The value of being customer-centric is priceless.

Customer support, FAQs, call centers…these are just a means to an end. How to become customer-centric and how to bring your team Onboard on this journey.

This week I had the pleasure to interview Aurore Lanchart, a customer experience professional here at Station F in Paris. Aurore is working at Clind the app that makes you learn new things every day, remember what matters, and share it with the people you care about 🙂

“We are nothing without our customers”.

Aurore lanchart

Great entrepreneurs provide value for others, that is a simple fact. We cannot exist without our customers. History is full of companies that have tucked their heads down and avoided talking to customers. Yes, history, because these companies did not last long. The services industry is based on the interactions with the customers, the attitude, honesty, the willingness to help…and the 21st-century digital revolution brought that to scale. Consumers now prefer brands that show care for their customers, and rightly so. 70% of millennial business owners will take their business elsewhere after just one bad customer support experience, according to salesforce.

Customer Experience, the beating heart of your company:

This renders Customer Experience to be the beating heart of every company, linking all the departments, from marketing to product, to sales. CX helps us understand the people who are buying into our value propositions. Why they do it? How they experience the product? and how they talk about our product?

1.Who: by investing in a customer-centric culture, we get to connect with the people that love our product. Thus, we understand who they are. The implications here are huge, this helps us sell to them. Knowing who is your customer may sound easy but is truly a trivial process.

2.What: we as entrepreneurs have a vision for the world, we do our best to bring it to fruition. But the market always wins. Only by talking to customers that we understand what the “true” problems are out there. No business model nor product ever survives the first contact with customers, let alone product features. Customer experience management can serve as the starting point for feature ideation.

3.How: Business can be summed up in two islands and a bridge. The two islands are the market and the product, and the bridge between them is the “go-to-market strategy”. Investing in Customer Experience can help us understand where to find our customers, how did they hear about us, and how to market to distribute the product to them, thus fueling our growth.

Bringing your team onboard:

1.Support calls: these calls can be a gold mine. Many experts go to the length to argue that every employee within an organization should spend some time doing support calls, to have empathy for the customer.

2.Shadowing on calls: on the other hand, Aurore came with an interesting concept. Where engineers and staffers can sit on the calls and shadow customer support agents. This both guarantees that they are involved enough in the process without taking away from the craft of the support agents.

Paul English, Kayak CTO once mentioned “The engineers and I handle customer support. When I tell people that, they look at me like I’m smoking crack. They say, “Why would you pay an engineer $150,000 to answer phones when you could pay someone in Arizona $8 an hour?”. If you make the engineers answer emails and phone calls from the customers, the second or third time they get the same question, they’ll actually stop what they’re doing and fix the code. Then we don’t have those questions anymore.

“Treat your customers as you want to be treated”

It boils down to a simple fact, it’s all about the human connection. People can get angry, but you have got not only to be understanding but to provide them with an outlet to dissipate that anger and focus on problem-solving. According to salesforce, users now are more leaning into self-service tools to find answers, and they prefer to let the human call be the last resort, no one wants to be a burden.

Tools and hacks to improve the customer experience

Many companies provide FAQs, Forums, Social media accounts…in the hopes of giving people the answers they need. For scaling software companies, Aurore argues that chat-based products like Intercom can deliver great value for both the support team and the customer, but needs change as the company scales, which brings the need for more sophisticated support and ticketing solutions like Zendesk. Hardware companies find themselves not finding the right tools for the job, or resorting to solutions built for software. We at Onboard have built the right tool for hardware makers. As it is a one-stop-shop, including ticketing, instant chat, and product manuals. Integrating Onboard is very low friction, all you need to do is just design your product manual (which you probably already have in PDF or DOC)on our platform and we will handle everything else for you on the cloud.

Who am I and why you should trust me?

