Businesses have long been encouraged to “eat their dog food”—that is, use their products and services to experience what their customers experience. The expression has its roots in the idea that dog food companies would assume their product tasted good without actually trying it. Not that I’m suggesting pet supply companies should start eating dog food, but they should put themselves in the shoes of the customers they serve, and a good way to do this is to see what happens when their customer service goes to the dogs.

As an example, let’s consider the case of Sheila, the proud owner of a pair of Pekingese. Sheila buys high-quality dog food (and other pet-related products) online from a pet supply company. Sheila is what we’d call a “top dog” customer: she’s a loyal, regular customer who frequently buys high-end products. One day, the wrong dog food arrives on her doorstep. The Pekingese are less than pleased, but Sheila takes it in stride, contacting the company to correct the problem. And here’s where the real problems begin.

Barking up the wrong tree

First, Sheila has to hunt on the website to find the Contact Us information. If she’s lucky, she’ll find a page that gives her the option of sending an email into the nameless void (with the warning that it could take 48 hours or more for a response). If she’s very lucky, there will be a phone number that she can call. Let’s say Sheila is very lucky. She calls the contact center, navigates the friendly-sounding but not very helpful IVR, and is placed on hold until an agent is available. When the agent arrives, Sheila has to start from the beginning to explain who she is, why she’s calling, and so on. The agent decides that Sheila can best be served by the sales department, transfers her, and Sheila has to go through the whole spiel again. Talk about chasing your tail!

By now, you can probably guess how this tale ends. Sheila feels frustrated at expending so much effort to fix a problem she didn’t create, causing her to look for an alternate supplier for her next order. Meanwhile, the pet supply company, despite its good intentions, has expended a considerable amount of effort only to alienate one of its best customers.

Become your customers’ new best friend

But what if this shaggy dog story had a different ending? Let’s look at how Mitel’s CX solution based on MiContact Center Business and MiCollab can make a difference. Instead of chasing down her supplier’s contact information, Sheila simply clicks on the Chat button on her supplier’s home page. A chat widget pops up and Sheila enters her information while selecting “problems with your order” as the reason for her contact. Mitel’s CX solution instantly routes her request to the next available customer agent, Mitch. Because Sheila is an existing customer, Mitch gets a screen pop with Sheila’s information on his Ignite dashboard, including the amount that Sheila spends with them annually.

Seeing that Sheila is a very good customer, Mitch decides to give Sheila a full rebate plus a coupon toward a future order. But, to authorize the rebate and coupon, he needs the approval of the sales team. While chatting with Sheila, Mitch sends a rebate/coupon request via the Mitel CX system to his sales counterpart, Katie, who is logged into the CX system as available. Katie quickly approves the request and sends it back to Mitch, who then shares the good news with Sheila via chat and includes the rebate and coupon code for her to redeem.

The happy ending doesn’t end there, however. As the chat session is closed, Sheila is presented with a link to fill out a customer satisfaction survey. She shares her happiness with the experience, which catches the attention of Mitch’s manager, Sarah, on her MiContact Center Business dashboard. Sarah sends Mitch an “attaboy” plus a $50 gift certificate for achieving the highest CSAT ratings that week. Once again, the whole customer journey, from the initial chat to the pat on the back, is recorded in the Mitel CX system for future reporting and analysis.

The illustration above isn’t limited to chat either. The same process could be performed from a Facebook page using the Mitel CX system. In either case, it’s all about making great customer experiences simple and easy. Happy customers aren’t simply more loyal customers. They’re also more vocal customers when it comes to promoting your brand on social media. And, by throwing them a bone, like a coupon, you can even make them more profitable customers.

The fact is that mistakes happen. But bad customer service after a mistake will only put you in the doghouse. Show customers that you really care about them with Mitel CX solutions. 

Want to see another customer experience example where Mitel CX comes in handy? Check out my other blog in this CX Tales series.

George Despinic

Senior Product Marketing Manager – Contact Center

George is a 33-year veteran of the communication and contact center industries. He's worked at Nortel, Unify, [24] and now Mitel in various roles, including product management and marketing. Currently, he is the Senior Product Marketing Manager for Mitel’s contact center portfolio and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in helping companies achieve an exceptional customer experience.

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