Do you provide awesome customer experiences to your customers? A recent survey shows that 33% of consumers think that today’s businesses pay less attention to providing good service than in the past. What’s more, only 7% say that the customer service they’ve received typically exceeds their expectation. These numbers aren’t just disappointing they’re disheartening—especially if you manage an inbound call center. Call centers are the frontlines of customer service. They often determine consumers’ impressions of your customer service. This in turn affects customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. But the numbers above represent something else. They represent a golden opportunity to increase competitiveness, and boost sales and profits. All you have to do is provide customer service that exceeds expectations.
Two Types of Companies
Temkin, a Massachusetts research and consulting firm, recently surveyed 10,000 US consumers for their experiences with 268 national and regional companies, to create the firm’s annual list of customer service rankings.
The research it conducted reveal two types of companies providing great customer experiences.
One type excels at conducting very basic customer interactions, day-in, day-out. These include supermarkets and fast-food chains where customer demands are basic.
The other type, which includes companies like Amazon, goes all out to treat its customers well. (Amazon was the top company for customer service in a rankings list just released by the 24/7 Wall Street site.)
To make Temkin’s list, you need to decide which group you’re in, then emulate the activities of the best companies in that group.
5 Secrets To Providing Awesome Customer Experiences:
The top companies in Temkin’s ranking all rate high in two key areas—trust and forgiveness (how likely consumers are to forgive a company after a bad experience).
Trust and forgiveness are by-products of providing awesome customer experiences.
1. Align your costumer service with your brand
This is critical. To do it, you need to have a clear brand promise, require every agent to follow the promise, and figure out what a company’s values are. Techniques for aligning customer service and your brand include things like formalizing the customer service process, measuring customer service, and asking for customer feedback.
2. Train frontline employees to deliver awesome customer experiences
Agents can only use the hand they’re dealt. So set up your employees for success. Provide easy access to information, arm them with answers to common questions, and empower them to fix issues immediately.
3. Boost agent morale
Happy agents offer better customer service. Unhappy agents offer poor customer service. It’s that simple. Providing support and positive feedback and solving common daily frustrations as best you can goes a long way to boosting agent morale.
4. Emphasize word of mouth referrals
The most effective way of gaining customers is through word of mouth referrals. Yet many managers overlook this advertising method. In addition to managing word of mouth by designing great customer experiences, you can boost word of mouth efforts with agent training and common sense.
5. Monitor customer interactions regularly
First, set up two or three data sources to verify you’re getting a valid snapshot of what’s taking place in your call center. Then listen to agent-customer conversations, solicit customer feedback on e-mails and invoices, and provide manager’s contact information.
Many of today’s consumers don’t feel like they get good customer service. With this mindset, it only takes one bad experience for them to bolt to a competitor.
This can cost you significantly. It’s 4 to 5 times as costly to attract a new customer than it is to keep an old one.
Instead, boost customer loyalty by providing awesome customer experiences. It increases sales and profits, and cuts expenses.