Your product might be the cornerstone of your business, but customers might remember the customer experience most. This is the sum total of all the interactions they have with your business across various touch points – including live calls, help menus, website interfaces, and communication through e-mail or live chat. This can make or break your reputation with a customer.
So how do you deliver a positive customer experience on each and every call? Companies are trying to figure that out and incorporate changing customer behavior. With the Covid-19 pandemic dramatically changing how customers interact with businesses, it’s important to understand what they expect from their customer experience and incorporate these four points to ensure a positive impression.
If you have a hundred positive experiences with a company, you’re likely to keep returning to them. But if you have one experience that makes you think you’re unable to trust them to act honestly, you’re likely to drop them like a hot potato.
That’s the key to integrity as a pillar of customer experience – it’s a lot easier to lose trust than to build it, and companies need to make sure customers know they can be relied on to act ethically.
That goes far deeper than just acting honestly and being upfront about their delivery times and quality. It involves standing for something other than just profits. Companies that commit to supporting worthwhile causes often reap the benefits of increased customer loyalty. Likewise, customers who admit product flaws and voluntarily recall before a problem becomes public usually gain long-term trust and see customers more willing to return.
No matter how much a company wishes otherwise, things aren’t always going to go smoothly. That means at some point, a company will need to talk to an upset customer that their delivery has been delayed, the quality isn’t up to par, or they had a negative experience in another way. Fixing the problem in a timely manner is essential, but equally important is making the customer feel heard and valued. This is where empathy comes in when dealing with complaints.
It might be tempting to go for the fast and efficient solution, and while this will help to calm the customer, it may not convince them to come back for a second visit. On the other hand, if the customer feels like the representative understands their displeasure and is actively working to make it right, that may make a bigger impact than the actual delay. Training empathy in customer service reps can be well worth the effort in long-term retention.
Understanding your customer base isn’t just good customer relations; it’s good for business. That’s why many companies are creating complex digital profiles of their customers based on their past purchases and interactions. You can build on those profiles by analyzing your one-on-one interactions in phone calls and e-mail – but what if you don’t have the staffing to interact personally with everyone who calls? That doesn’t mean you lose out on that data.
More and more companies are using artificial intelligence to guide customer interactions, and it’s gone well beyond the standard voice-mail menus. These AI systems can collect hundreds of data points and pick from specific menus to come up with the solutions customers want.
Then, from those responses, they can refine the menus further and ensure customers have a positive customer experience even if they’ve never interacted with a representative. This is especially common with outsourced inbound and outbound call center services, which handle a large volume of calls deftly.
Ultimately, good customer service only goes as far as you can actually come up with a positive solution to the problem. That’s why companies need to be troubleshooting solutions before they come up, so there’s a minimal delay between the customer bringing them a problem and the company helping them resolve it.
Resolutions can be both temporary and long-lasting. If a customer is having problems with a product, sending them out a loaner of an older model until theirs can be repaired or replaced can help to smooth over hard feelings. Often, the person who comes to customer service with a problem and leaves happy can be the strongest advocate for the company.
The Ideal Customer Experience
What do you want customers to remember about your company? Your product and your business model are important, but one factor looms larger. This is how you make them feel. Does your company represent integrity and empathy? Are you offering a personal experience and trying to resolve every issue adequately? If so, your company is already on the verge of success.