Michelle Mazur, Ph.D. helps speakers and entrepreneurs create speaking as a profit center for their business by building a speech like a product that positions them as the go-to expert in their field. She is the CEO of Communication Rebel and the author of Speak for Impact. The speakers she works with have gone on to book speaking gigs around the world, double their speaking fees, and speak in front of world leaders and First Ladies. Her rebel yell has appeared in Fast Company, Entrepreneur, PR Daily, and She Owns It. She lives in Seattle, WA with her adoring husband, 2 obsessive felines, and a huge collection of Duran Duran memorabilia.
I am so excited that we were able to reach out to Michelle for this interview. Michelle is an amazing person and friend, and has helped me and in my speaking abilities and understanding how to deliver a message that the audience wants to hear. Today we talked with Michelle to get her insights on customer experience.
Matt: How can companies increase their response times to meet customer’s expectations?
Michelle: First, set expectations for when they can expect to receive a response. For instance, I use Rev.com for transcription. They promise a 12-turn around. Typically, they get back to me in less than 2-hours and I’m always delighted.
Second, have a dedicated person who has the autonomy to make the customer happy. I hate it when I’m told that they have to go to their manager for approval. It just delays the whole process.
Matt: In an era where similar businesses are a Google search away how can businesses’ differentiate themselves?
Michelle: Strong viewpoints. Companies that I want to work with have a strong viewpoint about their industry and they are not afraid to express it. Having a strong point of view repels the wrong clients and customers from your brand and attracts the type of people who become fanatics about what you offer.
Matt: Where are companies missing the mark with customer experience?
Michelle: Too much automation. I’m all for an automated email message saying that a company received my request. When I am stuck in a phone tree searching for a human being to help me, my customer loyalty goes down the drain. People over bots always! (Tweet This)
Matt: What’s the best piece of advice you can offer to companies looking to optimize customer experience?
Michelle: Be human. Customers want to do business with people. Even the largest brands in the world can add the human touch. Add personality to your customer experience
Matt: Are there any specific metrics that you use to measure customer experience?
Michelle: I only have a handful of clients that I engage with at any point in time. I check in with them personally to see how things are going if I could be doing anything differently.
Matt: How can businesses up their customer experience game on social media? Are there certain channels they should focus on over others?
Michelle: You don’t have to be on every social media platform. Focus on the channel where your customer is that and truly engage on that channel. I must say that Amazon does this well on Facebook. A friend posted about her disappointing Amazon experience and tagged their page in the post. Within minutes, someone from Amazon responded with a direct number to call so they could take care of the issue. Now that’s a big company, engaging and owning their social media channel.
Matt: What are a few aspects of customer experience that have stood out for you so far this year and what are some areas that you are most excited to watch going into 2017?
Michelle: Adding personality to what could be a very routine and forgettable customer experience. For example, when I signed up for Acuity Scheduling, their onboarding emails were so much fun. They even had a game where if you searched their support files and found the cute kitten, you’d get a prize. It taught me how to use their online support and when I found the cute kitten, I got 3-months of Acuity for free.
Interview by: Matt Ruedlinger