Eric Jorgensen is VP EMEA at Zendesk. We ask him about his role, how brands can become more customer-centric, and what good customer service means to him.

Image: Eric Jorgensen, Zendesk

Tell me about your role – what does a typical day look like for you?

My mornings usually consist of a cold shower – which I must say is much easier in the summer – and making sure my three kids are ready for school. Once the workday begins, I’ll check in with my team to make sure they’re supported for their various customer- and partner-facing meetings, and I particularly enjoy providing my expertise for large, complex problem solving.

How can brands become more customer-centric?

For me, it’s all about personalisation. Things that are bland and generic feel cold and impersonal. Your customers will tell you what they want – capture that, use it to provide them with a more personal, tailored service, and they’ll keep coming back.

What does good customer service mean to you? Can you give me some examples?

Like many people, I opt for self-service as much as possible to get quicker answers, so a well-thought-out, logical process really helps me here. But, critically, if I do need extra help, then the ability to message a company is super important as quite often I’m multitasking (usually poorly), so this helps me not spend too long in phone queues.

It’s even better if I can use a channel I’d be using anyway – like text or WhatsApp. Two Zendesk customers that I have enjoyed using recently… I did some renovations at my house last year and was really impressed with Victorian Plumbing, and also Norwegian Air. I’m answering these questions from Copenhagen, where I’ve flown with Norwegian Air and was really impressed with the slick customer experience.

What are the biggest challenges brands face when it comes to automation within customer service? How can brands succeed?

I believe collecting and smartly using data is the biggest challenge to success in automation. Curating personalised experiences also requires accurate and actionable data about the customer. So, brands that have a smart system in place to retain and analyse data have the biggest opportunity for customer experience in 2023.

How can customer service be a source of profit?

When customers receive excellent service in response to a problem, their perception of the brand is very high. Customers will accept that things go wrong or that they need support sometimes, but it’s how you respond that they’ll remember. A good interaction builds brand loyalty, and a customer who trusts your business is more open to being up-sold additional products and services that are in context of their original request and interest. Done well, customer experience becomes an opportunity to personalise and offer unique sales opportunities.

What trends do you think will come to the forefront of CRM in the next 12 months?

There’s lots of investing in AI/ML-driven solutions, and when you’ve been in this industry as long as I have, that can all sort of sound the same. The big thing I want to see is that system intelligence being optimised towards delivering personalised engagement at scale, and in a cost-effective way for organisations.

I see a lot of companies investing in this now, particularly as we continue to navigate changing economic environments. Building that customer trust, loyalty and retention through excellent CX is now more important than ever for your business longevity.

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