Welcome back to our 3-part series on how different stakeholders (Customer, Company Executive, Customer Support Lead) think about understanding the customer’s voice. The last voice (but certainly not least) we wanted to cover is the voice of a Customer Support Leader.
The Customer Support Leader is a particularly important voice as they are the orchestrator of all customer conversations. They are the connection between customer and company.
For this edition, we sat down with Kriti Kapoor, former Head of Social Customer Care at Microsoft. Kapoor has over 20 years of experience as a leader in the customer support industry, including working as the Global Director of Social Care at HP. Over the years, she has learned a thing or two about how important listening to the voice of customer is.
Here are a few insightful takeaways from our conversation with her.
“A company doesn’t exist without its customers,” Kapoor remarks. In her work as a leader in Customer Support, she believes that in addition to operating with integrity, there are three key things that make or break a company: products that meet customers needs, a solid sales team, and best in class service/support experience. Her goal is to build a team that creates transformative support experiences that retains customers and earns their loyalty. Kapoor understands that what brings those two challenges together is the customer experience.
It is essential for a company to listen to customer feedback regardless if the experience was positive or not. Bring in examples of customer tweets from social media to try and understand what happened in the situation. Look for where the friction was in the product and resolve any issues. If it was a great experience, companies should double down on those successes and keep improving to exceed the customer’s expectations next time.
Throughout Kapoor’s CX journey, a valuable challenge she has faced is learning how to measure customer experience across all channels and simplifying it into one vision. With a diverse group of customers comes a large range of experiences and preferred channels including chat, or social media.
Kapoor believes that there needs to be a holistic way to tie this data together. “The main problem is that each department looks only at their piece of the puzzle rather than being customer centric, its still either very channel centric or function centric view of the world”.
Customer retention depends on all channels focusing on a singular vision. This begins with breaking the silos and starting with the customer at the center of that experience. Being customer centric means looking at the bigger picture, not just focusing on one piece of the puzzle.
“It is not just saying hey, I am paying attention to this from a support standpoint but I really want to make sure that as a leader in your organization that I have a focus on essentializing that in every department”, Kapoor remarks.
“The main problem is that each department looks only at their piece of the puzzle rather than being customer centric, its still either very channel centric or function centric view of the world”.
In all of her experiences, Kapoor has seen the many ups and downs of leading customer support. One takeaway that she has valued is the impact that dedication to customer satisfaction has had on customers. She recalls a particularly special experience:
“In our online community we had received feedback from one of our customers who had an issue with a brand new printer that he had purchased for his son’s Boy Scouts Soapbox Derby. He was part of a volunteering team for the weekend and he desperately needed his printer to work. He came on my community’s page to talk about his issue and someone on the thread contacted us about the dilemma.
Our Executive Escalation team learned about the issue and coordinated with this customer to have a brand new printer delivered to his house in time for the weekend. He appreciated it and couldn’t believe that we went out of our way to do that for him.
For me, that is when the voice of the customer is so important. Just one little interaction has the potential to have a profound impact on other people. That makes the relationship between the company and the customer so real. He was pleasantly surprised and that for me was a beautiful moment of reflecting how when we do this right, you can create magic.”
“Just one little interaction has the potential to have a profound impact on other people.”