Chances are, if you’ve ever attended a course about customer service, you will have been told to ‘delight’ your customers and to go beyond expectations. But what if that notion is not the whole story?
It isn’t that we suggest dropping service levels – far from it – but the focus may need adjustment. A 2010 Customer Contact Council study of more than 75,000 people found that it wasn’t so much delight that boosted loyalty. It was making life easier for the customer.
In the years since, that prospect has become more pertinent. As the adoption of multiple channels increases, customers may contact your organisation via social media and online support options as well as the more traditional email and phone.
One of the biggest frustrations customers expressed in the 2010 study was having to repeat themselves to multiple staff, and getting their problem passed from department to department. The more contact methods used, the greater the possibility of increasing customer effort. And if your customer is annoyed, there is a fair chance they will tell others.
So how do you make the customer’s life easier? To a fair extent, that will depend on your business, but one thing that is consistent is the need to have continuity between different contact channels. We’re noticing that the businesses solving this aspect of customer service are finding it pays off many times over.
Integrating the various forms of customer contact doesn’t just make life easier for your customers; with all the information available immediately, your staff can have quick insight that aid up-selling efforts. The comment they made via IM or social media may give tremendous intelligence to your phone contact centre, so they can make targeted recommendations.
To add to this better directed response, the use of automation and self-serve options are appealing to many customers. Increasingly, customers in all kinds of industries prefer to conduct simpler transactions without unnecessary discussion. They know what they want, and they want it now.
That does not mean moving away from traditional customer service. Rather, it means that your people can dedicate more time and attention to those customers who will benefit. They can gather more intelligence, and give a more personalised service, supported by systems that have all of the information they need. Most of all, your people are equipped to make life easier for your customers – no matter how complex their needs. And that may just delight them.
For more information about integrated customer contact solutions and smart use of automation, contact the friendly Comlinx experts.