As Customer Service Expectations Rise, Companies to Focus on People Not Cases

Gladly Team

Read Time

6 minute read

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Gladly Closes $36M in Series C Financing, Led by GGV Capital

When I communicate with my friends and family, I use a wide range of communication channels. Whether it’s a Facebook message, a quick emoji ?  in a text, an email and even a phone call, I don’t think about the channel, I think about the person. And, I expect that the person on the other side doesn’t forget who I am just because I switch from tweet to text or from email to phone. So why can’t that same experience happen when we talk to companies who we do business with?

Assessing customer service expectations

We wanted to understand more about the customer service expectations so we conducted a third-party Customer Service Experience Survey of 1,000 consumers in the U.S. and asked them about the experiences they’ve had, what was good and bad, and what they wanted more of.

We discovered some interesting findings from the survey. Here are a few highlights.

Consumers expect companies to know who they are and want to be treated like people, not tickets

  • 91% want companies they do repeat business with to know who they are and their history
  • 68% agreed: “I want to be greeted by name, not asked for a ticket number.”
  • But expectations are not measuring up. Two-thirds of customers say big companies they are regular customers of treat them like a ticket number rather than a unique customer

Consumers want more ways to communicate, but they also need consistency

  • People use an average of 3 different channels to reach customer service
  • 82% of consumers want to use multiple methods to communicate with customer service
  • 71% say if they switch channels mid-conversation, they expect the company to know about previous interactions

Better customer service = more repeat customers + more revenue

  • 78% said that customer service was a factor in their decision to make a repeat purchase
  • 81% are more likely to purchase again if they had a positive customer service experience

There are even more insights from our 2017 Customer Service Expectations Survey in the full report which you can download here.

What’s the big take away?

Consumers have reasonable expectations for customer service but those expectations aren’t consistently being met by the companies they talk to. While there are undoubtedly sparks of exceptional customer service, it’s the consistency that’s lacking. When customers start to have multiple conversations that span different customer service agents and different communication channels, that’s when the breakdown seems to happen. But it’s not companies or the agents’ fault, it’s the technology that hasn’t kept up.

[Read more: Call Center Software]

Legacy products, including the leading cloud products, are all centered around tickets and cases. And they tend to silo the conversations inside of individual channels. In other words, a single phone call can kick off the creation of a new case number, and if a customer decides to then email, text, or tweet, a new case or ticket gets created for each and every subsequent communication – that just doesn’t make for a great customer experience. And the data we gathered reinforced that as well. Customers want personalized service and they want companies to have context of every conversation they have with them.

This is why we started Gladly.

Great service starts with people

Our focus is to enable companies to have empathetic conversations between people. Because when it comes down to it, exceptional customer service is about people talking to people across a lifetime of conversations. We set out to empower agents to be more naturally productive by giving them a single view of the customer across all conversations, no matter what communication channel. And, with real-time insight into their contact center and a view on trending topics, companies can better understand the true voice of their customers.

Today, that mission is more important than ever. We’re excited to announce that Gladly has closed an additional $36M round of funding led by GGV Capital with existing investors Greylock Partners and NEA contributing to the round as well. In addition to the funding, we’ve gained a strategic partner in GGV Capital and with Jeff Richards who shares our vision that it’s time to reinvent customer service. With their global experience across a wide range of technology areas, we are thrilled to welcome GGV Capital to the Gladly family.

Investing in the experience

We’ve spent the last two years heads down with early customers, evolving and iterating on our product. We continue to hear from big brands who want to leverage customer service as a strategic part of their future growth plans and need to transition from legacy systems focused on tickets to a modern platform centered on customers. With the additional funding, we plan to expand our go to market efforts to reach more companies who continue to set themselves apart with a better customer experience that ultimately helps them cultivate loyalty and drive more revenue.

When we started, we asked ourselves, “What if we could reinvent customer service for the 21st century?” Our thesis that legendary customer experiences are a result of how you make customers feel, has continued to resonate. As the legend herself Maya Angelou stated best,

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

We are invigorated and excited about helping companies put the customer back into the center of customer service.