Does Your Business Live Up to Customer Expectations When They Contact You?
It is a given that you cannot keep each customer happy and satisfied because they have different expectations and, sometimes, impossible demands. Still, it helps to find out if your business has adopted the right approach to live up to customer expectations when they approach you for customer services. You can maintain records of interactions and improve customers’ experiences by the use of contact center software. So, what do customers expect from a business?
A customer may phone you to get immediate information or lodge a complaint. They may send an email. Some may voice their thoughts on social media. The common thread here is that they have an issue and desire a quick response. You may not even be aware that a customer has raised an issue or you may choose to ignore it because there are “more important things to do.” Over time the issue is buried. The customer goes away. Your business runs as usual. However, if you have contact center software it will keep track of customer services and complaints and give you analyzed reports. At the end of the year, you will be surprised at the difference a quick response makes. Delay or ignore and you lose customers. Attend promptly and engender loyalty. 86% of customers go away because of unsatisfactory service. 45% of customers in the US abandon purchases due to a lack of prompt response.
Businesses come up with smart ways to build a wall. One way is to hand out customer service to a call center or to put an IVR in place and gleefully insulate themselves from direct interaction with customers who are perceived as pesky. Take the case of a call center agent. An agent has to handle hundreds of calls and get work done. The agent has minimum knowledge and no authority to take any decision at all to resolve a customer issue or give knowledgeable responses instead of fobbing them off with template responses. Use features of contact center software such as video conferencing to help agents rope in someone more knowledgeable when the situation demands it. It is important to bring about a satisfactory and happy customer experience through knowledgeable response. 99% of customers appreciate knowledgeable, satisfactory responses.
Transparency and options
Smart operators convert gullible targets into customers by the use of umbrella terms such as “you do not have to worry about a thing, we are here,” and, when there is an issue, that is when they express inability or define the company policy. The result is customer heartburn. Likewise, customers bemoan the lack of options and control such as having to settle for one color product when they want another or being forced to accept a product with another set of specifications, possibly at a higher price. Businesses like to strategize options so that revenues are maximized and customers are tied up as happens in services like telecom and internet. You get short-term gains but when customers get a better offer, they will jump ship.
Human, not coldly clinical
For customer service, executive numbers are more important than the quality of interaction. They can be coldly clinical and dispose of with interaction and add to their score. However, when customers do get in touch with you they expect a sympathetic, human response, not a “you are just one of thousands of customers” type approach. Agents in call centers or employees using contact center software in your business can work wonders if they adopt a human approach, show empathy, sympathize with a customer’s situation, and give some positive assurance. Deliver a human, happy, satisfactory customer experience and you have a customer for life, one who will also recommend you to others and get you more business. Customers are human, not ticket numbers. 40% of customers appreciate and expect humanized personal touch. It pays to be nice; customers will be nice to you. Customers, especially regular customers, may expect some more discounts or freebies. Give it and you will get a lot in return.
Some self-service is fine
Customers are fed up with dialing numbers or sending emails with no response, even to the most trivial or routine stuff. What customers expect is a measure of self-service, through a helpful, dynamic IVR in the contact center software so that they can find answers when they need them. 71% of customers expect some sort of self-service feature.
The problem for businesses is that it is a gargantuan task to try and satisfy all customers all the time. Issues vary, personalities vary and expectations vary. However, business owners can filter out and arrive at several broad-based parameters that can form the basis for happy, satisfactory and warm customer services. The contact center software captures data and provides analytics that you can use meaningfully to work on the above expectations and define a strategy.