Customer Experience News & Trends

Why must the experience be better than anything else you do?

If your pleas for more customer experience support fall on deaf ears, you’ll want to drop this stat on the powers-that-be ASAP.

Customers are four times more likely to switch to your competitors if they run into a problem with service than if their issue is price- or product-related.


What customers want

You can have product recalls or price increases, and customers will almost always forgive you. Deliver a bad experience, and they’ll run to your competitors, research from Bain & Company found.

To avoid losing customers to service foibles, companies want to do more of what customers demand these days — and do it without fault. IntelliResponse Systems recently identified several factors that are increasingly important to customers (and we’ve included ways to amp up those factors):

1. Answer faster

This shouldn’t come as a surprise: Nearly 90% of customers expect that their issues will be resolved in one interaction. To them, that means one call, email or social media post. They want someone dealing with their situation the minute it comes to the company’s attention.

The good news: Most customer issues can be resolved without much effort. Two ways to help yourself:

  • Make answers easy to find, perhaps offering an inquiry toolbar on every website page rather than a FAQ page that’s often cumbersome to navigate, and
  • Update questions and answers that can be searched as often as daily, based on what customers are asking frequently and the swing of business needs.

2. Give customers what they want online

Customers don’t want to deal with you directly as much as they used to. In fact, nearly 70% prefer gathering information from company websites before they make decisions on buying, Bain & Company found. So your online self-support options need to be robust.

And since just 6% of customers prefer to make a call, the more complex questions and issues will come to front-line customer service pros. To improve that experience, reps who once handled the basics now need to be trained and given the authority to handle second- and third-tier contacts.

3. Make it personal

Front-line customer service pros, whether they’re dealing with email, social media or calls, need customer history and preferences at their fingertips.

Then they need the time and authority to lead customers through a personalized experience based on that data.

4. Stay one step ahead

Rarely does a question stand alone. Not only do customer service professionals need to deliver the right answer, they need to know what the next question will likely be and answer it before customers even have to ask it. That kind of preparedness eliminates repeat contacts and confusion.

As part of customer service training, regularly review call, email and social media history to storyboard customer inquiries. You should see patterns of questions and the needed answers.

5. Be consistent

A consistently great online customer experience can be erased by one bad phone experience — and vice versa. While customers use online and mobile tools more, they expect a consistent experience across all channels. Wait times need to remain short, front-line pros need to be courteous and results need to be delivered.

The customer experience will continue to be only as strong as the weakest link in the channels where it’s delivered. So regularly review the experience by walking through your channels or by using mystery shoppers.

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