It’s not often that you get to hear exceptional and positive customer service accounts, so today we bring you five that will shock you – but in the best of ways. With each one of these encounters, one can see how brands can foster and forge loyalty with their customers. The individuals in the following stories were so moved by their experiences that they felt compelled to share them with the vast digital world, and of course with their family and friends. And now we are compelled to share them with you, too.
Category Archives: Retail
It seems like, every month, Apple is coming out with a new product or service for its customers to take advantage of, a gadget or a gizmo to “improve” their lives. A steady stream of people visit Apple stores to view, purchase, or try out some of its convenient gadgets hands-on. If you’ve ever walked through a mall where an Apple Store is present, you’ve seen the phenomenon: A mass of people congregating within its glass walls, standing at the product kiosks, handling items with interests and speaking with customer service professionals about the latest and greatest in Apple technology. When you have hundreds of people walking through the doors at any time, one can only imagine the demand on its customer service professionals.
Common practice in a retail environment dictates that you use a customer’s name, greet them at the first available opportunity, and smile whenever possible. But in an environment like an Apple store — where you could have up to 10 customers at any given time — there’s more to consider. We went onsite to investigate their customer service practices and to see how they respond to such high-volume demands every day of the week.
Here at Fonolo, we understand the many issues call centers face in regards to staffing, spikes, hold times, call abandonment, and more. That is why we’ve tasked ourselves to research the best solutions to deal with these problems head-on. While nothing can beat call-backs in improving your call center experience for both customers and agents, we are happy to announce the findings from our years of research.
You might already be thinking you know the answer:
Internet of Things?
What is it?
From furry to feathery, and everything in between, they are here to take your animal farm of a call center to the next level. Our latest report will show you how, now.
The buying experience often gets the most attention in customer service. Conversions are the name of the game for most businesses, so it would make sense that importance is placed on the process leading up to a purchase. For example, retail brands focus heavily on ensuring that sales associates help shoppers find the right sizes, greet guests warmly, create quick and easy checkout processes, and include thoughtful touches like water bottles in change rooms.
These are all important components of a great customer service experience, but so are the processes that take place after the fact. Indeed, the post-purchase experience can be just as important, if not more so, in securing customer loyalty. Customers want to feel that they are important even after they have handed over their money. So, how do you ensure you make your clients and customers feel valued after they’ve purchased something from your company? Here are a few strategies that can help.
After graduating from university, I spent a sun-soaked 18 months living in Southern California. Having moved from Ireland, my family and friends back home were interested to hear what I liked and disliked about my new life “state side.” They did not expect to hear about my adoration for the supermarket chain Trader Joe’s, which happened to be conveniently located two blocks from my apartment.
I never considered trips to supermarkets to be transcendent experiences. So, why was I suddenly enjoying this erstwhile chore? It’s because Trader Joe’s (or “TJ’s” as it’s affectionately known) is no ordinary supermarket. It’s quirky. It’s affordable. It stocks good products. There is an essence of good vibes, partially attributable to the Hawaiian-shirt-attired employees and handwritten signs. Plus, when you’re in a crowded store after a long day of work, the friendly folks that work there lighten your mood.
I’m not the only TJ’s fan. In fact, there’s a dedicated fan club for people who are as equally smitten as me. TJ’s has also picked up some notable awards for customer experience, most recently ranking first among multichannel retailers in Forrester Research’s 2018 U.S. Customer Experience Index. So, how has TJ’s turned CX into its competitive advantage?
Call centers have become notorious for possessing one of the highest employee attrition rates of any industry. According to Talkdesk, call centers have a turnover rate ranging from 30 to 45 percent. This is a staggering number, given that the average employee turnover rate in 2015 for all industries in the United States was 16.7 percent.
This isn’t entirely surprising: Call centers are stressful work environments. Agents are required to deal with challenging, frustrated customers, with the knowledge that the calls (and their performance) are being monitored and timed. On top of this, a U.S. News Careers report found that customer service representatives suffer from below-average job flexibility.
We’ve previously discussed ways to combat agent burnout, but today we ask: What are the symptoms? How do we properly make an early diagnosis? Identifying the symptoms of burnout as soon as possible can significantly boost your service quality, workplace satisfaction, and bottom line. Continue reading →
“We are in the Era of the Customer,” says Shep Hyken.
We are indeed. It’s a modern reality where customers call the shots, armed with the knowledge that they have options. This includes their expectation of a certain level of customer experience, one that is seamless, omnichannel, and with bot offerings. In fact, according to Forrester, today’s “consumers have more tech at their disposal than ever before and it has fundamentally changed how they experience brands.” With more than 50% of companies already using chatbots, and 80% of businesses wanting chatbots by 2020 ( says Oracle), bots have been, and will be, rapidly transforming the customer service and customer experience landscape, especially in retail. In an article by Retail Dive, “Juniper estimates that by 2023 over 70% of chatbots accessed will be retail based.” Think about how many digital assistants, chatbots, and IVR’s that actually refers to, and in what capacity.
It’s an IKEA slogan. It’s also IKEA’s raison d’être.
At a healthy 75 years’ old, the Scandinavian born-and-bred brand has well surpassed middle-age and earned its place among retail royalty, continuing to thrive and expand its utilitarian-while-whimsical offerings into the online world. Its products are nestled in households across the globe. Phrases from its brilliantly funny ads have crawled into common parlance. IKEA isn’t simply a store: It’s a cultural force.
IKEA’s long-running epic success is the result of its allegiance to a specific set of principles that guide its every move: To nurture loyalty, a company must dare to be a fixture at every stage of customers’ lives. It must consider their every want and desire. It must meet their needs with products, online and in-store experiences, and customer service offerings.
The proof is in the pudding: Loyal consumers continue to flock to the imposing blue mecca in their town centers (and soon, urban centers) because of IKEA’s ability to hold a customer’s familiar hand throughout their lifetime. With seven decades under its belt, the company has much to teach us about how offering powerful customer experiences can make a brand a force to be reckoned with.
2018 has been a pivotal year for customer experience (CX). Industry wide, there is now a deeper understanding of CX as a multi-faceted, complex, incredibly important piece in the success (or failure) of any brand.
With this in mind, we’ve rounded up the most important and fascinating CX predictions for 2019, and provided our own thoughts on what they mean and how they will impact businesses in future. To stay at the top of your game in the year ahead, it’s essential to understand larger CX trends and how they are shaping our world and our industry. Read on as we detail five fascinating CX predictions to inform your 2019 CX strategy.
HOLD EVERYTHING: The results are in.
Onholdwith.com, the Fonolo-powered site that mines Twitter for real-time complaints about being put on hold (and folks, there are many, many complaints), has today made its annual list of hold-time offenders available for all the world to see. And you may be surprised by who made the list.
OnHoldWith.com, launched by Fonolo a few years back, this year collected over a whopping 165,000 posts mentioning the phrase “on hold with” from Twitter. And as those of us in customer service know to a sobering degree, Twitter has quickly become a go-to platform customers use to shout about frustrating customer service experiences. The tweets informing the report this year confirm that: a) customers are increasingly turning to social media to publicly out companies for poor customer service handling; and b) a benchmark of this poor service is placing a customer on hold.
While the companies on this year’s top 10 list are doing exquisite things in their industries (and trust us, we are big fans of all of them), the results of this year’s report signal that brands could be doing things even better, starting with sprucing up their customer service offerings.
So, here’s a good question: Did your company make the list?