The value of great employee & customer experiences
In the on demand age, customers expect a tailored and stress-free process when dealing with a company. They expect to be known by the business they are speaking to instantly, regardless of the channel they are using – be it email, messenger service, SMS text or phone call.
High quality employee and customer experience is the foundation for a successful modern-day business. In 2019, Merkle conducted a study looking at how customer experience impacts where consumers choose to spend their money. It found that 66 percent care more about experiences than price when choosing a brand from which to purchase.
Businesses risk high churn and reduced customer loyalty if this is ignored.
The cost of inaction
Research conducted by Vonage shows that 39 percent of customers who have experienced poor customer service from a particular company, would never use the company in question again. Moreover, 37 percent of these customers would change suppliers, while 28 percent would post an online review and 26 percent would complain publicly via social media. Only 7 percent would take no action.
Companies who do not offer great quality employee and customer experience are likely to experience decreased retention rates, as well as lower net profits for their business. Review Trackers reported that customers are 21 percent more likely to leave a review after a negative experience.
Improving customer experience
The shift towards greater customer service requires a more proactive effort from businesses and their agents. Organisations should look to foster a symbiotic relationship between their agents and customers. Customers should feel gratitude towards agents who’ve been able to resolve or help with their query or goal, while agents should feel a sense of satisfaction from the important work that they do for customers.
In fact, companies that typically excel in customer experience/service find that their employee engagement rate is 1.5x greater than those companies who do not.
Although this level of customer and employee experience cannot necessarily happen overnight, there are many solutions/initiatives that companies can adopt to help their agents provide customers with a more personalised experience.
AI and chatbots
One way businesses have tried to improve the experience, is to use AI-powered chat bots. Typically, the chatbot will be able to answer frequently asked questions in a bid to save both customers’ and agents’ time.
Then, if the chatbot is unable to help, the routing system will take the customer from the chat bot to the most appropriate agent to handle their query. This process avoids countless calls being held in queues which have the potential to put customers off altogether, especially at peak times.
Sarah Patterson, SVP, Product Marketing Strategy at Salesforce said, “Customers expect that companies will know more about them – who they are, what they bought, what issues they’ve had in the past – and to use that information to provide a customised, personalised experience for them”.
Companies are having to train agents to deal with more complex issues in niche areas of their business. In order to improve customer and employee experience alike, the role of an agent needs to become more strategic. Agents should be trained and upskilled so that they are able to provide a service that is strategically personalised to the particular customer and query that they are presented with.
Delivering a modern communications system
When customers contact a company, they expect not only to be identified but their history to be known instantly, irrespective of the means of communication. Companies need to provide agents with not only the knowledge, but the tools to look after customers effectively. Agents need to see the customers’ details and history in one space - this helps encourage loyalty and promote frictionless interactions between customer and company.
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