Customer Care: Best Performed by Those Who Care
by Nate Brown, Senior Director of CX
The companies we do business with say a great deal about us. Ultimately, we all want to develop relationships with companies in the same way we do with other people. We gravitate towards those we can trust, and who act in a manner consistent with our own values.
As the marketing revolutionary Mark Shaefer has said, “We cannot love a logo, a jingle, or a piece of branded content. But we can love a person.”
And who is so often “the person” representing the Brand at large? You guessed it! Customer service. If customer relationships are something we care about, we cannot have just anyone in this role. What we need are people who care. What we need are authentic and capable Brand ambassadors.
Historically, attracting such ambassadors to an organization has been difficult. As we considered only candidates within a limited geographic range, the pool was just too small. Organizations settled for the best they could get, leading in many cases to poor customer (and employee) experiences. The customer’s voice is louder now than ever before, and the sentiment is clear:
“American consumers are reporting declining customer service across the economy. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, customer satisfaction in the U.S. has declined for three consecutive quarters, the largest cumulative drop in decades.” - Barron’s
And why this decline? As the article states, it’s an extraordinarily tight job market. Brands are not able to get the talent they need to create the experiences their customers expect.
Legacy hiring models just aren’t working. Ultimately, it was the talent who found a better way first, leaving most organizations now to follow. Thirty-nine MILLION radicals have already hit the “eject” button on the traditional office-based 9-5. They have entered the gig economy, and there is no turning back now. It’s been predicted that by 2026, 50% of the US workforce will have done the same.
The amazing news is that this opens an entirely new way to source authentic ambassadors. The recent surge of the gig economy makes it possible for the company to extend its reach and find exactly the right people, no matter where they happen to live.
But not all “gig” is the same. Only some talent networks have the capability to source and match true Brand ambassadors.
This is what makes Arise so different. Consider a talent pool of 70,000+ highly experienced and specialized Service Partners. Instead of “butts in seats” being assigned an account, it’s the Service Partners who choose the company they prefer to support. They are excited about the Brand and select to represent them!
One Vice President of Omni Channel Fulfillment at a Fortune 500 Retailer had this to say:
…Through The Arise® Platform, we can find [agents] with a specialized interest in different sporting activities and experience, for example, in golfing. The [agents] selected are passionate about golfing and offer authentic communications. We are very pleased with Arise and are looking forward to a long business partnership.”
The results of this relationship have been remarkable. Think about a soccer parent who is trying to navigate new territory for their kids. What a relief to have an experienced soccer parent on the line when trying to determine if the cleats they’re about to order online run narrow or if they have a little give. They’ll also be able to sell more because they’ll be able to say, "Hey, did you also grab three pairs of soccer socks? You're going to need one pair for practice, one pair for the game, and another pair so you don't have to do laundry three times a week!”
This affinity makes a tremendous difference. Not only do they have the skill, but they have the desire to see the mission of the organization fulfilled in each customer interaction. They believe in it. And this belief is contagious. The customer can feel the difference clearly when they are communicating with a Brand ambassador versus someone who is there to check a box and move on.
Author, Nate Brown
Nate Brown is a perpetual student of the world’s greatest experiences and the people who create them. Having spent the first decade of his career managing a complex technical support environment for Occupational Health and eLearning software, Nate transitioned to Customer Experience in 2015. After authoring The CX Primer, Brown was dubbed the “CX Influencer of the Year” by CloudCherry in 2019, and a top global CX thought leader by ICMI, Exceeders, Netomi, Martech and many more. As a passion project, Nate created CX Accelerator, a first-class non-profit community for Customer Experience professionals. Nate serves as the Senior Director of Customer Experience for Arise Virtual Solutions and can be found at a variety of conferences speaking and training on the CX topics he loves.