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Memorable Customer Experience

How Do You Make Your Customer Experience a Memorable One?

Uthaman Bakthikrishnan

Uthaman Bakthikrishnan

Executive Vice President

When you walk into a subway, you must make many decisions to have your sandwich.

The type of bread – Italian, White, Wheat, Honey Oat, and Hearty Italian

Size of bread – 6 inch or a footlong bread

Vegetables – you have to be very specific, like “light lettuce,” because telling the worker that

you want pepper doesn’t help because they carry green, mild, and jalapeno peppers.

Meat and cheese – they add to the cost.

Warming – would you like your sandwich placed in the oven and toasted or microwaved?

Order condiments such as mayonnaise, mustard, and sweet onion sauce, as nothing is put on


Ask for water, and you will get a free cup.

Here is the icing on the cake – it is your responsibility to be very polite and keep the subway

employee happy, as a happy employee is expected to craft a better sub sandwich for you.

I have never had a problem doing all of this at a subway and being patient about it.

How Often Have We Behaved Well Like This With the Customer Service Agents?

In the 2024 edition of Shep Hyken’s annual customer service report, over 1000 people in the US were surveyed; 34% of the respondents admitted to yelling, and 21% admitted to cursing at the customer service agents.

Other countries aren’t too far behind.

Yelling and cursing definitely don’t find a place in any scenario. However, this is something that most of us are guilty of at some point in time.

Let me give you an example.

I recently visited my mobile service provider’s experience center and asked them for a new SIM card for my phone as the existing one had conked off.

There was a queue, and I waited patiently. Then, they wanted to do a biometric authentication with my thumbprint. Their system wasn’t working, and I was asked to wait a few minutes.

The few minutes it turned into an hour.

When I checked back again, I was told that the system was still not working, and they don’t have an alternate way by which my KYC (Know Your Customer) can be done.

So, I googled and found another experience center, which was about 3 km away from the one I visited. I went there, and it worked well. I was given a new SIM card.

In the entire process, I did not lose my cool because I did not have anything pressing to do at that point in time. Otherwise, things could have been different.

How often have we tried reaching out to someone else when your conversation with a customer service agent isn’t going well?

I always ask to speak to their supervisor, or I disconnect and call back again to reach some other agent who might look at my problem differently and provide a solution.

I have had this experience multiple times. One agent is able to resolve an issue that the other agent wasn’t able to. This is a part of the training issue or lack of availability of the knowledge base.

Let us look at what you can do to address angry customers. Understanding why they are angry will allow you to provide the resolutions easily.

Long Waiting Times

No one likes to wait for 30 minutes just to check their account balance or the status of their order. This is one of the reasons why customers get angry.

How difficult would it be for you to answer your customer calls within two minutes of them trying to reach you?

If you have telephony as the only mode of communication, then it is an issue. So, increase the number of channels, especially the self-service ones where most transactional queries can be addressed. This will free up the agents to address complex queries, and you don’t have to make your customers wait long.

Lack of Decisiveness

Often, customer service representatives are not empowered to provide you with a resolution.

In some cases, they are not knowledgeable about the issue being discussed. Your customers will not understand any of this.

The easiest way to handle this is:

  • Empower your agents to call the shots in favor of the customer. You can let them do that a maximum of three times a week or a fortnight. Then, you do a postmortem to understand if the resolution was right or if this becomes the learning. For instance, Ritz-Carlton allows a discretionary spending of $2000 for the benefit of its customers.
  • Ensure that your knowledge base is up-to-date and easily searchable, which will help your agents resolve most customer queries.

Customers Have to Repeat Themselves

How often have you had to repeat yourself when you call up customer service?

People just hate it.

It is not difficult for organizations to set up an omnichannel solution where they get to see a single view of all their customer interactions across any interface.

This would also help the customer service team effectively address issues and upsell or cross-sell to their customers.

The customers will never have to repeat themselves, and they will love it.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to keeping your customers happy and addressing their anger.

The most important aspects of providing exceptional customer experiences include:

  1. Getting your training right
  2. Empower your agents and allow them to call the shots. Allocate discretionary spends
  3. Provide self-service options for customers to process their transactional queries.
  4. Implement omnichannel to get a single view of the customers across all interfaces.
  5. Keep an updated knowledge base at all times.

These are basic housekeeping things that will keep the customers from yelling and cursing and make their experience a happy and memorable one.

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