The New Wave of Customer Service #5: Amy Smith from Le Col

Customer service is evolving at a rapid pace, so having a conversation about the field’s major trends and topics has become particularly important. 

Zowie’s New Wave is a series of interviews with trailblazing experts from the customer service industry. They’ll be offering insights and laying out their vision for the future. 

Today, we meet Amy Smith, Head of Customer Operations at Le Col.

About Our Guest

Amy is Head of Customer Operations at Le Col. She’s focused on helping customers and building a world-class support team and customer service experience.

She has spent the last three years building up the Customer Operations team at Le Col. Amy has a varied professional background, working across different industries within customer support at start-ups and corporations over the last 12 years.

What does excellent CS mean to you?

Excellent customer service should be easy to access. It should leave you feeling like your query has been handled by a human that cares on the other end.

How does a company keep me coming back for more? I need to feel like I’ve been understood, acknowledged, and dealt with fairly and with a human touch. If I have a negative support experience, I’m not normally one to forgive and forget. Most customers aren’t.

What do you spend the most time on as a Head of Customer Operations and what would you like to spend more time on?

Currently, I’m involved in a number of projects to help improve the Customer Experience. I’m researching new tools and ways of working that’ll help our customers self-serve and have a smoother experience when purchasing from us. I’m also looking into where we can make improvements in Sizing, Returns, and Exchanges.

On top of that, I really love digging into our data to form actionable insights for our internal teams to help us improve. But as I’m heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the team (we’re hiring for someone at the manager level to help with that), I don’t get as much time for number-crunching as I’d like.

What are your biggest challenges in CS/CX?

As a business, having an international customer base is great, but it can complicate things in terms of CS. We’re presently at a point where we have some non-English language contact from customers, but the volume isn’t high enough to warrant hiring specifically for this. That being said, it’s something we’d hope to do over time to ensure that we’re giving five-star support regardless of language across the board.

It’s also been a challenge building out a strong remote workforce during the pandemic. As our volumes have increased five-fold since March 2020, it’s been challenging to find a balance between being well-resourced and staying on top of a never-ending backlog.

Thinking of ways to solve the kinds of issues we see with customers is becoming more crucial. We don’t want answers that just patch over the cracks—we want ones that entirely solve the problem from the get-go.

In your opinion, what will change in CS/CX within the next 5 years? What are the main trends?

There will definitely be a much more personalized level of support at a customer’s fingertips. We’ve seen a move towards more instant kinds of support, like Whatsapp, live chat, etc. I think this will only continue to grow. 

Meeting customers where they want to be reached is important in our ever-more technological world.

How could CS and CX teams work together better?

Communication! As with any company, communication is key. Understanding what changes are being made and how they’ll impact customers is incredibly important.

We don’t have a specific CX team here at the moment, but there are lots of internal roles which touch on elements of CX.

What are the challenges around automation in CS/CX?

Automation is great, but enabling it often requires a lot of development resources. For many start-ups, these can be extremely hard to come by.

Thinking of ways for your teams to work smarter and not harder is crucial if resources are limited. Nevertheless, we’re always trying to implement internal processes that let our team handle certain kinds of queries faster. The overall goal is to improve efficiency.

We want to thank Amy for her valuable insights.

For more pioneering perspectives on customer service, check out our other New Wave interviews.