customer Service Solutions

Here are just a few options that are available to customer service professionals:

  • Providing shoppers with resources, such an easily accessible FAQ section.
  • Installing an AI chatbot.
  • Implementing a proactive outreach strategy, allowing agents to address customer concerns before they arise.

Learning how to tackle customer service problems and solutions doesn’t have to stop with this blog post. Trust Kustomer as a source of invaluable tactics for honing your custom service center strategy. Learn more.
 

Scaling Customer Service as your Business Grows

Scaling Customer Service as your Business Grows TW

There’s nothing quite as exciting as growing — and scaling — your business. Along with the excitement comes an all-important need to stay focused on scaling your customer service offerings to meet the needs and expectations of your ever-growing customer base. As your business grows, it’s essential to prioritize providing the best possible service that aligns with your organization’s core competencies, without breaking the bank.

Utilizing a CX CRM platform, such as Kustomer, allows you to focus on three key areas: communication, automation and documentation. By prioritizing these three tenets, you’ll be able to successfully scale your customer service offerings as your business continues to grow.

Communicate

As with any organization that prioritizes the customer above all else, accurate and instant communication is essential to ensuring that you’re able to provide an exceptional customer experience. A true omnichannel CRM aggregates all channels into one single view, so customers are able to communicate seamlessly on their preferred platform, and agents have all the information they need to provide a personalized experience. With access to a knowledge base, agents have up-to-date information at their fingertips to ensure they’re providing accurate answers to customers’ concerns.

Automate

Automation can be leveraged in many ways in intelligent platforms like Kustomer. Businesses are able to tap into the power of queues and routing to automatically route specific conversations to the most appropriate agent. Utilizing business rules ensures proper actions are taken on conversations automatically, and when combined with documentation, CX organizations can ensure that all conversations are properly tagged and ready for a thorough review at a later time.

With AI, businesses now have the opportunity to provide more self-service opportunities. Think about chatbots. They are growing in popularity with both businesses and consumers, and can be used to collect initial information, and solve low level inquiries like business hours, policy questions and “where is my order” (WISMO) inquiries. While there is always fear of losing personalization when using AI and automation, with the right data, businesses can actually do the opposite. For instance, if a business leverages customer data properly, chatbots could ask personalized questions based on an individual’s purchase or browsing history. These interventions save time for both the customer and agent, and increase the time spent on the actual issue rather than information gathering and low-level support.

Document

Documentation is performed in a few ways within CRM platforms like Kustomer. First, you are automatically documenting your correspondence with your customers. This allows you to see past engagements and find areas where your team can improve while you scale. A solid QA program of past conversations is imperative for any organization scaling their customer service organization. Second, this documentation allows you to search across your interactions to find trends. Are you answering the same question(s)? If so, you can uncover those insights through reporting functionality, and then you can update your knowledge base to get that answer into your customer’s hands quicker, or adopt chatbots to automate those conversations. Lastly, utilizing pre-built messages for common inquiries allows agents to engage with customers quickly, accurately, consistently and efficiently.

Scaling a customer service organization doesn’t need to be a scary task. Business growth means you are succeeding, but you must remain focused on delivering the customer service experience that your customers expect. Prioritizing communication, automation, and documentation will allow you to succeed in this endeavor.

Want to learn more about how to scale your CX org? Download our definitive guide to scaling your customer service, without losing the human touch.

 

Kustomer Adds Instagram Messaging Integration to Fuel Social Commerce and Customer Service

Kustomer Adds Instagram Messaging Integration to Fuel Social Commerce and Customer Service TW 3

Brands on Instagram can now engage with followers, leverage influencer connections, and resolve support issues at scale inside the Kustomer omnichannel CRM platform

New York, NY – October 19, 2020 – Kustomer, the modern customer experience CRM, today announces its integration with Instagram Messaging. Brands can now engage with followers, connect influencer-driven conversations to company experts, and resolve issues quickly, allowing businesses to take advantage of rapid growth in social communications and commerce.

Kustomer’s CRM is the first true omnichannel customer service platform, purpose-built for brands that want to deliver hyper-personalized customer experiences at scale. By unifying customer conversations across multiple channels in a single-screen view, agents get unprecedented visibility and insights about their customers, enabling them to deliver the exceptional service experiences that consumers demand.

