Building the Support of your Customers’ Dreams

By Chris Dawson March 4, 2015 - 8:30 am

HMRC Customer Service

“Good morning. This is your Customer Service. Please select what you would like to talk to Customer Service about from 10 options that we will give you in a minute. Then hold for 10 minutes listening to Bach and then find out that your customer service host will be available in 10 minutes. We are just going to ask you a few questions so that we can transfer you to the right department…” …and pray they will have the answer… This would be the Customer Service from hell, that everyone has been through at least once when looking for help from Customer Service.

Justyna BąkowskaToday we asked Justyna Bąkowska, responsible for building Customer Support at Webinterpret, what her priorities were while setting up the Customer Support that customers love.

Define the challenges

Before creating the Customer Service of your customers’ dreams, you have to find out what is considered to be the Customer Service from hell. This will take you to the list of the challenges that each Customer Service deals with every day. You cannot really eliminate those challenges. What you can do, however, is to find good ways to beat them and turn them into your strengths. Justyna says that the main challenges that each Customer Service has to face are:

  • Timely resolution as promised
  • Satisfying solutions
  • Multilingual service
  • Multiple time zones
  • Adequate business processes

Timely resolution

Your customers have to know how long they will need to wait for your resolution. You cannot leave them feeling uncertain whether they will receive the answer immediately, or after the weekend, or whenever you find out how to deal with their requests. What is more: a promise, once given, has to be kept. Especially when it was given to your customers. At Webinterpret, there is a one day response rule. It states that the customer’s problem has to be dealt with within the first day of being reported. This means that it actually has to be handled straight after receiving it. It is hard to promise any deadline if there are no processes in place to offer solutions to your customers’ problems. And this causes another challenge – how to create business processes at your company’s Customer Service which meet your customers’ requirements.

Customer Service

Business processes

While planning business processes that address your customers’ needs, you have to ask yourself what the main reasons are that make customers contact you. When you have defined these, you can create processes and teams dedicated to solving certain problems. Customer-centric organization is a structure that helps to focus on customer goals and leads to a point at which your company objectives are exactly the same as those of your customers. At Webinterpret it works like this. Webinterpret has created two teams. One is dedicated to solving the customers’ problems, and the second works directly with customers on growing their business. Each customer who requests assistance has only one case manager who is dealing with a particular problem. When considering business processes, it is also important to know during which time frame exactly those processes have to work. It may be only from 8 am to 5 pm or it could be 24/7. This is another challenge caused by time zones.

Time zones and language differences

You cannot do anything about time zones except to learn how to apply your Customer Service to customers from all over the world. Your service also has to be available in your customers’ language. If you sell to people all over the world, your service also has to be provided in languages that your customers will feel comfortable with. Fortunately there is a platform such as Webinterpret dedicated to this particular situation. Sellers who sell on eBay and Amazon can find customers from foreign countries and communicate with them without knowing even one single word of the customer’s language.

Satisfying solutions

As Justyna says, the most important question you have to ask yourself before planning Customer Service work is: Why do customers contact us? Finding the answer to this will give you the clues as to what you should take care of while providing solutions that will satisfy your customers. Remember that the “product” you sell contains a particular item AND the service. Even if the product is great, it will be experienced as poor if your customer service does not help your customers. The other fact to consider is that 24% of your customers will share their opinion about your product and more than 39% will share with the world just how dissatisfied they are with you.

Webinterpret has built its Customer Service based on the customer’s needs and feedback. Justyna says that Webinterpret Customer Service has reason to be proud when considering satisfaction rates as it has grown by about 10% in one year and now has over 90% satisfied Customer Service customers. “Focusing on our customers’ goals has shown us the path that we should take when setting up successful Customer Service. The saying “the customer is always right” turns out to be very realistic because believing in it enables us to create unique solutions and processes”.

  • Rai
    3 years ago

    Article is spot on. I continue to avoid webinterpret nearly 2 years after the fact.

    • james
      3 years ago

      I was about to write exactly the same thing!

    • james
      3 years ago

      if you’re really Super-Serious about providing absolutely terrible service, first provide really bad service, then tell the people you gave bad service to how they could improve their own service!

  • 3 years ago

    We’re sorry you had a bad experience with us. We have an over 90% satisfaction rate, but there’s always room for improvement. If you need assistance, let us know, and give our agents time to assist you. The initial response is usually very quick but some issues take time to resolve.

    • LJ
      3 years ago

      90% success rate is nowhere near good enough in this business! Not even close. If my eBay feedback were 90% I would be horrified, and either give up or completely overhaul the business model. 90% is nothing to be proud of.

      As for Webinterpret in general, they are absolutely useless! Google the business and you will find literally hundreds of furious customers, and hundreds of scathing reviews. How this equals 90% positive I have no idea!

      Whenever I tried to E-Mail for support it either went unanswered or took 3-4 days for a simple answer. Item descriptions are translated by Google Translator so poorly that I received constant messages from foreign customers asking if I had an English version of the listing that they could translate themselves, as the foreign listing translated by Webinterpret was so poor they that it literally didn’t make any sense!

