Are customers mysteriously falling out of love with your business — despite your contact centre trying desperately hard to please them? If so, then listen up ... because it's not you, it's them.
Many organisations are facing issues with the customer experience they deliver. Unhappy consumers explode with rage on social media, leave stinging comments on review websites, and lash out when speaking to agents or firing off furious emails.
You can feel powerless to defend yourself. It's so unfair, right?
The causes can be baffling: You know your product/servers are as good as they've ever been, your IVR has improved over the years, and agents generally perform well. You've invested in your website and you've made an effort to engage on social channels too. So why all the fury?
It's time to Pause and Rewind The late Steve Jobs from Apple made many perceptive statements. One of them was this: 'You have to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology.'
The reason that many organisations struggle in this area is because they don't understand that their customers have changed —and continue to do so. In essence, they've changed, more than you.
Today's customers are not interested in judging you against what you did last year. They'll compare you to the best experience they've had recently with another brand, probably from another sector: Someone who 'really understood them' and sorted their issues in the time it took to make a coffee.
Time is more important than ever. Genesys Interactive Intelligence found that 79% of shoppers say they will use a different retailer if they receive a slow response from customer service. Meanwhile, Forrester found that 73% of online consumers cite valuing their time as the most important thing a company can do to provide excellent service. But other issues are vital too.
What are customers saying?
If companies care to listen closely, then here are 10 typical wishes (in no particular order) you're likely to hear from customers:
#1: 'I must be able to contact you when it suits me'
#2: 'You must meet my request on my channel of choice'
#3: 'I'll use whatever device I want, wherever I happen to be'
#4:'I expect you to know who I am, however I decide to get in touch'
#5:'You won't keep me waiting and have a robot keep reminding me how important I am'
#6:'I expect you to know what I need and not ask me to repeat it'
#7:'I expect my issue to be resolved first time. No excuses'
#8: 'You'll offer me the easiest and most appropriate option'
#9:'I expect you to follow through on what you say'
#10: 'I expect you to keep me informed as necessary'
They've changed, will you?
The bottom line is this ... if you want to deliver the right customer experience today then, you have to please all the people, all the time.
The good news is that it doesn't have to be massively expensive, time-consuming or disruptive. In fact, you can enhance your existing contact channels, add new ones and transform the customer experience dramatically without ripping and replacing your IT.
Discover how it's possible by downloading your free copy of the Customer Experience eGuide. It shows how to delight today's customers and improve your profitability at the same time, citing the successes of BMW and others in the UK.
The focus around 'customer experience' isn't a fad. It's fundamental to business success. In fact, Gartner found that 89% of companies expect to compete largely on the basis of customer experience.
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