- Deliver customer expectations but don’t exceed them
Research by Harvard shows that exceeding customer expectations results in virtually no loyalty gains. Instead, the best indication of increased spending and loyalty is the effort the customer needs to put into the relationship. So don’t waste expensive resources on exceeding customer expectations, just deliver what they need as quickly and effortlessly as possible!
- Empower customers to self-serve as much as possible
Different types of customers prefer different engagement methods. The younger generation and the 16-24 age category, in particular, will typically want to make contact via a smartphone or mobile device, the company’s website or social media. They will often be looking for voiceless interaction. Therefore, offering these customers a one-time URL, enabling them to navigate their way into the heart of your systems securely and solve their problem themselves through a self-service approach, is likely to resonate well and save the organisation money.
The older generation are often happier speaking to an agent or communicating via email. They may not want to self-serve and so it is key that you enable them to interact through channels that make sense for them and of course, for you as a business.
- Reduce channel switching to reduce effort
Most customers want their problem resolved on their terms at a convenient time and on the device of their choice – and most will want all this to happen with as little effort on their part as possible.
Ultimately, providers should be looking to achieve effortless customer interaction. Take the following scenario. The customer has a problem and, looking for a quick resolution, dials up the provider’s contact centre. He is put on hold, transferred to an IVR, asked for personal details, and then to respond to further questions via the telephone key pad before getting put through to someone else within the contact centre, who repeats the same questions. It can be a major irritation. Customers want quick results. In a recent poll run by Enghouse Interactive of more than 2,000 UK adults, 55% said it was important to get quickly routed through to somebody within the business who understands their needs. The emphasis here is speed and competence. Just routing through customers to anyone within the business is not the answer. It has to be someone qualified to deal with that specific type of customer and interaction.
It’s an important lesson for businesses to learn. To return to our scenario, the customer’s expectation was that they would simply pick up their phone and, at the point of interaction, the process would run seamlessly and smoothly. Unfortunately, it didn’t – so a bad customer experience was created – and the customer may even ‘defect’ as a result. 60% of respondents to our survey said they had never done business with a brand again as a result of poor customer service.
- Use what you know to make well-informed real-time decisions
Giving people the opportunity to identify themselves through a customer number or a phone number allows you to apply intelligence in real-time. If you can access the relevant customer and transactional data; understand the type of problem the customer is trying to solve; and know who you have available in your organisation, then you can make a judgement call as to the best route for the customer to get what they want.
- Be proactive
Keep the customer informed about promotional offers; the progress of a transaction; or of a query resolution. Making sure they know what is going on at all times gives them peace of mind that they have not got ‘lost in the wash’, reduces the effort customers have to put in by eliminating the need for them to chase you up; and ultimately makes it easier for them to get what they need.
For further information, please visit the Enghouse Interactive website – www.enghouseinteractive.co.uk
LinkedIn: Enghouse Interactive
Jeremy Payne, International Group Marketing Director, Enghouse Interactive