Customers have never had so many ways to interact with companies, and although contact via the phone is slowly declining, so long as humans can talk, there will always be a need to handle calls.
Customers demand faster, simpler ways to engage with companies and resolve issues. Digital platforms like web and mobile make it easy to self-serve, and these continue to raise customers’ expectations. However, call volumes remain high as the conversational IVR becomes the escalation channel for more complex issues, putting greater pressure on agents and contact centre costs.
Older touch-tone and directed dialogue-based IVR systems with complicated menu trees don’t meet the needs of today’s savvy consumers. It’s time to adapt to this new reality and strike a balance between meeting growing customer expectations and reducing operational costs.
When contacting a call centre, consumers look for service experiences that are:
Do you tick any of these boxes?
Why is customer experience (CX) important?
An article in Forbes states: “Be it customer service, product quality or just the way the customers feel about the companies they do business with, customer experience rises to the top of whether or not the customer will decide to keep doing business with a brand”
A Gartner survey confirmed that Customer Experience is the new battlefield. The survey showed that 89% of companies compete primarily on the base of customer experience. But while 80% of companies believe they deliver “super experiences” only 8% of customers agreed!
Customer expectations are getting higher and patience is getting less and with social media now giving everyone a voice that can be heard, instead of them just telling 8 people about a bad experience, they share it with a much wider audience.
What is a great customer experience and what does it look like?
This is a challenge for business as customer expectations are always getting higher but in general, customers want experiences that memorable (for the right reasons), differentiated and connected.
So, what does this mean?
Memorable - It may not be enough for organisations to provide a tailored customer experience, but what they need to do is make sure they stand out from the crowd by not the same as their competitors are doing. We’re In the digital age so it’s important for businesses to find new ways of personalising experiences for its customers. For example, the Implementation of a CRM can enable a stronger and more personalised relationship with the customer, making it a more memorable experience.
Differentiated – We are all unique so agents need to recognise this in order to provide a tailored experience. If you personalise how you engage with your customers, they will be able to differentiate between you your competitors.
Connected – We live in a connected world where 95% of the adult population in the UK own a smartphone. That’s over 51 million adults! Another quick google search shows that more than two-thirds of customers expect a connected experience when they engage with a company. Again, technology can play a key part here. Multi-channel solutions now provide businesses with the ability to support customer communication via their channel of choice (Voice, SMS, etc) whilst omni-channel solutions bring increased internal efficiencies.
Today’s customers are certainly more knowledgeable and aware of the high levels of service that new technologies can do but it can put a strain on brands who can’t keep up with evolving standards.
If you want support in delivering a great customer experience through people, process and technology improvements, then it would be great to hear from you.