Behind the curtain: the theater of customer service

Although very different, customer experience (CX) and theater have some things in common: whether in a theater group or in a customer service team, the goal is the same: to delight customers ( audience) through creativity and collaboration. And as with the theater, a company must respect several key steps in order to offer quality customer service.

Prepare the terrain

After assembling an exceptional cast, i.e. the customer support team, the CX manager must put in place a solid infrastructure for the program – and this is where the creativity comes into play. In the theater, productions are constrained in what they can do on stage – beware of the expense of having too many actors, sets, special effects, etc. The more expensive the piece, the less likely it is to see the light of day. Similarly, customer support organizations need to provide efficient and quality service to customers, but cannot solve every problem by investing six-figure sums in elaborate, expensive and often unnecessary technology.

In both cases, leaders must find the ideal balance where efficiency and profitability meet quality. For customer support, this is where an omnichannel platform comes in with technologies that allow you to do more with less. In the same way that a playwright must be creative to minimize theater costs by dubbing characters, using cutting-edge theatrical elements, using projections rather than constructing massive sets, agents can use automation and agent assist technologies to streamline routine, mundane processes and focus on zero contact resolution and contact diversion – saving time and money.

Know your audience

Loïc Rousseau, Managing Director France & Southern Europe, Freshworks

In CX and theater, knowing your audience is key to keeping them entertained and wanting more. When putting on a play, actors and cast need to think about the impact on the audience, how they perceive the characters, and how they fit into the story, if not the story risks being uninteresting, unbearable or simply incomprehensible. Just like an organization that provides customer support: you always have to look through the lens of the customer and their experience. To be successful, leaders need a platform to understand the customer with a 360-degree view, to appreciate who they are and where they are in their journey, highlighting how an interaction influences their overall experience.

It’s also important to consider the experience of the client agent, much like a director or playwright needs to think about how things work when it comes to actors. For example, the monologue: although it may sound perfect in writing, certain aspects of a speech may be difficult for the actors to recite clearly – which can detract from the audience’s experience (understanding). A CX manager should prepare agents for success with a platform that is intuitive, easy to use, rich in customer insights and automation technologies, just as a director and playwright should prepare actors with a script and a character. that prepare them for clear and persuasive communications.

The show must go on

During a live production, there is no downtime for mechanical issues. Actors must react quickly and focus on problem-solving, continuing the story even if a wall comes down or a prop malfunctions. The same goes for customer service agents, who need to stay focused on resolving customer issues no matter what. Agent assist technology and contactless resolutions via chatbots are key to reducing friction around mechanics (like a missing prop), so they can focus on completing the story for the customer.

A r-studyrecent revealed that 96% of consumers who experienced poor customer service said it affected their brand loyalty. The goal of a customer service agent is to maintain and build customer loyalty. The same reasoning applies to theatre: not every audience member is going to love the show, but through creativity and thoughtful collaboration, your cast and crew should always be ready to take the stage and deliver an exceptional performance.

Author: Loic RousseauManaging Director France & Southern Europe, freshworks

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