Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Are You a Customer Advocate?

To quote Matthew Kobach (@mkobach), "Twitter is a key that unlocks thousands of doors, some of which you never even knew existed." As a member of the Twitterverse for 13 years, I always enjoy meeting new people and learning from them. I recently connected with David Beaumont from Ohio and invited him to appear here on my Blog in a Q&A format. Highlights of our conversation about customer experience marketing and management follow a brief introduction.

Known for delivering outstanding customer support to clients, David Beaumont is a knowledge seeker and results driven visionary who builds relationships with clients and peers by aiding the end-user through training and development tasks. David is a qualified support professional, HDI Certified, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Finance from The Ohio State University. He has more than 15 years of experience in customer service, equality/diversity/inclusion (EDI), and client support.

QUESTION: In your Twitter bio, you state "Be your customer's advocate." What led to that statement?

DAVID BEAUMONT: I heard the words, "Customer service is dead." At that time, I thought to myself, "Is it really?" Then I thought, what if I could bring awareness and attention to some customer service mistakes that I see and share some insight on what could make customer service better? I also thought all customer service is not bad, but it may need a bit of fine-tuning. So, I figured I'd create a blog and talk about it. That is how Customer Service is Real came about.

TWEET THIS: All customer service is not bad, but it may need a bit of fine-tuning. ~@dbeaumont266 #CX #DebbieLaskeysBlog

QUESTION: How can businesses teach employees that they are the front-line to customer happiness?

DAVID BEAUMONT: The front-line support needs to know that their leadership team has their best interest at the forefront. That means giving the front-line folks the proper tools to act on behalf of the customer. It means allowing the front-line team to make things right for the customer when it makes sense – without judgment, criticism, or punishment from the management team.

When you empower your team to know that they can get the customer back on the right track without a lot of friction during the process is when the front-line can feel secure in delivering exceptional support to the customer. That is when you begin to build customer happiness – because the front-line team is happy.

TWEET THIS: Allow the front-line team to make things right for the customer without punishment from the management team. ~@dbeaumont266 #CX #DebbieLaskeysBlog

QUESTION: Which social platform is the best tool for creating a quality customer experience, and why? If different, which platform is the most effective for addressing customer complaints or issues in a timely manner, and why?

DAVID BEAUMONT: I would have to say Twitter is a platform for creating a quality customer experience as well as voicing a complaint. Social media is a channel where people can share their true feelings about how products and services work or don't work for them. Twitter has more of the business element built in such that it is monitored more closely by staff to see what customers are saying about them.

QUESTION: What's your favorite customer service story?

“A Target employee helps teen tie a tie and prep for a job interview”

I enjoyed this story because the team member showed his empathetic side. He may have walked in the young man’s shoes at one time and now is invested in making sure this young man makes a great impression. It also showed a caring and compassionate side, which, as customers, we want to see when we visit places of business. Also, by showing this act of kindness, this particular team member created a memorable moment that the young may will surely not forget.  

(Read this customer service story and more here:

QUESTION: What are your three favorite brands, and why?

DAVID BEAUMONT: Here are my three:

Barnes and Noble: While I am not a frequent visitor, the times I do go into Barnes and Noble, the staff does not disappoint. There is always someone walking around to see if you need help. The information center team members are very knowledgeable about suggesting the best kinds of books. If I say I am looking for books that are like the early days of Stephen King, they can give me a couple of suggestions. If a book is not available, they offer to order or alert me when the particular book of interest would be in the store. If I call in and they have a book for me, they will hold the book at their front counter, so I don’t have to search around the store looking. Barnes and Noble helps remove the friction, thus making the customer experience a pleasurable one.

Chick-fil-A: I have visited a few Chick-fil-A's, and the level of service is the same across the board. The people are always pleasant, and they greet you like they are happy that you have come to see them. I am also amazed at how fast they move the drive-thru line. It seems no matter how many cars are there, a slowdown does not happen. My wait time is always minimal.

Cove Security: With the ability to DIY (do-it-yourself) security systems, the process could be a little challenging. Cove's customer service is great. You may think emailing support is going to have your wheels spinning, but not with Cove. They are very responsive, and they give you answers that help you resolve your issues. Talking to them on the phone is the same way. The service is also affordable and customizable to fit your specific needs.

My thanks to David for sharing his customer experience insights and for appearing here on my Blog.

Check out David’s links:
Twitter: @dbeaumont266

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