Five questions about putting customers first
Neal, Head of Sonnet Customer Service

Customer service can change the way you feel about a company – good or bad. We sat down with Neal, the guy who heads up our customer service team, to talk about putting customers first.

1. Who are the people that customers are speaking to on the other end of the phone, chat, email?

We like to think of them as Heroes – real people who go the extra mile for our customers. By real, I don’t mean “not robots” (although they’re not), I mean we look for people who are authentic and genuinely care about others. They have diverse backgrounds and are encouraged to let their personality and authenticity shine every time they help a customer. At the end of the day, you’re talking to a person, not a script.

Did you know? At Sonnet, all our Customer Service Heroes are trained and fully-licensed insurance agents. But, what makes the team so dynamic is that they come from areas in and out of insurance, including retail, hospitality, acting and music. Each brings their own unique experiences and perspective on how to deliver amazing customer service!

2. How do you focus on what really matters: customer satisfaction?

It may sound simple, but we do this by keeping the customer at the centre of what we do and how we measure our results. Traditional contact centre measurements often focus on how long a call is or what the customer service representative says. At Sonnet, we don’t measure our team on their call length or limit their ability to actually fix a problem. Instead, we focus our measurements on how the customer feels. For example, do customers feel understood? Informed? At ease? Cared for? We cross-train our team so they have the authority and feel empowered to always act in the best interest of the customer.

3. Usually people call the contact centre when they already have a problem. How can the contact centre be proactive instead?

There are several ways. One of the key ways that we can be proactive is by sharing the voice of the customer with the organization to make improvements before customers have a problem in the first place. We actively listen to the feedback and sentiments our customers share with our team. Then, we use that feedback to present solutions or improvements back to the business like adding tools or enhancement to our website.

4. What are some of the ways technology has improved the customer service experience?

One of the fun ways we use technology is to improve the dreaded hold experience while waiting to speak to someone. No one likes waiting – and even less so when you are forced to listen to elevator music. At Sonnet, we give our customers choice! You can actually choose the genre of music you want to listen to: rock, pop, country or RnB. Another important way we use technology is to integrate the various ways people want to connect with us. No matter how a customer connects – self-serve, email, chat, phone or social media – it’s integrated. So, if you save a quote one day, email us a question about it and/or call us the next day, the person you’re speaking to has all that information and doesn’t have to ask you the same things over again.

5. Finally, what’s your favourite part about what you do?

It’s definitely about the human connection, whether it’s how our team connects with customers or with each other. Everyone on the team knows they can rely on each other to help put our customers first and solve problems. We can see that connection in our compliments, which don’t just say things like, “the service was good” or “the agent answered all my questions quickly”. Instead, we get compliments like, “I felt like I was talking to a friend or family member” or “the agent was outstanding – they were so patient and stayed with me on the phone until everything was resolved.”. That’s when we know we’ve made the connection we strive for.

Did you know? Sonnet has been recognized with three international awards in customer service by the 2016 Stevie Awards. Learn more in our article This one’s for you: customer service awards.

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