Customer Experience News & Trends

7 all-powerful ways to improve the customer experience in 2014

Think customers expected a lot in 2013? That was just the beginning. They’ll expect more in 2014.

Now customers’ biggest demand and expectation is that experiences across every channel you offer be seamless (because over the years they’ve asked for help via phone, email, chat, social media, etc., and you’ve delivered).

Know what’s happened, will happen

The right hand must know what the left has already done: The rep on the phone better know about the email a customer sent last week. Their online accounts better be updated to reflect that mobile order they placed this morning. The real-time chat rep should know their account history. You get the idea, right?

Unfortunately, customers are already complaining that many companies don’t get the idea. In fact, 87% of customers in a new, world-wide Zendesk survey said companies must work harder to create seamless experiences.

Why is seamlessness so important? Nearly 70% of customers interacted with companies and made purchases, involving multiple communication channels in the past year. Yes, they’re using everything you offer. And now they expect them to be better in 2014.

Here are the seven most important experience desires of customers in 2014:

1. Get faster

159141779“I’ll get to it as soon as possible,” will likely have no place in the customer experience in the coming years. Very few people will take it as an acceptable response to their demands from a company.

Nearly 90% of the customers in the Zendesk survey said that the speed of response to their call to a company and then the speed of the actual resolution once they reach a person (in any channel) is a huge determining factor in their decision to continue doing business with that company.

To break it down even more, this is what customers expect for specific channels:

  • If they call, 59% of customers expect a resolution within 30 minutes of them dialing
  • If they post something on social media, pertaining to a company, 52% expect some kind of resolution within a day, and
  • If they send an email, 75% of customers expect a response and resolution within a day.

One way to be faster: Staff right. Many vendors offer workforce management solutions to help you break down and allocate resources to make sure customer demand rarely — if ever — exceeds your team’s capabilities to answer quickly.

2. Stay on the line

CallWaitingDespite all the channels we offer customers, they will still expect the most out of the forever-option: The telephone. It’s where they turn when things get complex or turn terribly wrong.

To be exact:

  • 74% of customers call when an email goes unanswered for too long
  • 55% will pick up the phone when no one responds to a social media post, and
  • 54% will repeatedly call if their phone call goes unanswered.

Why the phone? Customers still crave reassurance from a human voice and the personal touch that should accompany a one-on-one phone call. And those are still — and will continue to be — the most memorable moments in almost any customer experience.

In fact, even as the demand for customer service via emerging channels (like text) grows, companies will want to put at least as much as — if not more — stock in training front-line professionals to work with customers over the phone.

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