Cliches like “the customer is always right” have been part of business since the dawn of the earliest American businesses, but is there any genuine correlation between customer service and your bottom line or is it all just fun sayings? How much is the customer experience really worth and can you correlate the customer experience to an actual revenue boost? The following notes examine why the customer experience matters.
Where customers live
The first step to understanding why customer experience might be crucial is to take a moment to think about where the customer lives. In fact, putting yourself in the customer’s shoes is the key to any good customer experience.
In the customer’s world, there are very few consumer areas without an abundance of choice. In fact, in some areas, there is so much choice, it’s almost too much. Consider just one consumer good, for example gluten-free baking flour. Just a few years ago, no one had even heard of such a thing. Today there are dozens of brands providing this good, all very much the same in composition.
In this confusing consumer world, products and prices are becoming less valuable as the importance of customer service supersedes them. In response, corporations are shifting their investments into providing ever better customer experiences.
Where corporations live
While it’s true that a failure to provide excellent customer experience can alienate customers and drive them to the competition, it must also be balanced with company needs. A negative customer experience has far more impact than positive, which means the real value lies in making sure you meet customer expectations and in a timely fashion.
Anything beyond that, however, is subject to the law of diminishing returns when a positive customer experience only carries so much weight. While it is absolutely essential to avoid any negative customer service experiences, investing too heavily in the idea of delighting customers may be too costly to be truly feasible.
The key to providing customer service that increases revenue rather than drains it lies in meeting expectations. Customers expect a certain level of respect, trust, professionalism, and commitment. They expect to get help when they need it to solve issues that arise with your products or services.
Meeting needs promptly earns you customer loyalty, and that is highly valuable. If a customer is considered loyal to your brand, they become five times more likely to forgive a mistake and four times more likely to refer you to others. They are also seven times more likely to try something new you have on offer.
The personal touch
How can you meet customer needs in a way that earns loyalty? The answer is in providing personalized service and help. Personalized service means putting yourself in the customer’s place, imagining what they need and want and empathizing with their difficulties.
Personalized customer service begins with great integration for contact centers. With Microsoft call center software, customers are immediately identified upon calling, and their conversation history is presented to the agent for the ultimate personalized experience. Plus, with omnichannel capabilities, customers can choose their preferred channel or channels of communication from an array of popular platforms and switch between them depending on their current preference.
Contact centers at the heart
Customers call contact centers because they have a problem, and in the opportunity to address and fix that problem lies the contact center’s best opportunity to meet expectations and cement customer loyalty.
It starts with a well-defined IVR experience that is clear and easy to navigate. That leads callers to the best agent to solve their particular issue. From there, agents need the tools to see a caller’s history and gather helpful data from the company’s mobile app on that caller’s phone.
All this translates into empowered agents who can solve a caller’s issues on the spot and communicate that across all channels as necessary. Great customer experience software makes it simple to do that, whether an agent is initiating a refund or sending a discount to a customer’s social media account.