While measuring plays a significant role in experience management, it's not the sole factor that holds importance. It’s also about finding your happy place, like Disneyworld. The problem is that traditional metrics don’t tell what a great customer experience looks and feels like.
Doug Rabold, an expert in creating sentiments and building emotions, advocated for this idea on the 43rd Episode of Ticket Volume, our IT podcast. He provided worthwhile observations into the essence of experience, the lessons he learned from Disney, his approach to connecting with people, and his predictions for the future of ITSM.
Rabold holds the position of Senior Manager of Customer Support at Amwell and serves as the Chairman of the Board at HDI. He is renowned as a thought leader, author, international speaker, and certified trainer, bringing extensive expertise in Customer Experience, Service Delivery, and Sales.
But make sure you don't miss out on the chance to listen to the entire episode featuring Rabold. Also, you can register for our monthly live recordings and have the opportunity to ask questions directly during the session.
What a great customer experience looks and feels like
Rabold emphasized the value of focusing on customer engagement to ensure they want more and better experiences.
Metrics and productivity are prioritized too often. He suggested that how customers feel when they leave is what truly matters. Customer satisfaction should be the ultimate goal, as it drives their desire to return and because it’s not about numbers, it’s about people. Creating positive emotions and leaving a lasting sentiment is key to building customer loyalty.
"Disney has embraced the whole concept that if you're in front of the guest, not a customer, you are on stage; if you're not in front of a guest, you're backstage, and so there's this whole language of experience that they build and it's all based on theater and of course, it's because Disney's roots are in film."
To achieve this, it’s game-changing to separate front-stage actions, which are customer-facing, from backstage actions, which are the supporting activities. Coordinating all activities involved in creating a magical experience is a high priority, as front-stage actions directly impact customer satisfaction, while backstage actions support them behind the scenes.
What it takes to have a career in service and support roles
As a huge Disney fan since childhood, he first visited Disney World in 1972 and has been back almost every year since then. The Disney experience has inspired him to apply lessons learned in the customer experience field and throughout his career. His journey has come full circle, from being inspired by Disney to using those lessons to inspire others.
In terms of career development in service and support roles, he drew attention to the relevance of networking. Building relationships through conversations and leveraging platforms like LinkedIn can be valuable for staying connected professionally. Finding commonalities and shared experiences strengthens connections.
Rabold's experience at Disney World has had a significant influence on his career. The Disney experience has inspired him to apply lessons learned in the customer experience field and throughout his career. Rabold's journey has come full circle, from being inspired by Disney to using those lessons to inspire others.
But his best advice is to adopt a growth mindset. Embracing challenges as opportunities for learning and improvement, being open to customer feedback (more on surveys and best practices in episode 42), and continuously seeking ways to develop your skills can lead to personal and professional growth in your career.
He put the spotlight on the power of empathy. Understanding and relating to customers' needs and emotions through empathy allows for better service and support. Empathy is a powerful tool in building strong relationships and ensuring customer satisfaction. In sum, his take is:
- Building a bond with someone, even through a few conversations, can make a difference.
- Having a connection increases the likelihood of following through on commitments.
- Finding commonalities and understanding each other's perspectives fosters stronger connections.
Human feelings and automation can meet to provide great service
Automation offers a game-changing opportunity for businesses to improve their customer service. Businesses can automate frequent issues like password resets, freeing up human agents to handle more complex problems that require human intellect, problem-solving skills, and emotional intelligence.
"Chat GPT isn't going to replace people, it's going to skill people up. It's going to soak up the things that just happen over and over again. Those are the things that really piss people off, that make your raise the level of dissatisfaction of your customer if they have to call in every five minutes because something is happening. They're getting more and more dissatisfied with you and it doesn't matter if your agents are fixing it the first time and doing it really quickly, the customer is getting more and more angry because they have to keep calling about it."
Automation aims to enhance the skills of customer service agents rather than replace them. Chat GTP is not going to cost people their jobs enables businesses to delegate repetitive and transactional tasks to chatbots, empowering agents to focus on more meaningful interactions.
Rabold thinks this shift enables agents to provide better service and cater to high-touch customers with higher needs that make them happy.
This is just a summary of Ticket Volume's episode featuring Doug Rabold. There's a lot more to discover in the recording. Be sure to listen to the full conversation with Matt Beran to learn more about what a great customer experience looks and feels like and enjoy the debate about Disney vs. Six Flags.
You can find the full episode on popular platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, or any other podcast platform you prefer. Remember to subscribe if you're interested in joining the monthly live recordings!