We sat down with Forrester to help you build a scalable and proactive CX strategy - here are 5 key takeaways from that conversation.
Scaling CX with Automation and Agents
When you’re scaling your CX team, it’s more important than any other time to treat your people like the brand ambassadors they are.
We had a great conversation about letting go of one-touch resolution numbers for good, investing in infrastructure early so you don’t have to backtrack while you scale, and training your live agents to be brand ambassadors.
Let’s dive right in!
The impact of brand experiences
The first thing Ben mentioned was a great customer experience he had with a Starbucks employee in the drive-thru.
“The guy who was taking the order sounded so fun, so bubbly,” Ben said. “I was excited to drive around to the windows to see who this person was, to keep talking to him.”
This experience exemplifies the impact that agents have to make customers feel valued and engaged.
To Ben, one-touch resolution isn’t necessarily a metric that CX leaders should be looking at. Here’s why:
Customer experience is more complicated than tickets and budgets. Prioritizing one-touch resolutions means that you want agents to do everything they can to make the customer not come back. This includes tactics like sending the customer long, elaborate responses that serve little purpose other than information overload.
If the customers do come back, it feels like a loss to the agent—who might think they didn’t do their job right.
One touch should not be the end goal. “Our end goal is to provide a great service,” Ben explained. “There's a lot of times when that's going to require back and forth — and that's okay.”
The 3 pillars of CX while scaling
These are the metrics that Ben does track:
- Service. Are we responding with the right speed for each channel? Do the customers feel heard immediately?
- Satisfaction. How are the customers feeling? How are they rating us?
- QA. Are we following best processes and best practices?
Scaling the team
Set a strong foundation of standard operating procedures—and then write them down!
Ben described a situation where a team of six doesn’t need to document procedures… until one of the people leaves or until three people are hired at once.
“Do that on purpose and early,” he said. “Get it down on paper, and then iterate on it over time.”
Another tip is to assess your current small team for future managers. Someone who is great at social now could pretty soon become the manager of the social department. Put them in the mindset of where they could be in a year to retain them while you scale.
Scaling the tools
Early on, it’s tempting for you to decide you can DIY your tools in Google Sheets or Google Docs.
“But then six months later, some new release comes out, the business blows up, you need to hire 20 more people… and the thing that you were hacking together isn't going to grow with you,” Ben said.
Be willing to slightly overspend today on a tool that you will need in the very near future.
Brand interactions and brand ambassadors
“You really have to drive home to your agents that each one of these contacts is not just a ticket, it's not just a number,” Ben said.
Your agents are the face of your brand. In reality, every brand interaction is a teachable moment. Agents have the opportunity to tell customers things about the brand they may not have even asked about, like what’s new or upcoming.
If agents are happy and jovial like the Starbucks drive-thru employee, then customers will feel positive and excited to interact like Ben was.
And that was just one random employee at a random drive through. Imagine the impact of a whole team of brand ambassadors putting the customer first.
- Don't get too preoccupied with those one-touch resolution numbers. Look more holistically at a variety of metrics to make sure that customers are getting what they need.
- Invest in systems and infrastructure to establish repeatable processes early on so that you can scale in a way that makes sense.
- Remind your skilled human resources, your live agents, that they're actually brand ambassadors and can have a huge impact on brand value.
Lynn’s career has spanned across different kinds of content, from copywriting, to journalism, to marketing, and even mystery puzzle games. She brings facets from all these disciplines into her work at Ada. Outside of that, Lynn loves playing games, hiking, and reading about trees.