4 Ways to Connect the Customer Service Dots
Consumer expectations are at an all-time high, continuing to mandate how shoppers want to be serviced and treated. The question is, how do consumers react when companies fall short in delivering the expected level of customer experience?
ClickFox recently conducted a survey to understand the most frustrating customer service issues and how consumers respond to negative experiences. Three key issues emerged as the culprits driving customers to their “tipping points,” which included telling others about the experience, ranting on social media sites and ceasing doing business with the company altogether. Those three issues are the following:
- having to speak with multiple agents and starting over every time;
- rude or inexperienced representatives; and
- long hold and wait times.
How can companies avoid these common pitfalls that drive dissatisfaction, negative brand reputation, attrition and lost revenue? Here are four solutions:
1. Use the data available to you. Enterprises today are sitting on mountains of customer data, which can reveal exactly where customers’ experience issues are originating. Data can also reveal which systems and processes are preventing customers from reaching their intended goals. Regardless of how consumers interact with a business — whether it’s at a retail store, e-commerce site, via email, chat or call center — they leave behind invaluable information. The challenge is connecting the dots between the massive volumes of disparate customer service information and voice of the customer data with actual business outcomes.
2. Think differently about satisfaction. Companies have traditionally relied on customer satisfaction surveys to determine if they're meeting customer expectations, but relying solely on the responses of a small group of customers leaves many unanswered questions. Recent studies have shown that high customer satisfaction isn't always an indicator of loyalty and revenue.
Case in point: Two beloved retailers, Borders and Barnes & Noble, took the top two spots in Forrester’s annual customer experience index ratings while their stores continue to close across the nation. Companies need to go beyond surveys and look at other forms of voice of the customer feedback, including analyzing consumer behavior and social media sentiment and trends.
3. Get it right the first time. The most frustrating service issue consumers cited was being transferred or having to repeat themselves. "First call resolution" has always been one of the most critical customer service metrics because of its impact to both operating costs and customer satisfaction. Organizations need to deliver better cross-channel experiences by using consistent language and information, offering clear transition paths, and preserving context.
4. It’s not enough to know what angers customers. Companies need to understand the effects that negative customer experiences can have on their business. By connecting the dots between behavior and critical business outcomes, organizations can target improvements for the most pressing customer service issues.
Companies can also report on the economic impact of improved customer experience. This reveals that focusing on what customers want has an impact on bottom-line results. With more complete cross-channel insight, businesses can optimize performance to improve loyalty, grow revenue, cut costs, enhance reputation and effectively avoid customers reaching their tipping points.
Marco Pacelli is CEO at ClickFox, a provider of customer experience analytics. Reach Marco at email@example.com.