Agent Engagement

Building a Customer-Centric Culture for Your Business

Think about the last time you had to shop for new eyeglasses.

Maybe you went into your local optometrist office to get a new prescription and try on a few frames. You might have even brought a friend or partner with you to help decide which frames looked best on.

Or, if you’re like me (and thousands of other customers), you probably opened your laptop and went straight to Warby Parker’s website.

When Warby Parker was founded 10 years ago, their mission was simple: to bring more affordable options to the eyewear market and offer a better buying experience to customers.

So how was Warby Parker able to disrupt the eyewear industry and move the eyewear shopping experience (before their flagship stores, of course) entirely online?

By delivering world-class customer service.

In a recent webinar, Customer Service 2020​: The Future of Customer Experience, we sat down with Glady and Mara Castro, Head of Customer Experience at our client Warby Parker, to dive into how Warby Parker was able to build that world-class customer service, how they keep their customer experience at the center of their business, and how you can, too.

Building a Customer Experience Culture

For Warby Parker, customer experience is at the core of their business model. When Mara was hired as the first official employee, she wore many different hats, but the biggest piece of her job was focused on creating remarkable experiences for Warby Parker customers.

To weave customer experience into the center of their company culture, Warby Parker came up with their “One Frame of Mind.” This statement is what their Customer Experience team is founded on – the idea that each and every customer interaction is unique and valuable, and should be treated as such.

This statement has gone through iterations over the years, but the same message always rings true: that the most important thing for their business is delivering great customer experiences.

Empowering your Customer Experience Agents to Deliver

But the fact of the matter is, you can’t create remarkable customer experiences without having a remarkable customer service team in place.

In truth, it all comes back to the agents.

According to Mara:

“We wanted to really focus on building a philosophy around customer-centricity. That meant not only making sure that our team was very focused on listening to our customers, but also making sure that our team was empowered to listen to our customers and to take action on that feedback and what they were hearing to not only provide the very best experience to the customer they were helping at that moment, but to then take action to improve customer experiences in the future.”

This idea of agent empowerment is an important one to pay attention to.

After all, they’re the ones on the phones, on live chat, and/or communicating via email with your customers day in, and day out. 

If your agents aren’t set up for success in their roles, with proper training on how to deal with customer concerns, or given ongoing coaching to get even better at their jobs, you set yourself up to deliver less than stellar customer experiences.

Think about it: if your agents receive numerous customer complaints about the same issue on your website, but your team doesn’t have a way to communicate that to the larger organization, it will continue to be an issue, continue to frustrate customers, and can ultimately cost you business.

Plus, it can lead to burnout and frustration among your agents, who may start to not feel heard within your company and seek other opportunities.

That’s why Warby Parker built a Customer Experience Advisor Skills Development Program: a three-tier system created to help onboard and train their agents to fully understand their role and the part it plays in the larger organization, with opportunities to hone new skills, take on new responsibilities, and progress in their career.

As each agent becomes more in-tune with the voice of Warby Parker and its customers, they have the opportunity to level up in their role based on performance and customer feedback, which Warby Parker measures via Stella Connect.

The Value of Feedback and Engagement

As we’ve talked about, having agents who understand and really listen to customer concerns is a huge part of Warby Parker’s business model. 

But equally important is giving their customers the ability to share their thoughts on their experience with the team.

For Warby Parker, using Stella Connect helps them do just that.

By collecting customer feedback on your agents after each interaction, you not only give customers another way to feel like their voice is being heard, but you also give your agents invaluable feedback to use for coaching opportunities, and a way to benchmark and measure their own performance as they look to grow and develop their careers.

Plus, feedback directly from your customers is a great way to encourage agent motivation. If customers are consistently singing your agent’s praises, that will encourage them to continue to perform at their best and deliver on the experiences that your customers, just like Warby Parker’s, have come to expect.

You can’t give your customers a remarkable experience without first having a remarkable team in place. And one of the best ways to foster a remarkable customer service team is to utilize real feedback from real customers sharing their experiences with your agents.

But what about negative feedback?

Don’t just file it away and move on, or worse – reprimand your agent without having full context. Instead, utilize it as a coaching opportunity to help your agents improve and give your team the tools (like Stella Connect’s Service Recovery) to follow up on any negative experiences to turn them into positives.

By focusing on building a world-class customer experience team, you enable your business to foster a customer-centric culture that keeps your agents engaged and your customers coming back.

Learn more about how Stella Connect’s feedback, coaching, and QA platform can help your business become a service-lead, customer-centric organization.

Try Stella Connect