Customer Experience News & Trends

5 ways customers’ needs will change in 2012

Customers’ needs will shift a bit in 2012. Here’s how you can meet them head-on to delight customers.

Staying ahead of these trends will help contact centers boost customer satisfaction and increase sales, says Richard Shapiro, president of The Center for Client Retention.

  1. Purchases will be a family affair. Customers will turn to family members in business-to-consumer situations and colleagues in business-to-business situations for opinions. The Internet, online reviews and social networks have given everyone a more power base of knowledge that they like to share. Your move: Give customers what they want – reviews. Allow customers to post positive and negative thoughts on their experiences with your products and services. Then refer new customers to those opinions.
  2. Social media will help retain customers. More and more people pay attention to social media postings every day, looking for deals, discounts and tips on using products and services. Your move: Get active on Facebook, Twitter, review sites and industry blogs.
  3. Customers will want help on the go. The use of mobile technology will increase, and customers will want answers to questions at all hours and in all places. Your move: Be ready to send instructions, answer questions and relay information via smart phones and email around the clock. But don’t do it at the cost of less phone coverage. Customers will always want the option to get reassurance from the human voice.
  4. A green image will get attention. Customers have been interested in using eco-friendly products for years. Now they want to deal with companies that follow eco-friendly practices. Your move: Let customers know what you do in the office (offer paperless billing, consolidate shipping, etc.) and in the community (recycle, involvement in environmental events, etc.) to be “green.”
  5. The entrance and exit will mean the most. Customers can do more than ever themselves when making purchase decisions or troubleshooting. So they have less contact with agents than ever. That’s why first and last impressions are so important – they may be the only impressions. Your move: Focus training efforts on how to make customers feel welcomed when they call and welcomed back when they say goodbye each time.

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