Customer service is about answering concerns in the right way. It sounds simple, but it’s not always straightforward, and you may need to rethink your customer experience strategy and adopt new technologies or tools to make it happen.
Getting new customers is considerably more expensive than maintaining existing ones. And satisfied customers are the ones who stay loyal. According to Deloitte, customers are likely to spend 140% more after a positive experience than customers who report a negative one. But customer experience needs are changing rapidly these days, with social media, analytics, and new devices and technologies redesigning the landscape.
Here we break-up 8 techniques you should include in your strategy to manage your customers’ experiences like a boss.
Build authentic Relationships.
Integrate Support Channels.
Talk to Customers in Real-Time.
Guide employees to perform beyond expectations.
Focus your measure parameters or KPIs towards the customer
Start from the top
Provide actionable data to decision-makers
1. Build relationships.
The best companies know that the important thing is not only to solve problems but to establish a lasting relationship with customers.
In its retail stores, Apple is busy making friends. Employees will actually try to “sell you something cheaper” than what you were planning to buy, in an effort to get you the lowest priced, least complicated product that will do what you need. And truth be told, we all like to get what we want for less than we expected to pay. Apple’s approach, they claim, results in fewer product returns, higher sales rates on secondary services, fewer frequent compatibility issues, and very low attrition on employees.
Contact centers, for example, can mimic this approach with the use of analytics-based data and cross-selling marketing programs. These programs involve using real-time and historical data to proactively suggest to agents, products and services that individual customers may be interested in. Close the loop by rewarding agents for selling the most appropriate solutions, rather than the most expensive, again, data is key.
2. Integrate support channels
New tools and technologies for consumers make it even more important to support customers in a consistent way. As you add SMS, text chat, video chat, and mobile platform channels to your team, it’s important to keep tabs on them. The tools for cross-channel integration can seem overwhelming; But the alternative is an inconsistency in the customer experience, which can result in significant cost to your business.
Also, most platforms are using time as KPI to measure how good or bad a business is in dealing with customers, some of them like Facebook actually shows you how long on average you take to answer a customer’s message and even gives you a badge if you answer quick enough. Google doesn’t show directly, but they take into account -very seriously- how long someone spends on your site looking for answers or information.
3. Talk to customers in real-time
It’s 2020, time is money more than ever, so it’s not surprising that 79% of customers say they prefer to use live chat purely because of the immediacy it offers compared to other channels. Forcing customers to self-service channels can keep your costs in check in the short term, but in the long term, it can cost you in terms of retention and leads when not used correctly.
4. Guide employees to perform well
Customer service agent’s performance is the cornerstone of good customer experience in any business who really cares about their customers. Train your employees, give specific feedback, and invest in next-generation training tools to ensure you get the most out of your staff. Reward people who demonstrate the best performance and help those who are trying to improve.
A division of HSBC bank in the UK, First Direct, does not have a physical branch network. Customers access services online or through mobile or fixed applications. It was voted number one in customer service in a national poll for four consecutive years. Training and assisting agents is central to the bank’s mission of “pioneering exceptional service.”
5. Empower employees and involve them.
Develop a culture where employees feel comfortable initiating conversations and listening to customers rather than just answering questions as quickly as possible. In this way, agent attrition decreases and customer satisfaction increases.
Also, think about your employees as your first customers, they know what happens behind curtains, pros and cons about your product and services, so they must be integrated into the process of giving feedback and improving the business. This can also bring you more profit, as a study made by Gallup found that companies with engaged employees outperformed the competition by 147%.
6. Focus measurement parameters on the customer
How do you measure success? Don’t just reward your employees for speed. Reward them for solving the customer’s issue in a single contact (first contact resolution) and for scoring high on customer satisfaction.
Have in place a feedback collection tool, and use the information it gathers to adjust and improve your customer experience strategy. Aim to provide a consistent experience in both physical stores and digital stores, if you find a way to make the purchase experience amazing everywhere, you’ll have a stable business.
7. Start from the top
The customer experience begins with the CEO. The best customer experience is born in companies focused on providing it, from senior management, through all levels to the front-line employees. Associate each metric with company initiatives so people can understand their role within the organization. According to the Economist 59% of companies with a CEO who is involved in customer experience report higher revenue growth, compared to just 40% of companies without a customer-focused CEO.
Amazon consistently receives praise for its excellent customer service. Interestingly, it is often the customer experience – personalized experience, hassle-free shopping, and fast shipping – that is mentioned rather than how the company solves problems. CEO Jeff Bezos understands that everything is related and has organized the company so that the “service,” or the contact center team you communicate with when you have a problem, is also part of the “experience” group.
8. Provide actionable data to decision-makers
To ensure that the entire company is on the same page, share customer satisfaction and feedback reports with the entire company. Ultimately, customer satisfaction should be the number one goal of all. However, there’s many companies collecting data and feedback about their customer experience, but just around 15% of them implement changes to improve their service.
Data without an action plan is just information, make sure you’re analyzing the feedback you get from customers, and adjusting your strategies based on it.
As technology changes and new generations bring new perspectives to the market, the foundation of customer experience management remains the same. If you want to provide outstanding service, this must be the top priority at every level of the company. It should be the focus of each initiative. And it should be the goal of every employee.
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