What’s a Positive Customer Experience Really Worth to Your Company?
How many times have you called into customer service, only to spend way more time than you had planned, before your call is finally routed to the appropriate agent who can handle your inquiry? Have there been times when you’ve been connected to an agent who was less than enthusiastic to listen to your reason for calling, or did not have the required skills or knowledge to effectively handle your call?
I don’t know about you, but this has led me to simply hang up the phone in defeat numerous times. I am in the business of providing contact center solutions and can empathize with companies that do not have an effective communications solution in place. However, if I’m left feeling frustrated, I can’t imagine how the everyday caller must feel.
More than 150 brands across 14 industries were recently researched, according to Forrester’s 2013 Customer Experience Index report, with a whopping 61 percent receiving an “okay,” “poor,” or “very poor” score from their customers.
These less than impressive statistics demonstrate that businesses have plenty of room for improvement. What can be done to help build a more positive customer experience?
Higher customer satisfaction scores typically result in higher instances of repeat business and increased loyalty and customer advocacy, according to the Watermark Consulting 2013 Customer Experience ROI Study.
So Where Do We Start?
Let’s take a look at your contact center agents. People do business with people. We like the option to have an actual interaction with a real person. It is worth it for a brand to invest in quality, knowledgeable and personable agents. First impressions last and for many customers, one of these agents is their first impression of your company. Is it the impression you want to make?
How do your agents feel about their jobs? After all, they are your brand ambassadors. What do they think about their physical environment, management structure, and frequency and openness of communication? Useful tools to gather this data include employee surveys, performance reviews, face-to-face conversations, and employee feedback portals.
Agents should also be empowered with tools to improve the level of customer engagement. Workforce Management and Business Intelligence tools are the gold standard in helping to deliver a better customer experience. By incorporating these modern-day solutions into your contact center, your company develops agents who are more productive, efficient, and responsive to customer demands.
Evaluating The Key Drivers Of Customer Engagement
Before taking calls, it is worth investing the time to evaluate what drives your most engaged customers. Look at incorporating customer surveys, social media brand sentiment assessments, and direct feedback to identify these key drivers and identify the components that result in highly satisfied customers Then, use this information to formulate an action plan that fosters agents who are committed to delivering a better customer experience.
A company that deploys solutions such as business continuity, enterprise unification, and Business Intelligence, can be confident that its contact center is properly equipped to handle customer calls. These contact center tools also improve operational efficiency as they ensure a consistent, streamlined, more intelligent communication with the customer.
Your company can take smart steps to ensure that your employees are brand ambassadors you can be proud of: brand ambassadors whose mission it is to go the extra mile to delight your customers with every interaction. Building a solid customer experience is an essential investment for your business.
About the Author: Alexandra Warner is the VP of Marketing at Platform28, a robust Communications-as-a-Service provider for the enterprise. Since 2001, Platform28 has been helping government agencies, enterprise and US Tier 1 carriers streamline their communications, drive business efficiency, and deliver an excellent customer experience.