There’s a private school near my community that touts its ability and commitment to adapting its teaching methods and strategies to each student. Children have different styles of learning; they don’t all process information in the same way. This isn’t unlike what we need to do in business today to assure customer success.
In the first two articles in this series I looked at the generational shifts and the evolution of technology in our society and how they’ve brought new challenges and expectations to the customer experience. A business needs to be able to work with a customer for whom an ATM is new technology as well as a customer who knows how to do a screen capture to illustrate his or her problem to an online user forum.
For my business, a CRM program was a necessity to help manage the thousands of contacts and clients I’ve built up over the years. There were many options available, but I decided on a program called Infusionsoft. Why? Because in addition to doing what we needed it to do, it offered a variety of services and solutions to ensure our success.
For example, we were working on a new project where the Infusionsoft sales and marketing platform played a major role. Infusionsoft is a great product, but it’s (ahem) not quite as simple to use as the original Apple Paint program. Wisely, Infusionsoft has built in a wide range of features that promote customer success. A recent experience illustrates several of these.
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Infusionsoft starts out new accounts with four hours of online training conducted by a live person. They use GoToMeeting so it’s a “hands-on” experience for all involved. One member of our team is concerned with just the marketing side, so when the instruction turned to the nuts and bolts of messaging people in the contact list, he didn’t pay very close attention.
However, the original point person for managing the contact list dropped out of the team, and suddenly the marketing individual had to take on that responsibility. Despite his lack of knowledge regarding the contact list, he searched “Help” and thought he knew where to begin, but he wanted to double check. He sent an email to his trainer and she quickly responded.
Yes, the help topic was directing him to the right place. Once he started the process, instructions – powered by WalkMe, by the way – started to pop up on his screen and one-by-one they led him all the way to a successful completion. This single sequence illustrates no fewer than four strategies for helping Infusionsoft customers get the most out of the software:
- A live trainer
- A searchable help topic database
- A person ready to answer an email inquiry
- An automated system that leads customers through the required steps.
Note how each of these methods of servicing Infusionsoft customers may appeal to people with different personalities and different learning styles. For folks who are very relational, having a live trainer will be comforting. For people who like to dig and discover things on their own, searching a database is great. And when something needs to get done quickly, with no fuss or muss, being led step-by-step on screen with short instructions is very efficient. It happens on the user’s schedule and there’s no waiting on hold at a call center.
I point these things out because to deliver customer success to the greatest number of people today, an “all of the above” approach is necessary. In addition to the processes I outlined above, this would include strategies such as:
- Instructional videos
- Instant chat
- User discussion forums (crowd-sourced customer service).
In the previous article in the series I said that not long ago a company could improve customer service by adding bodies in its call center. That has changed. Perhaps today one of the best ways to improve customer service is to add a new system that is designed to fit the preferred communication mode of a specific segment of its client base.