Changing the Rules of Customer Service

Customers’ expectations have changed—they aren’t just requesting better service, they’re demanding it. Kristine Poznanski, Head of Global Customer Solutions at MetLife, discusses how delivering on excellent customer service can be a true differentiator for any business.

What is excellent customer service? It’s about advocacy, simplicity, consistency and choice. It’s about putting customers at the center of everything you do and holding you, your team and your organization accountable for delivering a distinctive experience. It’s the dedication, commitment and compassion shown by employees every day. It’s earning the right to be the customer’s first choice.

Excellent customer service begins with emphasizing the “human” part in “human interaction.” In the insurance industry, our customers come to us when they need us the most — when they’ve lost someone they care about or the unexpected happens to themselves, their loved ones or their personal property. They expect us to deliver on the promises we make, and to help them through the challenging times — what we refer to as “moments of truth.”

In turn, our teams respond with the understanding that they are speaking to people, not policies. They actively listen for customer cues and advocate on their behalf.

Regardless of the industry they serve, talented customer service associates have three things in common – the ability to genuinely empathize with customers, an unwavering commitment to finding solutions and a passion for service excellence.

Easy and effortless interactions are a must-have for an excellent customer experience. This means organizations must make a commitment to simplify customer journeys and internal processes. Everything you do should deliver a seamless customer experience. Whether it’s implementing the latest technologies to help associates do their jobs and help customers find what they need, empowering your teams to take ownership of the end-to-end experience or working with different teams to find solutions.

Excellent customer service is also about choice. In their desire for flexibility, customers choose companies that offer solutions unique to their personal needs. When seeking service or support, one customer may prefer to call, another may prefer online self-service, and yet another may prefer to operate across channels. Regardless of preference, customers expect a consistent and seamless experience.

As Customer Service Week is celebrated around the world, I would like to recognize all professionals who are dedicated to serving customers day-in and day-out. Thank you for doing what you do.