December 3, 2020

The 5 C's of Customer Experience

Article

Excellent customer experiences form the cornerstone of any brand’s good name and reputation. They ensure that customers will remain loyal to the company, and provide social proof that brings new customers in. It shouldn’t be excessively complicated or difficult to provide great customer experiences, but sometimes in the stress of an support escalation, it can be easy to lose sight of first principles. That’s why we’ve outlined our 5 C’s of Customer Experience - core concepts and values that anyone dealing with a customer, in any situation, should keep at the top of their mind & return to.

Care

First and foremost, the relationship between company and customer should be characterized by a level of care that is unparalleled in its attentiveness and sincerity. It goes without saying that any employee interacting with a customer should have an interest in that customer’s wants and needs, but that is not enough. Customers need to feel assured that they are genuinely being looked after, that their concerns are taken seriously, and that the person they are interacting with has a vested interest in seeing their issue resolved successfully. Displaying empathy and friendliness toward the customer is a crucial part showing that a company cares about their customers, and it is something that cannot be automated away. 

Communication

Sometimes, probably more often that any organization would prefer, interactions with customers can get complicated. In these complicated times, customers may begin to lose their patience, and it can become challenging for the employee helping them to keep their professional composure. The best way to get things to simmer down a bit is to have regular, consistent communication with that customer. Status updates, process updates, and everything in between should be clearly explained as they occur. The leading causes for customer dissatisfaction are feeling lost and unattended to. Establishing clear lines of communication that are easily accessible & providing transparency are the best ways to ward off unwanted confusion & frustration.

Competence

Aside from caring about a customer’s needs and communicating with them effectively, issues must be properly dealt with. You can be the most empathetic person in the world and that will mean nothing if you are not able to sufficiently handle the request that a customer has brought to you. That means having the knowledge to handle that situation readily available to you - and if it isn’t, knowing how to get it, and act on it. Obviously, being well trained is an essential part of being competent, but having the right tools at your disposal is just as essential. Without technology solutions that can help employees work at their fullest potential, those employees are as useful as a courier without a bicycle.

Collaboration

Oftentimes, in spite of our best efforts to handle a situation independently, it’s necessary to reach out for help & escalate a situation. This is not something that should be frowned upon or generate anxiety. Rather, collaboration should be seen as an opportunity to demonstrate teamwork that will effectively help a customer. This can be across different teams, partners, and vendors, so a high-functioning platform through which collaboration happens (especially among remote workforces) is essential. Your organization needs to make sure that the one you are using is optimized for that specific purpose. When collaborating as a team in a clear, transparent way, the customer will feel cared for and that their issues and/or situations are of great importance.

Completion

Capping it all off, it is best that requests and issues be dealt with in a timely manner, and to completion (sometimes this may not be possible on the day of, but it is preferable). Providing excellent customer experiences means that there are no loose ends to still be dealt with, and no aspect of a situation has been overlooked that will cause trouble down the line. This means a comprehensive review of the situation from top to bottom, ensuring that the customers’ needs have been satisfactorily met. Cutting corners will only serve to hinder your ability to better serve customers in the future, but resolving any and all questions will ensure excellent outcomes & give your customers peace of mind.