Making it easy for your customers to engage with you not only improves satisfaction but also grows loyalty and retention. It also helps reduce incoming complaints. The challenge is how to achieve this.
In this article, we offer guidance on how to create an effortless customer experience, from thoroughly testing your processes and pre-emptive contact to implementing a click to call service and upping your game on social media.
Below are our simple steps for 'effortless' engagement to deliver a winning competitive edge.
1. Provide low effort channels for transactions
Research by Ofcom suggests that customers are open to self-service and automation providing it is easy and works for them. Low-effort channels such as automated services should be provided for straightforward transactions such as card payments.
Provide your customers with effortless 'get out' routes if they fail to complete any transaction. Monitor your self-service failure statistics, identify any issues and seek to resolve, even if that resolution means returning a particular service to an agent queue.
2. Avoid asking customers to repeat information
72% of customers cite repeating enquiry details to multiple people as a key component of a poor customer experience. Effectively use any in-queue information captured by transferring it with the call, via screen pop or whisper transfer, on each and every transfer.
One way to prevent a slow or missed response from souring a relationship or losing business is to generate a single view of customer data across channels and departments.
Doing the above will transform customer engagement and increase satisfaction by improving response times, reducing customer effort and improving team productivity, quality and experience.
3. Listen, and remember to ask
66% of B2B buyers change supplier after a poor customer experience and 39%1 of customers actively avoid that supplier for at least two subsequent years. Why wait for your customers to complain? Actively survey post-call, using outbound calls or email.
Have courage and ask 'the' question – “Was it easy to do business with us today; did you achieve your goal?" Determine what caused high effort, analyse and plan to resolve.
4. 'Live' the experience
69% rate a rapid resolution to an enquiry as a key element of a good customer experience. Be your own mystery shopper. Call during known peak periods and test the entire end-to-end process, being sure to include any IVR and queue experiences. Map your customers' journeys to limit the effort they have to make. Review of all channels of communication, taking into consideration how the contact frequency and number of channels affect their customer effort scores.
5. Monitor social activity
Negative feedback spreads faster and further than ever before. In our recent survey, more than a quarter of respondents said they will use platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to express dissatisfaction and embarrass businesses into resolving a complaint. Monitor what your customers are saying on social media using monitoring tools and turn even the toughest critics into advocates!
Analyse and plan how you could use proactive contact to resolve issues such as Next Issue Avoidance (NIA) or unnecessary inbound contact.
6. Proactively consider your queuing use
Queuing and contact routing models were invented in the 1970s, and are inadequate in today's personalised internet world. Consider how alternatives to queuing, such as a 'scheduled call back' and website call backs, can reduce effort.
A call back can be scheduled from the phone or web; it changes the queue model, shifts the call time, empowers the caller and allows you to handle peaks and troughs in call volumes.