Customer Experience News & Trends

6 things customers care about most – and how to deliver on all fronts

Here’s what really matters to today’s customers — and how you can deliver it all.

For customers, the experience is mostly about how they’re treated. They care far less about sales and marketing offers and, in some cases, the actual quality of the product than they do about their interactions with service and support personnel.

That’s what recent research from Customer Management IQ found, based on surveys with customers and customer experience professionals across multiple industries, countries and company sizes.

A never-ending experience

One thing most professionals and customers agree on is that the experience is all-encompassing. It includes every contact, every conversation, every use of a product or service, and even the time customers put into thinking about doing business with a company.

“Most …. agreed that the definition of customer experience should include all interactions with the organization, from both the lifetime and transactional perspectives” researchers said.

Every element plays a role, some far more important than others. We aren’t suggesting you invest no time or money into the lesser appreciated elements. But the best return on investment in the customer experience will certainly involve the human elements — service, support and ease of doing business.

Here are the six most important customer experience elements and proven ways to improve each at your organization:

1. Customer service


Hands down, customer service is the most important part of transactions and relationships, with 92% of survey participants said it’s vital to the customer experience.

Customers expect great service every time they interact with a company.

One of the biggest challenges to providing a consistently good customer service experience is making sure each human interaction goes smoothly. Even when you try to always direct customers to front-line professionals — service reps, salespeople, wait staff, etc. — you can never fully control who ends up coming into contact with customers. It could be a maintenance staffer, accounts payable professional, delivery driver or even an executive who stays late and gets an emergency call.

It’s difficult to train everyone to the depths that customer care professionals are. But ingraining a can-do service attitude across the organization can help.

At D.O. Weaver and Co. in Aurora, CO, employees across the organization get together weekly to get company updates and, more importantly, share tidbits of things they’d done for customers recently.

For instance, at one meeting, an employee said she’d stayed late to help a customer who showed up at closing time. Another employee, who worked in accounting and didn’t have much direct contact with customers, explained how he dealt with a demanding delinquent customer and turned the situation around to the point where the customer finally paid. One employee also said he saw that a light bulb had been out and he replaced it — a goodwill gesture for “internal customers” (i.e., colleagues) who were affected by it.

Some companies also use the group meetings to solicit employee ideas on ways to better serve customers. Here employees might bring up issues they’ve heard customers mention and ask for input on how to resolve those issues for good. Others have brought to light internal issues that sometimes got in the way of good service.

2. Service support

Customer Service Agents at Call Center

Similarly, about 85% of survey respondents said service support is vital to the customer experience. Moments that really matter are when customers really need help — perhaps with a problem using a product or glitch when relying on a service. Those are also the times when emotions run highest — customers are frustrated, in a hurry or confused.

Anyone who helps when customers are in their most fragile state — upset, frustrated, etc. — must be equipped to do so.

Scott Patten, senior director of call center operations at Vizio in Dakota Dunes, SD, created a special team to help customers through the big issues. He called it the Executive Escalation Team, and he recruited current agents who he called “a special breed” to be part of the group. Those were the front-line agents who naturally made upset customers happy. They had a proven record of de-escalating situations to customers’ satisfaction.

Pages: 1 2 3

5 Essential Strategies for Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce in Your Contact Center

Take a couple minutes today and simply look out onto the production floor of your contact center. Chances are pretty great that you are seeing a diverse group of people that span across several generations.  Read more!

Subscribe Today

Get the latest customer experience news and insights delivered to your inbox.