With the integration, brands can now:

  • Respond to direct messages, @mentions, and Stories from the Kustomer Platform, eliminating the need for toggling between tabs or devices.
  • View messaging on Instagram in a single timeline view, along with other customer interactions and conversations across multiple channels and platforms.
  • Leverage intelligent routing, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to seamlessly keep up with demand and cost-effectively scale.
  • Track KPIs and manage service level agreements (SLAs) for Instagram conversations.

“With more than a billion active users worldwide, a thriving influencer community, and the ability to instantly engage with consumers, Instagram has become one of the fastest growing channels for social commerce and customer service. In this time of rapid e-commerce acceleration, providing fast, personalized engagements with followers, influencers, and customers has taken on a new urgency. It presents a real opportunity for companies to significantly boost revenue and cement stronger relationships,” said Brad Birnbaum, founder and CEO of Kustomer. “We are honored to be one of the premier CRM partners to deliver seamless messaging integration on Instagram, enabling direct-to-consumer businesses and digital disruptors to connect with buyers, assist customers and deliver an extraordinary customer experience.”

“In the past, our agents had to respond to customer DMs, stories or tags directly within the Instagram app, which wasn’t scalable and didn’t allow us to track KPIs,” said Wellington JosĂ© of Amaro, a leading Brazilian direct-to-consumer fashion brand. “Now that the Kustomer customer experience CRM platform is integrated with Instagram Messenger, we can efficiently manage that channel in the same seamless way Kustomer allows us to manage our other channels.”

“We are delighted that Kustomer is launching its Kustomer CRM platform on Messenger. Businesses and people are messaging with each other more than ever, and Instagram is an important channel to connect with customers and build relationships,” said Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, VP of Platform Partnerships at Messenger. “Messenger API support for Instagram means businesses and developers can now manage their customer communications on Instagram at scale.”

Contact us to learn more about this integration.


About Kustomer
Kustomer is the world’s top-rated customer experience CRM, helping leading brands create customers for life. With an advanced, AI-powered, omnichannel customer service platform, Kustomer delivers a unified single view of the customer, automates manual tasks, and scales easily to deliver the efficient and effortless experiences businesses, agents and consumers love. Today, Kustomer is the core platform of top customer-centric brands like Ring, Glovo, Glossier, Sweetgreen and hundreds of others. Headquartered in NYC, Kustomer was founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneurs Brad Birnbaum and Jeremy Suriel, has raised over $174M in venture funding, and is backed by leading VCs including: Coatue, Tiger Global Management, Battery Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Cisco Investments, Canaan Partners, Boldstart Ventures and Social Leverage.

Media Contact:
Cari Sommer
Raise Communications
cari@raisecg.com
 

Kustomer is Proud to Join the Shopify Plus Certified App Program



Here at Kustomer we are constantly looking for new ways to make our customers’ jobs easier, building solutions and partnerships that optimize and personalize the customer experience. That’s why this partnership with Shopify Plus is so exciting for us.

The Shopify Plus Certified App Program supports the largest Shopify merchants by helping them find the apps and solutions they need to build and scale their business. The program is exclusive to Shopify Plus apps that have shown a level of exceptional product quality, performance, privacy, and support, that can be relied upon for the advanced requirements of Shopify Plus Merchants.

Kustomer is excited to announce that we have been selected as the only enterprise customer service CRM platform in the Shopify Plus Certified App Program. Our seamless integration with the Shopify App creates contextualized, actionable customer profiles so that merchants and agents can build and drive more personalized and data-driven customer journeys, while resolving conversations quickly and building long-term customer loyalty.

Scaling With Your Business

The world’s leading brands need a customer service CRM that can scale as they do. By automating 40 percent of customer interactions and optimizing omnichannel experiences for customers and agents alike, Kustomer is able to help e-commerce brands quickly and efficiently resolve conversations across all digital channels in a single platform.

According to Loren Padelford, GM of Shopify Plus, “The Shopify Plus Certified App program is designed to meet the advanced requirements of the world’s fastest growing brands. We’re happy to welcome Kustomer to the program, bringing their insight and experience in Customer Support to the Plus merchant community.”

