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Customer Service is Both Art and Science: Interview with Daniel Lemin (Convince & Convert)
Daniel Lemin leads consulting work for corporate and agency clients at Convince & Convert. He is the author of Manipurated, and is a frequently quoted authority on the reputation industry by major U.S. and international media.
Daniel has an almost superhuman immunity to jet lag and is known to take midday swims to hit his personal reset button. An early Google hire (rumors are he was no. 400), Daniel was one of the first pioneers to recognize the influence of online ratings and reviews on businesses.
Daniel delivers consulting and strategy about digital marketing, public relations, and reputation management for prominent Fortune 500 companies, including Nestlé USA, Procter & Gamble, Hilton Hotels, Sony, Suzuki Motors, Munchkin, and Best Buy. Perhaps of equal importance, he is a recognized authority on finding the best and most interesting item on a menu within minutes.
Magda: Hi Daniel! Welcome to our interview series at CallPage blog. Thank you for joining us! Let’s start with the first question. Daniel, what would you say is the key to success in customer service?
Daniel: Customer service today is both art and science. To do it well requires speed, empathy, and a good grasp on technology.
Magda: What advice would you give to small companies and startups trying to build their customer service today?
Daniel: Focus on being as helpful as possible to customers. Get set up on a good listening platform and be open to discovering weaknesses and shortcomings, then address them and be responsive to customers. Be an active listener.
Magda: What surprising lessons about customers service have you learned during your career?
Daniel: Most people are not looking to be amazed, they simply want help fixing a problem. Businesses often think about tactics that „surprise and delight” when, in truth, being boring but responsive and fast is perfectly acceptable.
Magda: Can you name three important trends in customer service?
Daniel: Here they are:
1. Speed: As customer service channels overlap with social media channels, customers have developed higher expectations for faster response time.
2. Chatbots: Automated bots will be a major theme for 2017; they reduce response times by allowing customers to get nearly immediate answers to common questions or issues and may help improve overall customer satisfaction.
3. Micro-influencers: Every single customer interaction today has the potential to become a social media „moment.” This makes every person a potential influencer.
Magda: What is your #1 proven conversion tactic?
Daniel: Help, don’t sell. Businesses should take the perspective of helping customers, and they will end up selling more and developing stronger bonds.
Magda: What do you think about call centers and cold calling?
Daniel: Call centers are not going to cease, but they will require new skill sets to help them effectively serve customers on social media channels.
Magda: What is your takeaway tip for better conversion?
Daniel: Marketers should learn to be better teachers. The future of marketing belongs to those who can teach better.
Magda: Thank you for this tip and the whole interview, Daniel!