Well Hi! I am the founder of Onboard, and I spent 5 years of my life working on 3D and spatial UX, basically the art of human interactions with 3D digital objects. I joined forces with my friends, and our expertise as technical founders lies in cloud software,3D, and CRMs.And we built Onboard just for you, click here and we will build you the first manual ourselves 😉

customer

No, real-time 3D is not a video. They are very different

We all stumbled upon that animated 3D model on a website and though well that is some interesting video. However, the truth is far from that. Real-time 3D is not a video. These models are what we call real-time 3D, an example of what a digital transformation represents which is strikingly different from the digitization of reality through text, images, and even videos. (check out our article “An image on a tablet is not Digital Transformation, nor innovation.” to know more about this subject)  

Have you ever tried to decipher a 2D illustration of a 3D product and failed miserably at it? That’s understandable since it is challenging to try and understand representations of what reality is in a two-dimensional format that strips the product from the details that matter.  

Real-time 3D solves that problem. It allows the viewer not only to visualize but to also interact with the product that is moving in real-time. 

What is real-time 3D? And How does it work? 

3D is captured and reconstructed from the real world in real-time by a process in which animations and images are rendered as quickly as possible that they appear in the exact time you are interacting with them. 

If you are used to playing or watching video games then you have experienced real-time rendering before. According to Unity, 3D images are calculated at a very high speed which is usually 24 frames/sec which is the minimum to trick the human eye and create the illusion of movement appearing as close to reality as possible 

Real-time 3D is dynamically updated in every frame which finishes processing before the next frame arrives and then expires. 

How is it different from normal videos?  

Real-time rendering and videos can be similar since they both use light to create images. However, when it comes to how they are created and the experience they offer, they are widely different. That is real-time 3D is not a video

Videos are an example of digitization which is the process of converting information from a physical format to a digital one. Videos are obtained by converting reality into a digital representation to be used by computer systems.  

They are created using compression technologies. From converting images into digital data and compressing it to its smallest file size to then decompressing it to get a presentation of that data in the form of a video. 

What is the value-added of Real-time 3D? 

Real-time 3D is very interactive and immersive. It embodies the human communication that we at Onboard aim to empower. Aside from viewing the scene in every angle possible it also allows you to dive deeper into it by zooming in on every detail.  

As a matter of fact, if you are an investor or a designer this allows you to know whether you’ve made a mistake in your design or not, what is needed to fix it, and where exactly. It facilitates the decision of a consumer to buy a product or not since you can view it from multiple angles which helps discover and understand if it is the right choice for you. 

Here an example of a real-time 3D. You can go ahead and discover it. 

Videos on the other hand offer a limited experience.  The only use you have of a video is to watch it at the static angle that the person recording chose and the best you can do to interact with it is press the play button 

Here is a short video of the same example shown above  

As you can remark with this format you cannot change the view either zoom in or out. You are able to only experience what the person who created the video wanted you to see

What industries can benefit from it? 

Aside from the video gaming industry that heavily uses real-time 3D, this technique is gaining popularity and is being implemented in other areas.  

Interactive 3D is a form of digital transformation that can revolutionize businesses on an immense scale.  

We at onboard for example are utilizing it to create intelligent 3D manuals. Our goal is to ensure that the inventors of a product are able to communicate their ideas to their users in the most humane way possible. 

The automotive industry can gain a lot using real-time 3D. Who wouldn’t want to peek inside their dream car and observe how they can handle it? 

This technique can make buying a new car at a next-level experience. Not just car purchasing, a house can also be immersive and as human as possible. Thus, the real estate industry is an ultimate beneficiary as well.  

Interior design and design, in general, will also be transformed using real-time 3D. The designer can view his work, move furniture around, and anticipate how the room will look like without the burden of lifting heavy products. 

To sum up, real-time 3D and videos cannot be put under the same umbrella. One is a digital transformation and the other is a form of digitization. Real-time 3D provides an exciting user experience. It is immersive, interactive, intelligent, and most importantly humanly   

Two colleagues at a factory