We are so excited to be recognized as a best-in-class customer service platform by Shopify Plus and join this incredible partnership network to extend our leading customer service and support capabilities to help brands and customer service agents succeed and further fuel business growth.

Integration Benefits

As part of our enhanced integration with Shopify Plus, Shopify Plus merchants will be able to integrate with Kustomer’s best-in-class platform with one click, making Shopify data viewable within the context of their customers’ historical activity, and actionable so that they can process returns and exchanges. Merchants can also instantly navigate to Shopify invoices as needed, or initiate conversations based on that data.

The Kustomer and Shopify integration offers a chronological and detailed timeline that views, tracks and manages past and present interactions and Shopify orders all in one actionable agent workspace. In addition, the integration allows use of Shopify data to identify and segment customers for proactive engagement based on purchase history and lifetime value, which in turn, helps retain more customers and build loyalty. Kustomer’s powerful automation features also help optimize teams and empower agents to use Shopify data to maintain and resolve conversations.

Through this partnership, Shopify merchants and agents will also be able to access a Shopify insights card, a one-stop shop for each customer’s entire Shopify purchase history, available directly in their profile. This dynamic card includes a chronological view of all purchases, with the ability to internally navigate to itemized lists, payment methods, as well as an ability to search the entire card by product item and SKU number, so that every detail around every purchase is discoverable within Kustomer.

What Our Customers Have to Say

Kustomer already serves as the customer service platform of Shopify Plus brands like ThirdLove, Ring and HiSmile. “Using Kustomer allows us to give our customers the freedom and flexibility to reach out anytime, anywhere and via any channel they want,” said Fabio Alferi, Head of Customer Experience at HiSmile. “This extraordinary customer service tool has played a significant role in enabling our team to deliver the type of highly efficient and personalized service that today’s customers expect and demand.”

Want to get started? Learn more about the power of our Shopify integration here.

 

Kustomer Selected as Enterprise Customer Service CRM Available in Shopify Plus Certified App Program

Kustomer Selected as Enterprise Customer Service CRM Available in Shopify Plus Certified App Program PR TW

Kustomer’s integration with Shopify Plus will help brands and customer service agents optimize and personalize customer experiences.

New York, NY – July 8, 2020 – Kustomer, the omnichannel SaaS platform reimagining enterprise customer service to deliver standout experiences, today announced that it has been selected as the only enterprise customer service CRM platform in the Shopify Plus Certified App Program. Kustomer’s seamless integration with the Shopify App creates contextualized, actionable customer profiles so that merchants and agents can build and drive more personalized and data-driven customer journeys, while resolving conversations quickly and building long-term customer loyalty.

By automating 40 percent of customer interactions and optimizing omnichannel experiences for customers and agents alike, Kustomer is able to help e-commerce brands quickly and efficiently resolve conversations across all digital channels in a single platform. As part of its enhanced integration with Shopify Plus, Shopify Plus merchants will be able to integrate with Kustomer’s best-in-class platform with one click, making Shopify data viewable within the context of their customers’ historical activity, and actionable so that they can process returns and exchanges. Merchants can also instantly navigate to Shopify invoices as needed, or initiate conversations based on that data.

“We are excited to be recognized as a best-in-class customer service platform by Shopify Plus and join this incredible partnership network to extend our leading customer service and support capabilities to help brands and customer service agents succeed and further fuel business growth,” said Brad Birnbaum, Co-Founder and CEO of Kustomer. “By seamlessly integrating into the Shopify App, our platform will help Shopify Plus merchants deliver efficient and effective service by automating 40% of interactions via self-service, reducing handle times with intelligent routing, and driving omnichannel experiences between customers and agents.”

Integration Benefits

The Kustomer and Shopify integration offers a chronological and detailed timeline that views, tracks and manages past and present interactions and Shopify orders all in one actionable agent workspace. In addition, the integration allows use of Shopify data to identify and segment customers for proactive engagement based on purchase history and lifetime value, which in turn, helps retain more customers and build loyalty. Kustomer’s powerful automation features also help optimize teams and empower agents to use Shopify data to maintain and resolve conversations.

