Customer-focused brands often have more high-value and longer-lasting relationships with their customers. To build an organization that’s focused on the customer, customer experience (CX) managers should leverage the existing strengths of their agents, encourage agents’ continued professional development, and ensure team members’ full support to strive for that goal of customer-centricity.
Establishing a customer-first ethos in your organization is most critical on the front lines of your shopping experience, which is in your customer service center. As a CX leader, you need to empower your staff to take a hands-on approach that’s optimized for your customer’s experience.
What Is Customer Focus?
Customer focus is the practice of identifying and responding to your customers’ nuanced behaviors and choices.
This translates to brands understanding what drives customers to make decisions, and responding by creating a more optimal experience that fits their ideal shopper’s lifestyle. When brands embrace a philosophy of customer focus, they gain the advantage of sustainable relationships with shoppers that result in more consistent revenue over time.
5 Steps for Building a Customer-Focused Organization
Brands that are creating a customer-focused strategy and looking to provide quality shopping experiences should start with these five essential-but-deliberate steps.
Step 1: Hiring and training soft-skills-ready agents
Your customer service agents represent not just your brand’s values, but also the product and/or service expertise needed to stay ahead of any customer questions. To start, make sure your process to hire customer service agents is setting you up to bring in the right talent that will help you mature as a brand.
Unlock customer loyalty through natural conversation
Learn from a Gladly customer: PacSun hired their own staff quickly and efficiently based on the needs in their support center, identifying how Gladly technology made onboarding far easier and amplified those soft customer service skills that help customer support teams thrive.
Step 2: Building a technically robust customer service center
Agents with advanced service technology become more than just service reps — they become Customer Service Heroes with the full power to help their customers quickly and effectively.
By growing your investment in customer service and providing the resources that unlock your employees’ talents, you’ll see just how lucrative a customer-focused organization can be. Innovations like sophisticated customer data consolidation, profiling, and proactive channel management make an agent’s life far easier and can help them stay focused on the customer, no matter what channel they use to reach out to your brand.
Learn from a Gladly customer: Rothy’s used Gladly technology to reduce friction in their customer experience for more natural and positive customer connections. Our solution integrated directly with Rothy’s Shopify page, added numerous new channels, and streamlined communications into a single conversation timeline for agents to seamlessly access information.
Step 3: Offering state-of-the-art self-service
Many shoppers want to solve their issues themselves, so why not give them the opportunity to do just that? Investing in self-service brings in the dual benefit of making customers feel more comfortable solving their simple service issues and relieving your Customer Service Heroes of rote tasks that clog up their daily pipelines.
From automation and AI in your chat services to smart answers that identify the most common issues, support technology can do much of the work to make shoppers feel more in control.
Learn from a Gladly customer: Birdies used Gladly for a major self-service upgrade, taking a satisfactory support center into the stratosphere of concierge-level service. With newfound access to a state-of-the-art self-service option, Birdies customers could tackle many of their issues single-handedly while also easily transitioning to a live agent whenever necessary.
Andie Swim Slashed Wait Times Across Channels by 35%
🛑 Popular women’s retailer Andie Swim is finally able to provide one-to-many service. Not only did they switch from a ticket-based platform to a conversation-focused one, but they also added Gladly’s self-service channel Sidekick to every page of their website. Now, their Fit Expert heroes can spend the time saved helping customers find their perfect swim fit.
Step 4: Understanding customer shopping preferences
Customers aren’t difficult to get to know, as long as your brand makes an effort to gather and use that data to improve their experience. The more you can reflect the persona of your ideal shopper via personalized service, the more your shoppers will love the effort you put into serving their needs.
By leveraging the insights from your support tech to understand higher-level consumer choices, you can uncover more opportunities to drive revenue through new sales and empower agents to take advantage of those opportunities.
Learn from a Gladly customer: Andie Swim leveraged Gladly-derived customer insights to better know their customers, making the personal touches of an intimate brand far easier to deliver. Each of Andie’s “Fit Experts” could now use the Gladly interface to immediately access the entirety of a customer’s personal details and shopping history for radically personal service with every interaction.
Step 5: Matching customer focus with agent focus
The natural downside of CX leadership that’s overly customer-focused means that customer service agents’ mental health can suffer in the relentless pursuit of that goal. But the simple truth is, in order to make your customers feel comfortable in the hands of happy and capable agents, you have to start by making agents feel happy and capable.
In practice, this could mean creating a communicative work environment upstream — from agent to manager — that encourages finding unique approaches to solving customer problems. And beyond just improving their present situation, you can work on building out your team members’ skillsets to be transferable to larger customer-facing roles within your organization, while also exposing them to their potential as much as you can.
Learn from a Gladly customer: Tory Burch gave their agents the gift of Gladly not just to empower their daily work, but also to recognize their abilities while making regular tasks easier to accomplish. Gladly added several new channels for Tory Burch agents to handle, but also ratcheted up the seamless transition between those channels that made task management far more manageable. This new technology increased concurrency rates while making the average customer service agent’s life easier than ever.
Customer Focus Put Into Action
Leading with a customer-focused attitude sets successful ecommerce brands apart from others while creating a stronger community of delighted shoppers. As simple an equation as that may sound, the emphasis on customer-focus values can elevate your ability to meet any and all expectations, no matter how complex.
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