By Scott Yates, General Manager, HGS
Nothing intrigues as much as a good story. A good story captures reader’s attention and leaves them wanting more. That’s precisely why brand storytelling is all the rage in today’s world. In the competitive marketplace, brands need a strong narrative to connect to customers—one that engages with empathy and bridges values, preferences—even lifestyle—of company and consumers. Ultimately, storytelling is at the heart of good customer experience (CX).
Speaking of CX—October 1 was CX Day—a calendar date dedicated to celebrating the professionals and companies that make great customer experiences happen. So this is perfect timing for a blog about how contact centers play an essential role in brand storytelling. Here at HGS, we’re in a unique role, as we are trusted messengers, enabled to carry the brand story to customers—and then relay back to the brand how the story and product/service itself have been received. Increasingly we’re counted on to add value to customer communications to help get that story right. As we’ve been brought into the process, we’ve become experts at bridging critical gaps—for optimized CX and ROI—in other words, earning and retaining customers for the brand. Every day, we build brand storytelling success. In three key ways, we work to:
1. Ensure every line of dialogue remains true to the narrative. Good contact centers should be experts at the art and science of being the brand behind the brand. At HGS, we immerse ourselves in brand culture, vision, and values. As the voice of our clients, our agents work from scripts written in the precise language of brand. From this foundation, they build customer communication with the front-line education and training we provide with site visits and product laboratories and ongoing education. In short, we make every line of customer conversation count. For example, for a leading car-sharing business, we interact with customers across many U.S. metropolitan areas. These customers often reach out to us for critical support during stressful moments of transportation breakdowns. We have done a deep-dive analysis on customer preferences to ensure that our agents are empathetic problemsolvers, well trained to respond with empathy and calm—and also in the local language of that demographic. We know that a mile of car breakdown in New York on a bridge is a different—though no less challenging—level of stress as compared to a Midwest service problem. We are sure to apply the same standard of empathy and problemsolving, with an understanding of customer geography and preference. Similarly, we ensure that we provide channel options to appeal to all customer demographics—with our HGS EPIC™ Social Care solution to appeal to the needs of today’s digital natives, for example.
2. Make the important parts of the story effective, and resolve story conflicts. To truly gain a competitive edge in today’s marketplace, brands need to provide a frictionless, optimized customer experience, to engage and preserve customer loyalty. Take, for example, the CX channel of social media. Out of 7.7 billion total world population, 3.2 billion use social media, according to research. And this demographic is estimated to grow 3 billion by 2021. Increasingly, brands are leaning on us to help them with their social media customer care. Our research indicates 60% of brands surveyed have a social media playbook that needs development. Our HGS EPIC™ Social Care is an essential storytelling tool by engaging the customer at scale, protecting the brand, informing timely business decisions, and creating moments of joy with influencers.
3. Show don’t tell, in sharing the story. This good storytelling basic couldn’t support our work more. And that means creating and relaying value to our brand clients through action and results, rather than through mere summarization, and description. We relay to our client critical consumer journey interactions at all touchpoints, from Engage, Buy, Bill, and Care to Repair and Retain. We collect and voice of the consumer data and share that with our brand clients, for results like enhanced CSAT. Take for example, our work for a high-end audio equipment designer and retailer. For this client, HGS mines and shares brand results using a voice of the consumer survey to drive NPS increases of 11%. HGS caters to this client culture, from seasonality (we manage staffing fluctuations from 280 to 420 agents during the holidays) to floor set-up. Prior to HGS’s solution, the response rate was 6%, and this feedback now stands at up to 19%. This proof point is a prime example of how we use analytics to stay in step with our client’s storytelling, as understood and processed via voice of the customer.
In all of these ways and more, we use storytelling to reinforce our client partners’ brand narratives to their customers. We create connections, start conversations, and encourage engagement with service excellence, innovation, and ambassadorship to build and retain affinity and drive real outcomes. Today we want to take a CX Day and Customer Service Week moment to thank all—from our talented agents to our clients and their customers—for their part in our story.