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How Customer Experience Teams Can Own and Impact Their Company’s Brand
July 24, 2019
One of my favorite things to talk with customers about is how they think about representing their company, as a support team. This is a foundational element of many QA rubrics (which, as many of you know, are the foundation of a great QA program), and also mission critical to providing exceptional CX as an organization.
To elaborate – many support teams think about their company’s brand as they’re putting together their QA programs. They see QA as an opportunity to make sure that the support team is on brand all the time, and also consider on-brand experiences to be good ones.
Imagine if your sales people were bubbly as heck, and your support team was a somber bunch. That’s a disjointed experience for your customers, who might not connect the dots about what’s happening internally, but they will feel very different after each interaction, and potentially deeply confused. The horror.
This is a series of articles on how customer support teams can think about protecting their brand (and why it matters so much to them, which I love).
Headspace is a global leader in meditation and mindfulness through its meditation app and online content, with more than 34.5 million members across 190 countries. Founded in 2010 by Andy Puddicombe (co-founder) and Rich Pierson (CEO), it’s backed by Puddicombe’s deep knowledge of the time-honored tradition and practice of meditation, coupled with his expertise in translating those learnings into modern day applications.
The support team works to capture Puddicombe’s authenticity and passion for meditation – it’s their job to make sure users feel encouraged by Headspace to continue their practice. With a dispersed team (partially outsourced, and partially in-house in Santa Monica) this poses a bit of a challenge. But Headspace has a robust quality assurance program to aid them in overcoming this obstacle.
They use their quality data to develop coaching for agents and to clarify expectations. They also use QA data to develop agent reports that explain high and low points in agent performance – they figure out where agents can improve and where they’re excelling.
In terms of brand voice, their QA program has helped them keep a consistent tone.
One thing that’s very important for us is tone – our tone needs to be consistent no matter what a user emails in about, or how much time has passed since they last emailed in. No matter what, they need to feel welcomed, listened to, and they need to receive a timely and accurate solution.
MaestroQA made it easier for us all to be aligned on standards and expectations for customer communications. We edit rubrics based on calibrations, and make sure that Puddicombe’s tone-of-voice shines through in customer interactions. We started by calibrating once a week, then moved to a monthly cadence which has proven to be sufficient.
With MaestroQA we have been able to save a lot of time, make changes that benefit the team, and stay consistent with tone regardless of the time that has passed since the user last reached out.
We average about a 96% CSAT at any given time. MaestroQA has helped us here because our CSAT is high even during busy seasons when it takes us longer to respond since our quality is always good.
FullStory has a simple mission – they believe that everyone benefits from a more perfect online experience. They want to be part of making peoples’ online experiences better. Within their mission, they have some watchwords (what FullStory calls their core/brand values internally) to guide them.
These watchwords are empathy, clarity and bionics. These watchwords give everyone at the company a framework from which to make decisions. These guide both their product decisions as well as how they operate internally.
When the support team at FullStory was creating their rubric, they really wanted to make sure that everything the support team was doing was in line with what marketing, sales, and product were up to – after all, part of their job is to make sure their customers have a more perfect online experience with their brand.
So they built their QA rubric around their brand values very explicitly. Something like this:
In established organizations, the marketing department is responsible for determining brand voice and style (not the support team). But smaller companies might not have this luxury, and (even if there is a brand style guide) might have to put some processes in place to make sure that agents are really aligning with the brand voice/tone.
No matter the company size or how established a brand style guide they might have, consistency in customer experience is critical. It’s about making all communication from your company to customers consistent with your brand regardless of which department is communicating. This includes content on your website, office decor, SWAG, signage, slide decks, and all outbound communications from groups like sales, marketing, IT, and customer service. According to ClearVoice: “Your brand should build awareness and develop trust and loyalty with customers” and this is most effectively accomplished with consistency across the board.
This article goes into how brand voice and style can apply to customer service process!
Pre written macros (when done well) can save time for agents, and also ensure that responses are on-brand more easily than if agents were writing their own answers every single time.
Knowledge base content is part of your support team as well! And your support team will likely be responsible for writing these articles when they see something is missing. A brand style guide could be extra helpful here too.
It also goes into the essentials for a customer service voice and style guide:
Proper formatting/spelling of your company name! Nothing is more embarrassing than a misspelled name am I righttttt?
What do you call your customers?
Certain phrases to avoid (some of our customers practice Effortless Experience and don’t say the word “unfortunately” because it puts up a barrier between the company and the customer)
Voice and tone (something that QA can really help with! See Headspace)