September 2, 2020
I can sum up my entire career in a three-word statement: I solve problems.
Throughout my career, I have solved problems for years and believe I am meant to do so. I may not always know the answer, but I’ll do whatever it takes to get it to you. This is not a half-hearted promise. It’s in my heart, mind, and soul. Over the years, I’ve held many roles in the world of technology. I have worked in hardware, software, and with operating systems. I have applied my technical product knowledge to many industries: banking, manufacturing, the Internet of Things (IoT), and even artificial intelligence (AI) and the many opportunities that come with it. Currently, I am a Technical Product Owner at HatchWorks Technologies. I not only enjoy but thrive off of figuring out what a customer wants, how they are going to get it, and creating a map to outline the customer’s journey to success. The one common factor and thread of consistency in all my work boils down to this; I provide customer service – not the average run of the mill customer service, I provide excellent customer service…and so can you. I’ve outlined the top 10 ways to resolve the customer service conundrum to help you on your journey of excellent customer service.
How Does HatchWorks Deliver Excellent Customer Service?
The transformation of customer service has been both inspiring and frustrating. I’ve observed the attitude of each generation is reflected in how people treat each other and themselves. In February of 2018, I joined the HatchWorks family. In my time here, I’ve found that HatchWorks is not only dedicated to customer service for its clients and partners; they want the best for all of us in the HatchWorks family and they demonstrate this on a daily basis. The quality of the employee experience at HatchWorks matches the external customer service we provide to our clients. Typically, we don’t boast about having an attitude of service. Rather, it is who we are. It is evident in our team’s approach to day-to-day activities and interactions – both with each other as well as our clients.
I’ve worked for a variety of different companies throughout my career. I have been a part of business teams that worked together like a finely-tuned Mustang and some that resembled the chaos of mixing two separate puzzles that were missing half the pieces. The increasing number of everyday distractions in our surroundings have been detrimental to our relationships with each other. Social media like Facebook, Instagram, and other digital media can further disconnect us, preventing us from developing meaningful, personal connections. This disconnect has resulted in a lack of accountability for our actions. So what does this have to do with customer service you may ask? The answer is simple: everything, literally everything.
Let’s explore 10 ways to provide excellent customer service in this new era.
10 Ways to Resolve the Customer Service Conundrum
- Make customer service a part of your daily routine. Going above and beyond for your customers is like hitting the easy button. Motivation rolls in and takes over when you tackle your to-do list
- Dare to care about the customer and become service-oriented. At HatchWorks, our role is to guide our customers on their journey to product excellence and work together to solve problems
- Adapt to the customer’s environment and their needs. Each customer environment brings different limitations and constraints to manage. Keep in mind that no two organizations are the same, nor should your approach to customer service with different organizations
- Identify the customer’s agenda and make a conscious effort to move them towards their goals. When people are in sync and are working together to achieve a common goal, providing excellent customer service is a pleasure
- Research issues and strategize. Professionals that provide excellent customer service use strategic analysis and methodical solutioning to prevent conflict and miscommunication
- Communicate, communicate, and then communicate some more. What is the best way to communicate with your customer? Emails, calls, texting, or even catching them in the break room for five minutes. Being a strong communicator will save you time, effort, and ensure alignment
- Get to the root of the problem. No band-aids or hot fixes! Work daily towards the resolution of your customer’s concerns and pain points. Do your research and find the root of their problems
- Identify what is important to your client and accept that as their truth. Learn to empathize with your customers, understand where they’re coming from and what is important to them. Their wants and needs are your keys to understanding how to deliver excellent customer experiences
- Focus on helping the person, not their reaction to the current problem. Achieving excellent customer service is focused on helping the person, rather than addressing the person’s reaction to the current challenge
- Be proactive to ensure the same problem doesn’t happen again. To seal the deal, be proactive to ensure the same problem does not rear its ugly head in the future. Do whatever it takes to resolve the problem and move on
Remember if you aren’t a part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem!
Achieving Customer Service Perfection in an Imperfect World
Here is a real life example of how I applied a few of the 10 methods above to resolve an unexpected client communication challenge. I was part of a team that led the design and implementation of a large-scale IoT initiative. The challenge? Key stakeholders on the client side relayed that they were an ‘agile’ team and we based our team approach on this shared methodology. We later discovered that we had different definitions for what ‘agile’ is and isn’t. At first, the days were long and tense. The client promoted team alignment and an iterative approach at times, yet we struggled to practice what they preached. Designs would change, responsibility would be skirted in a blink of an eye and frustrations grew. The only way to successfully support this customer given the known constraints was to rapidly adapt: I relied on my thick skin and continued to rally and guide the team towards our collective north star.
The HatchWorks team and I had to swiftly pivot our approach while maintaining a professional attitude, ensuring customer service remained the priority, and by strategically considering the client’s needs every step of the way. One thing I could count on was support from my team at HatchWorks and it’s what got us through the finish line. It takes a village and I had a village. As a team, we knew we had to commit to providing excellent customer service no matter what. It was no simple feat – but we pulled it off. By uncovering and accepting what was important to the client and their agenda, together we achieved the desired results in a proactive, respectful manner. Challenge identified, problem solved, crisis averted.
To deliver excellent customer service, I focus on helping the person rather than addressing the reaction to the current challenge. If my customer is upset or frustrated – I know they are having a bad day! Regardless of the circumstances, my team and I always strive to go the extra mile to help turn a bad day into a good one. At HatchWorks, we guide you on your journey to product excellence and work with you to solve problems with excellent customer service.
Are you ready to work with HatchWorks and be a part of the solution? Contact us today to learn more about our winning approach to product solutions!
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