Customers don’t become loyal to your brand because your marketing is excellent. They become loyal because you take good care of them. Excellent customer service experiences drive a great customer experience.
Make no mistake about it; marketing is essential. It drives customer awareness, helps build top of mind, influences our buying behavior, and significantly impacts brand recognition and brand reputation. And it makes us buy your products and services.
But there is one thing that most customers all agree on. Brand loyalty is very much tied to delivering great customer service. Before, during, and after a consumer or business has become a customer.
That’s why you have seen and read an increasing number of articles telling you why and how you need to invest in customer experience.
To elevate the customer experience, you need to know your customers. And the only way to really get to know your customers is through a long-term relationship. It’s only when you truly understand who they are and what they need (and want), you will be able to deliver a truly personalized experience, at least from a marketing perspective.
Some would say you need to exceed customer expectations, delivering superior customer experiences or “the ultimate customer experience” – but what does that entail?
You need to make sure you deliver on your brand promise, and your brand promise should meet or exceed your customer’s expectations every single time. Be careful to go far and beyond your brand promise to make them happy. If you increase the brand expectation each and every time they visit your brand, it can come back and haunt you the one time you failed to do just that; go above and beyond the previous expectation. You might be setting yourself up for failure.
62.000.000.000 reasons that should get your attention
According to research from SuperOffice companies are losing $62 billion each year to lousy customer service. Some of the most common causes for bad customer experiences involve:
- Difficult purchasing processes
- Negative experiences with customer support
- Compromising a customer’s personal security
- Waiting too long on hold
- Ignoring customer feedback
All of which is the holder of your contact center. So let’s dig in and let’s take a look at how we can fix the customer experience, shall we?
Fix the customer service experience first
Don’t get me wrong; the customer experience has a massive impact on your retention, revenue, word-of-mouth, and continued growth. But if you are part of the statistics that sum up the annual churn of $62 billion per year, you should start by looking at how your contact center’s customer service experience is doing.
More often than not, we see that the different touchpoints customers use during their journey with your business are not deeply connected in your contact center. Another observation is that the contact center is not integrated with your CRM. This means that you might lose important information along the way or may not be able to personalize the experience according to where your customers are in their journey.
True omnichannel – make sure you’re connected to your customers
So why is it important to have your touchpoints truly and deeply connected? Your business provides customer service through phone, live chat, web forms (email), social, WhatsApp, and perhaps even SMS. But what happens when your customers reach out to your business through these channels?
No matter where they are in their customer journey, they receive the same greeting as they always do. In some cases, there’s not even historical information from past interactions. This creates friction between your customers and your customer support team – it’s frustrating for me as a customer to know that you don’t know anything about my past experiences with your business.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Let’s look at an example;
A customer completes a form on your website regarding “something.” Due to the urgency of the matter at hand – the next day – the same person decides to get in touch by calling your contact center.
Now, once they finally get a hold of you (remember bullet #4 from above – long hold times), they are greeted as someone that has never been in touch with you in the past. The customer support rep has no information about the query from yesterday because of the lack of “collaboration” between the different touchpoints. So the customer needs to explain the issue all over again … *sigh
With a cloud-based contact center, you should get the omnichannel experience out-of-the-box.
With historical information about each and every customer, you can track and help your customers faster.
To elevate the customer service experience to match your brand promise, your contact center software should detect that your customer already has sent you an email the previous day. And then, perhaps skipping the traditional dialing menus (dial 1 for support, dial 2 for accounting, etc.) and instead present the caller with different options. One option is to have automated systems in place to ask your customer if the phone call is related to the email from yesterday. This is all done before the caller is connected to the best-suited agent to handle the call.
Do you see what is happening here?
When you’re able to deeply connect the different touchpoints in your contact center out of the box, you can present a better customer service experience to your customers based on their past behaviors and elevate the customer experience.
Now, to kick the experience out of the park, what if you connected your contact center with your CRM?
What would that look like?
Example number two;
Your customer has made an order on your website. And now, they have a question about the product or service they’ve ordered. So they reach out to you using live chat. First of all, your live chat service authenticates the customer in some way (using email or a login through your portal), and your contact center should immediately know who the customer is. At the same time, the contact center should check your CRM and finds the customer’s recent purchase. We can now present different alternatives through live chat.
The same kind of experience should and could be made using phone, social media, or email – or any other touchpoint for that matter.
True omnichannel contact center elevates the customer experience
Tying all the touchpoints together, integrated with your backend applications to deliver a truly personalized experience. That’s the benefit of a true omnichannel contact center.
But after delivering better and personalized customer service experiences, you need to be able to gather insights to iterate on the customer experience process. And this is done through your analytics software.
Your analytics software should be able to;
- Gather insights from root causes your customers are “telling you” in each and every interaction.
- Are you adequately staffed? How long is your hold time?
- Do the agents have the proper training? Are they empowered to solve customer queries right then and there?
With these insights (and many more), you’re able to – not only elevate your customer service – but the customer experience as a whole.
This blog post was first published on the Omnicus blog.