BY POWERFRONT featuring Dean Farris
Learn how to guide a successful customer service team from our Luxury Concierge and Client Services Lead, Dean Farris. With an extensive background leading luxury brands to service success, Dean shares his insights for an impactful 2023 with live chat.
What are the top 3 tips for launching a successful engagement strategy across digital platforms?
“Successful live chat is clearly transitioning from its purely CX function to generate constructive customer and brand interactions. It is steering towards crafting a shopping experience every inch as valid and authentic as the traditional in-store experience.
TIP #1 – Move forward with an eye to flexibility. Digital platforms speak to different audiences and offer varying technological capabilities, features, and benefits. It behooves the brand to understand each platform and align itself accordingly while preserving integral core messaging, image, and values. As the platform modifies in response to industry advancements and changing consumer demands, the brand must likewise be prepared to pivot nimbly.
TIP #2 – Always move with an eye to customer satisfaction. Whatever the brand, whatever the platform, the successful business must remain customer-centric.
TIP #3 – Invest the greater portion of time and attention to platforms with well established digital ecosystems. A comprehensive and deliberate business model, this approach also satisfies both flexibility and customer satisfaction components by leveraging a variety of resources for maximum yield.”
How do you build a really effective support team?
What should you look for in terms of skill set, personality and passion?
“The happiest, most productive and most effective teams are those who demonstrate a significant and authentic emotional investment in the company, its culture, values, and objectives. As the Twitter co-founder Biz Stone once observed, “You have to have an emotional investment in what you’re doing. If you don’t love what you’re doing, failure is pretty much guaranteed.”
With regard to luxury live chat, the emotional investment factor becomes a non-negotiable essential. In spite of its ever-evolving, fluid nature, authentic luxury is – and always will be – built upon successful relationships. Anchored as they are upon emotions, relationships demand a human agent.
Of all the emotions most emblematic of the productive luxury relationship, empathy reigns supreme. To successfully communicate empathy requires a compelling measure of genuine commitment on the part of the Concierge – to what we call the INSIDE standard of virtual engagement – is flawlessly executed. For us, this is Powerfront’s promise and, like all promises, central to our integrity as a brand.
Everything else – tone, grammar, procedural matters – can be learned by the trainable Concierge. It’s essential to lead with an emotional investment in, and commitment to, the brand’s goals. Whatever else the skill set, an authentic dedication to the company and its vision always takes precedence and is the quality we identify first in the successful team candidate.”
What is the best way to introduce yourself online when you are representing a brand?
It is reported around 66% of customers expect an immediate response to their inquiries. The INSIDE Concierge recognizes time as the online shopper’s most valuable commodity. To honor this, we greet each incoming chat within 20 seconds-or-less upon notification (Rather proud to state that 4 seconds is our concierge team average for December 2022!)
Beyond the time component, we establish an instant relationship with the customer by means of a universal, personalized greeting: Hello, I’m John, your (brand name here) Concierge, and I’m delighted to be of service. This brief introduction sets the stage for the most favorable customer/Concierge rapport by identifying the agent, reinforcing the Concierge’s position of authority as the designated brand representative, and instantly communicating to the customer our prompt attention and corresponding commitment to efficient assistance.”
If you were looking to elevate your chat service offering in 2023 what INSIDE features would you consider to be absolutely essential?
“Hyper-personalization automatically elevates the customer’s Live Chat experience, transforming it from the conventional CX framework to that of a modern, vibrant interaction. As a result, INSIDE features such as color-coded avatars, customer site of origin, shopping cart, and other cues designed to immediately reveal a unique consumer profile will continue to provide valuable insights and allow for the creation of the most desirable, customized online experience.
With respect to the brand, one question we need to always ask is “describe for me what you would consider the perfect customer experience,” it’s the one fundamental question every business needs to ask their clientele. This question provides clarity, eliminates guesswork, and allows the brand to craft a CX approach most closely aligned with customer needs, wants, and expectations.”
What are you excited about for 2023?
“2022 reaffirmed for me the critical importance of meaningful human interaction post-pandemic. So for this, I see 2023’s buzzwords will be partnership and perseverance. A collective commitment to excellence in the face of significant global economic and political challenges will drive business goals while generating new conversations regarding authenticity, customer service, and what it means to be relevant in light of ever expanding technology and increasingly diverse markets and consumer categories.
Shifting from transactional to relational, customers recognize, appreciate and (in greater numbers) expect supplemental points of contact between themselves and the brand. Excitement in 2023 will be the result of pausing at regular intervals to consider what it is we’ve accomplished thus far, taking a moment to contemplate what we might yet achieve, and goaling ourselves with what, to others, appears impossible.
As live chat evolves in response to changing customer needs, it’s exciting to consider the ways in which our INSIDE clients and our luxury concierge will build new client relationships in 2023.”
Talk to our Powerfront team today to find out how INSIDE by Powerfront can help deliver your 2023 CX strategy and better connect your customers in store, online, or wherever they interact with your brand.