We couldn’t let National Customer Services Week pass us by without a quick chat about it on our podcast series CX Appeal. Our very own Louise Wright catches up with fellow marketer Kerry Joicey who shares her views on how customer service has evolved and what she learnt at the recent Call Centre & Customer Services Summit (CCS).
Listen to the podcast in full here.
LW: I thought this was a great opportunity to grab a coffee and have a chat about how customer services trends have evolved for you Kerry. How do you feel the trends in customer services have changed?
KJ: I’ve been with Netcall for just under 4 years and in that short amount of time have seen a real shift from customer services through to customer experience. A lot of people have changed job titles, we have seen a lot more Heads of Customer Experience. This is not just a semantic change, people are a lot more customer centric and worried about what the customer is experiencing throughout the whole journey and not just resolving one particular complaint or enquiry. If you go back 5-10 years ago that’s what it was.
LW: I think we’re thinking about customers more holistically too. Not just external customers but also our internal customer. Customer services is a topic close to our hearts at Netcall as we help people improve how they interact with customers and differentiate their businesses and grow.
KJ: I was lucky enough to go to the Call Centre & Customer Services Summit a couple of weeks ago and managed to get out and talk to some of our customers. What was great to see was how customer centric people are becoming. Every time they spoke about any of their problems it always went back to the customer. And there were some common problems coming up that we have seen for a couple of years now. Things like agents having to log onto multiple systems and lack of integration between systems. What was nice to see was people saying 'and this is how it affects my customer'. People are having to wait longer on the phone or having to become frustrated as things aren’t quite right'. That change of focus is really coming through.
LW: Also great that we had one of our customers speaking there too. Ian Lycett at Nationwide. Ian was there talking about Nationwide’s journey.
KJ: They have a really interesting story. Back in 2007 they received some really bad feedback particularly from their broker market. It hit the press and was a bad time for them. They really decided to turn it around and do something about it. They became No.1 for Customer Service and have been No.1 for the last 6 years. What Ian covered in the presentation was how they overcame those challenges. So to start with they looked at the feedback, talked to the brokers and figured out what was going wrong. What a lot of it came down to was processes. The fact that everything was on paper, being lost and brokers didn’t know where their applications were. A lot of it was to do with communication and keeping the brokers updated. So they found some innovative ways to solve those issues, including using Low-code technology, which is where the relationship between us and Low-code comes from.
LW: How has Low-code specifically helped Nationwide improve customer experience, as I don’t think the link between the two is always obvious?
KJ: Low-code is often about seeing efficiencies and the process management side of things. And that does always feedback to the customer. Where you can improve processes and improve communications to a customer, you are removing the friction for that customer at every stage and improving the experience for them. So during the presentation Ian went through three things Nationwide changed and saw particular success in. One of which was social media management. They were the first financial organisation to be able to offer 24 hour support through Twitter. This was huge and wouldn’t have been able to be done unless there were these processes happening in the background. As the Tweets came in, they were triaged, sent to the right person and responded to quickly. If you have just a person doing this, that is not going to happen. It has a real impact for the customer.
LW: Social media is just one element Nationwide focused on what about the other two angles?
Well, we are recording a webinar to go through these in more detail – so watch this space!! In the meantime you can read more about Nationwide here.
LW: Definitely a really interesting story of how they got to be No.1