Sandie Simms of West Unified Communications share five tips to boost the customer experience from the contact centre.
Customer experience is often defined as the way customers perceive your brand. This includes your product marketing and the manner in which you stand behind those products. Another part of customer experience is how your employees support and proactively interact with customers – through sales, follow-up and customer service.
CRM giant Salesforce recently conducted a study of over 6,700 customers and found that 80 percent agree the experience your brand creates is just as important as the product or service you are selling. While the quality of product or service is still valued by customers, their expectations are now at the level where they want to be “wowed” by the company, through each and every interaction.
Customer experience can make or break a company in today’s market. That’s why it’s so crucial to repair any part of your customer experience which may be broken, or not working optimally towards the end goal of 100 percent customer satisfaction across your customer base. Be sure to closely examine and correct the following factors to maximise your customers’ experience.
1. The Impact of Better Customer Service Tools
In this mobile-driven age, consumers prefer to handle their customer service issues whenever they can squeeze them into their busy, on-the-go schedules. This means they may use their mobile device to contact your company while waiting at the doctor’s surgery or try to multi-task the interface through a chat window while carrying out their daily work functions. Whatever the case, customers expect to be able to reach your company’s customer support department through almost any device, any time, from their channel of choice.
This is why companies must establish where the gaps, blocks and opportunities exist within their customers’ experience and address them through people, processes and technology, and implement omnichannel support through social media channels, live webchat, customer self-service kiosks, mobile support and more. Keeping abreast of technological expectations shows customers you care and value their time. Deploying these tools takes customer experience to the next level, improving customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Score (NPS) while minimising customer effort. This also ensures that brands look wider than the contact centre when it comes to facilitating effective and efficient customer experience strategies.
2. The Effect of Personalised Customer Relationships
The typical customer wants to feel understood and appreciated by companies. They want to feel that the company cares and is able to be knowledgeable and empathetic to their situation. Using an integrated view of customer contact channels – tying into customer databases like CRM solutions – agents are able to better understand and handle the customer’s specific concern or situation.
The employee can glean personalised information about the customer from contact logs resulting from email, social media and other contact channels. With a quick review of the history and exact situation, agents are able to connect better with the person they are trying to assist. At the same time, giving agents access to integrated and detailed knowledge of each and every specific situation strengthens consumer and company relationships. It also builds consumer confidence in the brand as employees can more quickly arrive at a preferred resolution of the customer’s issue.
3. The Customer Experience Should Come with an “Easy Button”
The customer experience should be an easy, straightforward process for your customers. This means your website should be clear, concise and easy to navigate. People want to get to the information they are interested in quickly and simply. The online shopping experience should follow along in the same vein. Processing sales should take only the minimum amount of information and be a secure and swift practice.
One way companies can offer that “easy button” for their clients is to utilise chatbots on their site. In this way, customers are able to get almost instantaneous answers while still experiencing a more personalised approach. Implementing flexible agent scripting tools in your multichannel customer contact centre also helps agents to quickly customise their interactions appropriately, by pulling data from your CRM. This reduces the need for customers to repeat questions, leading to faster, more direct resolutions to customer concerns and inquiries.
4. Track Customer Data to Improve Interactions
According to a recent study conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services (HBRAS), 60 percent of enterprises use real-time customer analytics to improve customer experience across all touchpoints. In fact, that number is expected to grow to 79 percent within two years. So it is crucial to track and review your contact flows: the path conversations or interactions with customers take and the route they use to get to a final resolution. Assessing where there are slow-downs or rough patches along that path – and making changes in scripts or process flow – can make a real difference in improving customer interactions.
5. Proven Customer Retention Strategies
An infographic from Salesforce recently indicated that roughly 80 percent of a brand’s future profits will come from 20 percent of its existing customers. Retaining customers is a vital part of company growth and therefore critical to the customer experience. So what methods do organisations deploy to keep their current customers?
For starters, you need to focus on the customer experience. It should be formulated to be easy and personal, designed to make the customer feel valued. Personalised, signed letters sent to customers including giveaways, incentives, or special sales can help to check off these items.
The same study from HBRAS also reported that 58 percent of companies are seeing a significant increase in customer retention as a result of using customer analytics. Using real-time dashboards containing historical data and management analysis tools can make a real difference in meeting or exceeding customer expectations. And these tools should be customisable to allow quick access to KPIs and agent performance so that corrections and improvements can be made in real time – keeping your customers loyal and happy to provide you with repeat business.
To stay relevant and successful in today’s market, putting customer experience at the top of your enterprise’s priority list is key. Examining and tweaking these five customer experience factors within your organisation are the steps that will lead you along the path towards that success.