Through this partnership, Shopify merchants and agents will also be able to access a Shopify insights card, a one-stop shop for each customer’s entire Shopify purchase history, available directly in their profile. This dynamic card includes a chronological view of all purchases, with the ability to internally navigate to itemized lists, payment methods, as well as an ability to search the entire card by product item and SKU number, so that every detail around every purchase is discoverable within Kustomer.

“The Shopify Plus Certified App program is designed to meet the advanced requirements of the world’s fastest growing brands,” said Loren Padelford, GM Shopify Plus. “We’re happy to welcome Kustomer to the program, bringing their insight and experience in Customer Support to the Plus merchant community.”

Kustomer already serves as the customer service platform of several Shopify Plus brands, including HiSmile and ThirdLove. “Using Kustomer allows us to give our customers the freedom and flexibility to reach out anytime, anywhere and via any channel they want,” said Fabio Alferi, Head of Customer Experience at HiSmile. “This extraordinary customer service tool has played a significant role in enabling our team to deliver the type of highly efficient and personalized service that today’s customers expect and demand.”

About Kustomer
Kustomer is the omnichannel SaaS CRM platform reimagining enterprise customer service to deliver standout experiences. Built with intelligent automation, Kustomer scales to meet the needs of any contact center and business by unifying data from multiple sources and enabling companies to deliver effortless, consistent and personalized service and support through a single timeline view. Today, Kustomer is the core platform of some of the leading customer service brands like Ring, Glovo, Glossier and Sweetgreen. Headquartered in NYC, Kustomer was founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneurs Brad Birnbaum and Jeremy Suriel, has raised over $174M in venture funding, and is backed by leading VCs including: Coatue, Tiger Global Management, Battery Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Cisco Investments, Canaan Partners, Boldstart Ventures and Social Leverage.

Media Contact:
Cari Sommer
Raise Communications
cari@raisecg.com
 

How Automation Can Help You Scale Your Business

How Automation Can Help You Scale Your Business TW

The digital landscape that we live in today has made it simple and seamless to access the information we need, instantly, from the palms of our hands. This means consumers are more comfortable and in-tune with their ability to reach out to your customer service team.

Making it as easy as possible on them, however, should be one of your top priorities. As your business grows and you must tackle more customer service inquiries, you need a strategy that allows you to scale your business. That’s where automation comes in.

Automating low-level service allows your business to meet customer needs without compromising quality and bringing in too many customer service agents. Let’s take a closer look at scalability and how automation can ensure an effective transition.

What Does it Mean to Scale Your Service?

While growing your business is equally important to scaling it, these two concepts are not one and the same. Scaling your business is what comes after you gain that initial growth.

As explained by HubSpot, scaling your business means that you have the funds, resources and overall organizational ability to take on an increase in sales, and therefore, and an uptick in work across the board.

Scaling a business is very similar to scaling a photo on the computer. The idea is to enlarge the picture without taking away from its quality. Scalability in business is all about utilizing the tools you have to maintain business growth without compromising value.

Automation and Scalability

Scalability sounds great in theory, but it often takes a robust strategy to turn the idea into reality. Automation makes scalability highly achievable by essentially providing more service to the customer without increasing the need for human resources. In the context of customer service, automation can mean actions such as automatically routing consumers to the right agent, and gathering information before the conversation even begins. Involving chatbots allows customer service agents to get a head start by knowing the information chatbots have already gathered and diving directly into more complex work. With more opportunity to take care of all queries that come up, scalability becomes second nature.

How Kustomer Can Help you Scale Your Business

Scaling your business can be a fairly simple concept when you choose a provider with a robust solution. Kustomer provides a platform that powers personalized and efficient omnichannel customer service by using powerful AI capabilities that make scaling your business almost effortless.

With automation, your company can better meet customers’ needs by contextualizing conversations, which also allows you to reduce the number of manual tasks that have fallen on customer service agents in the past. Even more, all of this can be achieved without compromising the overall quality of service, allowing your business to deliver on customers’ expectations and uphold a positive reputation.

Automated processes may be the next step in the journey to improve your business. Learn more about how Kustomer can help you scale your business with our Definitive Guide to Scaling Customer Service.

From cross-channel conversations to automated business processes, the Kustomer platform can help your business improve overall efficiencies by automating routine actions and eliminating manual tasks altogether.
 

Getting Started is Easy

Get a Demo