Online customer reviews have far-reaching consequences. According to a study by BrightLocal, 88 percent of customers read online reviews before buying a product. And customers are likely to listen to negative feedback from anyone. That's why a negative interaction with a customer service team can have a negative impact on a company’s conversions.
So how to ensure excellent customer service, even as the company and the client base grows? How to make sure that the agents learn from their interactions with customers so that they can improve their performance immediately?
Customer Experience Management software (CEM) might be a customer experience saviour. This is where Zendesk comes into the picture. The company provides organisations with the powerhouse collaboration and analytics capabilities of a cloud-based solution to make customer service responsive, personalised, and integrated into the overall brand goals. It offers CEM solutions that provide valuable insights into customer interactions.
Zendesk’s CEM solutions go far beyond customer feedback to deliver real direction for businesses and their team on what's working and what can be improved. CEM software includes: easy ways to capture the voice of the customer across all channels with short transaction surveys, Analysis and reporting on customer feedback at micro and macro levels of companies, performance management suggestions to help agents make the most of customer feedback, and opportunities on the platform to interact with customers and to flag negative comments.
Some of the most popular CEM solutions, like Zendesk's support software, are scalable as the business grows, with a real emphasis on the user experience. Agents are able to engage with customers seamlessly across many media, including email, chat, and phone, and interactions are analyzed in reports that help businesses understand their customer base and its impact on the brand. The result is clear feedback on their strengths and weaknesses and a roadmap of how to improve.
A Treasure Trove of CEM Tools
Zendesk offers everything a business needs to let customer conversations flow seamlessly across channels, creating a better experience for both the business and their customers. The Zendesk suite includes Support, Guide, Chat and Talk. Zendesk Support is a simple system for tracking, prioritizing, and solving customer queries. Support puts all the customer support interactions in one place, making communication seamless, personal, and efficient–which means more productive agents and satisfied customers.
With Zendesk Guide, companies can scale and deflect tickets using smart self-service, including AI-powered tools like Answer Bot, to increase customer and agent satisfaction while also reducing support costs.
Zendesk offers everything a business needs to let customer conversations flow seamlessly across channels, creating a better experience for both the business and the customers
Some customers are just in a hurry and need quick access to a real person. With Zendesk Chat and Message, businesses can also proactively engage customers—in real-time and in context. That way, customers can get the attention they deserve.
For complex problems—like placing a complicated order or re-booking a flight—customers often call to get more personalized support. Zendesk Talk and Talk Partner Edition make it easy and efficient for agents to help customers over the phone as part of seamless omnichannel support experience.
When it comes to customer experience, most companies are stuck in the dark. They still use legacy CRM platforms that are hard to change and only offer a one-dimensional view of customers.
Zendesk Sunshine represents a whole new approach. Sunshine is a modern CRM platform, built on AWS. It gives businesses a complete picture of the customer, using any data — from anywhere. It gives them the agility to innovate and the power to scale. Above all, it gives businesses the freedom to build the best customer experiences. Sunshine offers organisations the flexibility to identify, understand, and segment their customers for more personalised experiences.
Sunshine is an open platform designed to work with all business applications, allowing companies to capture every customer interaction, no matter where it comes from. It gives its clients the freedom to build modern customer applications using tools for complete control, with the flexibility of an open, standards-based platform.
The Zendesk Sunshine platform lets organisations connect and understand all their customer data wherever it lives. The Sunshine platform is independent of other Zendesk customer services tools such as the product APIs, the Apps framework, and others. The Sunshine data layer is not associated with any Zendesk product, though organisations can model relationships with certain native objects like tickets and users.
Zendesk’s Custom Objects API can be used to model, store, and retrieve objects that are not native to Zendesk. The data is stored in the Amazon AWS infrastructure. Custom objects can be almost anything, including products, orders, devices, and warranties.
The company offers user events APIs to build a timeline for customers' interactions from any source. Events can be any programmatic event, including purchase transactions, website visits, or customer service interactions. The company also offer profiles APIs to create a single view of every customer across applications or systems.
A Tale of Success
Customers are increasingly expecting whoever they speak with will know everything about them and our relationship with them.
And they’re less patient with departmental hand-offs and silos.
Up until early 2018, Life Fitness used a Java-based email product for the support that relied on Life Fitness continually updating its Java versioning. It didn't integrate with the company's enterprise resource planning software, had minimal reporting capabilities, and, most detrimentally, provided little conversational visibility. Agents often heard complaints from customers who would get multiple responses to the same inquiry.
Thankfully, four out of seven of Life Fitness’s regional offices were already using a solution that worked: Zendesk Support. In 2018, the company decided to move the rest of the regional teams over to Zendesk to standardize, optimize, and centralize operations. It started by running a pilot in AMER in March 2018 and then moved the rest of the teams over that September.
Cross-functional collaboration between Life Fitness’s support team of 65 agents and other departments immediately improved, leading to quicker and better resolutions. For example, if an agent receives a request for a treadmill replacement part, they can use Side Conversations to connect with other teams that can help. No more shuffling customers between departments, or digging up old emails to see what parts they’d ordered in the past. Zendesk Support also works seamlessly with the third-party phone provider the company uses to manage its call center operations.
"Zendesk’s CEM solutions go far beyond customer feedback to deliver real direction for businesses and their team on what's working and what can be improved"
Zendesk gives us confidence that agents can provide conversation continuity. Agents are able to pick up where they left off without having to read through a whole long string of emails.
Life Fitness also uses Zendesk Explore to monitor the performance of its support teams, using the data and analytics to understand what’s working and where there’s room for improvement. It also implemented CSAT surveys for the first time with Zendesk. The results have been encouraging.
In a little over a year since implementing Zendesk, our CSAT numbers have gone up from 85 percent to over 90 percent based on a 7.5 percent response rate. There’s still plenty of opportunity for us to do even better, but it’s clear that we’re doing something right.
Life Fitness implemented Zendesk Chat to its suite of support channels in August 2019, enabling agents to instantly connect with customers in real-time, further matching the speed and personalized support that consumer-facing companies deliver and its customers have come to expect. During the first week, its team completed 200 chat sessions and earned a 92.5 percent customer satisfaction score.
As Life Fitness continues to lead the industry with innovative equipment, Olsen, Marx and the support team will continue to innovate with the company’s customer support experience.