      Avoid this company like the plague – Don’t just take my word for it, do a Google review for this company. Currently trust pilot’s review of them is less than 65% positive. Says it all!

    • Rai
      3 years ago

      And the sudden SURGE of positive reviews between 16th and 18th is fishy at best

    • james
      3 years ago

      dont just take his word for it – take mine too.

      they had my ebay account FROZEN.
      – for a professional seller turning over £1mil per annum on ebay, this is not acceptable in any way shape or form.
      – it took them a week to unfreeze it, i couldnt even update my own stock in all this time.
      – after unfreezing the account a week later, they managed to get it frozen AGAIN, TWICE! through nothing but their sheer incompetence and failure to follow basic instruction.
      – how much compensation did they offer our business for the real financial losses they incurred? zilch, zero, nought.

      do you have some supporting evidence of this 90% claim? or did you just pick a number off the top of your head?
      i’d suggest that “only 10% of people lodge a formal complaint” does not equal 90% satisfaction.

      try dealing with actual members of the public, ie customers, with ebay levels of demands, and then speak to me about a 90% satisfaction rating.

      and thank tamebay for free and open comment, so that companies who provide absolutely horrific service, can’t pawn-off a guide on how to provide good service as free advertising.

    • 3 years ago

      We’re really sorry to hear that some of you had a bad experience with WI. I say “some” because from the sound of it you’d think every client has horror stories with us, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. We have almost 6000 clients currently using WebInterpret with around 60% converting to a paid program after the free trial, and an overall renewal rate of about 88%. We wouldn’t do so well if it was as bad as it sounds.

      But we hear you. When something does go wrong for an eBay client, their reaction is usually extremely quick and passionate, because it’s their livelihood. That’s also why the ratio of positive vs. negative reviews has such a high discrepancy. The 90% satisfaction rate is for support requests in our customer service platform, which the article is about. When an issue is closed a user gets a chance to review the support.

      Clients often want compensation for “projected losses”. I don’t think any company can cover that. Everyone should read this article as it explains a lot of topics, some of which can lead to the issues presented here:

      We didn’t have community specialists, such as myself, until two months ago and we are noting all your remarks. The fact we even exist now proves that the company takes your concerns seriously.

    • LJ
      3 years ago

      You can whitewash it as much as you like, throwing facts and figures about but 90% satisfaction rate with your own customers is still nothing to be proud of. That means that 1 in 10 customers that phones you up is completely dissatisfied with the service they received! 1 in 10!!

      And the only reason that “Community Specialists” have suddenly been employed by Webinterpret is to clear up the mess and negative comments that have been left all over the place on forums, websites, review sites etc. Isn’t that obvious?

      The fact that trust pilot received almost nothing but negative comments upto 3 weeks ago, and now seems to receive a constant output of 100% 5 out of 5 comments shows that you guys are clearly sitting at your desks submitting your own comments.

      It’s such a shame that webinterpret choose to operate like this, because it is such a 100% brilliant concept. Instead of actually fixing the main issues, they now seem to be employing people to mop up the trail of destruction they are creating!

      Webinterprets name has been dragged through the mud for too long and the reviews are out their for everybody to see. The beauty about the internet is reviews will stay in place for a long, long time and simply employing a few “community specialists” isn’t going to change that!

      Let’s hope eBay roll out their own version of this in the not too distance future.

    • 3 years ago

      One of the reasons we have Community Specialists is to demystify some of the misconceptions. A big one was that WI has insertion fees. Another is that we create duplicate listings, which can result in an account being “frozen”, when in reality there’s multiple reasons beyond our control that cause this. The above article covers some of them.

      Lastly, look at me as your advocate. I will always be your voice among my peers. I have lit up more than one fire since I started working here.

  • Rai
    3 years ago

    I honestly don’t hold much bad will towards webinterpret, but as a previously dissatisfied customer (of which I imagine there are more than a handful on this particular site), the last thing that is going to change my mind is the articles about you saying what you DO well.

    What I want to hear about? How you are improving to stop the issues people faced back then. Sure you personally Seb may not have a full understanding if you are fairly new to the position, but things like the duplicate issue (which I’ll add we did a similar pilot with ebay and with linnworks and both managed to not cause us to get duplicate listing issues).

    Personally this would very much interest me if the service offered was guaranteed to not cause such faults with people who are experienced with ebay listing nuances. More importantly having human translated descriptions (and simply human ‘checked’ titles would be enough to account for dialect) would be great, otherwise what are you doing that I can’t do with my google translate formula that literally does 1000 listings/minute~?

    Yes, it’s not necessarily standard for a 3rd party to cover projected damages – unfortunately webinterpret isn’t standard and has a poor reputation to clean (which wont go away with paid for reviews)

    • Rai
      3 years ago

      To add to my train of thought, the idea of you covering projected damages would be under the assumption if you did things correctly (as it largely appears manually done) it’s very unlikely you’d cause such mistakes. The guarantee would be a way to instill confidence when it should very, very, rarely apply.

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