Guest Post by Michael Becker, content strategist at Sharpen.
Better customer experiences equal happier customers.
And happier customers are what carries business forward. They buy more, buy more often, and share their experiences with others. Though keeping customers happy is important, it isn’t always an easy task.
More often than not, customers are already upset before they contact your customer service team.
But there are a few things you need to avoid once you do speak with them in order to keep things from getting worse.
Avoid these three pitfalls in order to keep customers happy.
1. An unpredictable and erratic omni-channel experience
Contrary to what some customer service professionals believe, people don’t actually expect perfection when it comes to dealing with companies.
Nobody is perfect.
In lieu of being completely flawless 100% of the time, simply aim to provide consistent, reliable service.
As Shep Hyken puts it, “…there has to be consistency. Confidence comes when the customer knows what to expect, and gets it every time. Their experience becomes predictable.”
Today’s digital-savvy customers also require an omni-channel experience.
So if they begin an interaction via the phone and finish it online, ensure their account information, preferences, and interaction history is all up-to-date.
Don’t get lost in the data, though. Always think about customers on a human level – you’re tracking a person rather than a series of interactions.
And while it’s certainly important to focus on having quality individual interactions with customers (because they’ll remember a really great or really poor single experience), it’s also important to realize that, for the most part and over the long haul, people tend to form a holistic impression of a company.
So, shoot for overall consistency, reliability, accountability, and predictability. That’s the foundation of a seamless customer experience.
This isn’t to say there will never be an issue. It’s to say that when there is, you need to respond consistently across any medium, anytime.
2. Impersonalized service
No one wants to feel unheard, unknown, or uncared for.
Customers need personalized experiences that make them feel understood and appreciated on a 1:1 level.
The ability to provide this stellar kind of personal experience requires a robust customer database with detailed information on each customer.
It also requires the agents interacting with those customers to see that data in real-time and understand where the customer is in their purchase cycle. Have they called before? What about? Were there any outstanding action items? Were those taken care of? What were the results of each interaction?
What we’re really talking about here is leveraging the right tool to gain insight on customers. You need that detailed knowledge of all the various aspects of what makes this particular customer unique. The more details you know about who they are – as a buyer and a person – the better experience you’ll ultimately be able to provide.
3. Drawn out, multi-day issue resolution
In short, I’m talking about inefficiencies. Internal inefficiencies in your customer service operations manifest as lapses, errors, and misjudgments that create a disjointed experience with customers.
Data proves it: quickly resolving issues the first time customers contact you is the most critical component of a great customer experience.
Too often, service teams encounter issues that escalate and turn into multiple calls over multiple days and among several agents.
That’s a big mistake. The more agents people are required to speak with, the greater their dissatisfaction.
One way to combat these kinds of issues are intelligent call routing and better agent training. Both will ensure your customer service team is well-equipped to handle interactions best suited for their strengths.
There’s nothing worse than having to explain a problem more than once to a different service representative. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer and ask, “how would I expect my problem to be addressed, and how quickly?”
Then make it happen!
The Golden Rule applies more in customer service than any other industry. Treat others as you’d want to be treated.
Improving on these three things – unpredictability, failing to personalize the experience, and inefficiencies – will ultimately yield a much better overall experience for customers.
What other things do customers (or you) absolutely despise? Let us know in the comments!
About Michael Becker
Michael Becker is a content marketing strategist at Sharpen. He graduated from Butler University in 2014 and lives in Carmel, IN. Outside of work, he enjoys fitness. Connect: LinkedIn | Twitter Sharpen is a cloud native contact center platform that enables customer experience teams to establish a better relationship with their customers. This global platform eliminates costly on premise hardware, increases agent efficiency, and makes customers happier through frictionless interactions.
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