Launched in 1994, Amazon is the biggest giant in the e-Commerce industry. As their tagline says, Amazon is the earth’s most customer-centric company, and the customers can confirm that it is true.
Amazon is known for its pleasing customer experience, either through their shopping experience, or their customer service. But what do they do differently that makes their customer service so pleasant?
The answer is they care. They genuinely care about their customers.
When Amazon hires a customer service representative, the first lesson they teach is the ‘ARTES’. Every customer service representative has to master ‘ARTES’ to be able to deal with Amazon customers.
What is ARTES?
It is a five-point Amazon contact tenet that highlights things Amazon customer services representative needs to do while dealing with customers.
Let’s understand and breakdown the ARTES method together.
A – Answer the questions asked
It’s as simple as it sounds, just ‘Answer the questions asked.’ A Customer service representative needs to listen to the customers, acknowledge their concern, and answer the question they ask.
Why is this important?
When someone contacts your customer service team, the intention is not always to talk to you about the weather. A customer only dials when he/she has a specific query or a concern. There are cases where the customer service rep doesn’t understand the question or simply lacks the knowledge to answer the question. Now what happens is, *the merry go round music begins*. In the end, the customer frustratingly leaves the conversation and a bad review.
What to do?
Put your customer on hold, go to your superiors or seniors, and ask them how to answer that question. Chances are, they’ll know. If they don’t, someone will. Just try harder.
The customer can wait for you to answer, and even if they’re impatient, the correct answer or solution will please the customer. So, pause the *Merry go round music*, and ‘Answer the questions asked.’
R- Reduce customer’s efforts
Customer: Hey, I forgot my password, and I can’t access my account anymore. My name is Horatio Velvetin and my account is under email@example.com. Rep: Ok, you need to go to our website>>enter your name and your email ID>>Click on the ‘Forgot Password’ button>>enter your email again>>go to your email>>copy the code>>enter the code>>and change your password
Customer: Hey, I forgot my password, and I can’t access my account anymore. My name is Horatio Velvetin and my account is under firstname.lastname@example.org. Rep: I understand that you want to change your password. I’ve sent you a password reset link to your email, and you can click on that link to change your password. You’ve solved the customer’s problem in both scenarios. However, in scenario two, you can see that the customer’s effort is minimal.
Your duty as a customer service representative is to reduce your customer’s effort as much as possible. Find ways to troubleshoot issues and solve them on your end so that the customer can enjoy the services.
T – Treat every customer as a Friend
Now, please understand that ‘Treating your customer as a friend’ doesn’t mean getting their number and asking if you can have a beer with them. I am not suggesting this in any way, shape, or form. Although, if your customer offers you a beer, you’d be a fool to say no. But only if they ask, all right? The third contact tenet suggests that you need to treat your customer’s issue the same way if it was happening to your friend. Get in your customer’s shoes and feel the problem they’re facing. If you can feel the problem, you’ll do your best to solve it. So, treat every customer as a friend.
E – Escalate systemic problems
If any customer report issues that are out of the norm and seriously require a fix, escalate it. You can prevent a massive catastrophe just by not keeping it to yourself.
S – Solve the problem
This is the most crucial of all the strategies above, SOLVE THE PROBLEM. When a customer reaches out to you, either they’re looking for answers or facing an issue, so it is your duty to solve the problem. This is one of the reasons the CSAT feedback request after every interaction with Amazon reads, “Did I solve your problem?” The customers can vote their answer by saying Yes or No.
If you don’t know how to solve, ask your teammates, your managers, your seniors. If your customer’s request is against your policy, offer alternatives. If it is a severe case, and your customer has faced a major inconvenience, make an exception. If you can’t fix the problem right there and you have to escalate it to a specific department, let them know. Your duty doesn’t end once you escalate the case, keep an eye on it. If the case is not progressing, let your superiors know about it.
Once again, all your efforts will go in vain if you don’t “SOLVE THE PROBLEM.” Now you know what ARTES is and how to implement this strategy. So, get your representatives in a conference room, get a marker, a whiteboard and tell them about ARTES
Did you know?
Jeff Bezos used to keep an empty chair in all their meetings?
An empty chair signifies a customer. Jeff Bezos understands power a customer’s voice hold. Throughout these meetings, they used to brainstorm on several ideas on how to serve their customers better. Even though it was an empty chair, they always noted the customer’s presence and concluded on what is beneficial for the customer on that empty chair.
Being obsessed about their customers is what makes Amazon unique and being able to understand and care about the customer is what makes them the biggest e-Commerce giant
Maybe you’re just starting up; perhaps you have an established business, never forget you work for your customers and NOT Vice Versa. They are your boss and they pay you for the work you do. So, make sure that you hear their voice and understand their problems. And once again, SOLVE THE PROBLEM