10 quick and key ways to improve your customer experience
Improving levels of customer experience has now become a top priority for organisations, increasingly proving to be a key competitive differentiator. So what can organisations do to improve their brand loyalty and keep today’s multi-channel customer coming back?
Top tips to keep in mind when looking to improve the customer experience across all touchpoints.
1. Help customers to help themselves
The majority of consumers will always check a website for information before calling or e-mailing a business, so make it easy for them to find answers to their questions quickly and easily by deploying an online FAQ knowledge-base, Virtual Agent or Live Chat.
- 67% of consumers use web self-service knowledge to find answers to their questions (Source: Forrester).
- 81% of contact centre professionals list self-service on their operational to-do list over the next two years (Source: Call Centre Helper).
2. Clearly sign-post contact channels / don’t avoid the customer
Nothing makes a customer feel less appreciated that failing to be able to find contact details on an organisations website. If a customer has a more detailed enquiry that cannot be answered by self-service options, alternative options like proactive live chat, e-mail or phone contact details should be clearly signposted. If a customer feels like they are being avoided, chances are they will avoid using your business in future.
3. Listen to customer feedback and react
In order to improve your product and service offering, you need to have the best possible understanding of what your customer’s needs are. Providing customers with a feedback mechanism, across all of your touchpoints, will enable you to monitor and implement changes to address key issues when they arise.
4. Listen to staff feedback
Contact centre agents are at the coal face, often dealing with frustrated and agitated customers, and therefore have a wealth of knowledge on the customer’s wants, needs and pain points. Staff should be given the opportunity to pro-actively feedback this customer insight at regular intervals, using a mechanism they feel confident and comfortable using.
5. Be consistent
Today’s consumer uses multiple channels and multiple devices when researching or buying a product online.
- In the UK, more than 60% of online adults use at least two devices every day and nearly 25% use three devices (Source: Econsultancy).
- Whilst voice is still the primary channel used, web self-service, live chat and email follow close behind and customers expectations for a consistent experience across all of these are growing, as the number of consumers that start their interaction in one channel and finish it in another continues to rise.
- 25% of consumers utilise one to two channels when seeking customer care and 52% of consumers utilise three or four channels (Source: Ovum).
6. Arm agents with knowledge
An internal agent knowledge-base, constantly up-dated with the latest information and documents on products and services, has been proven to improve agent’s response times and reduce training times. From the agents’ perspective, they have quick and easy access to all of the information they require in one place, helping them to increase FCR rates. However, despite the obvious benefits, many organisations are still failing to provide their agents with a centralised system.
- Only 45% of agents have access to a searchable knowledge base (Source: ContactBabel).
7. Monitor all touchpoints
Whilst many organisations recognise the importance of collating customer feedback and using analytic tools, it appears that departmental and channel silos are still an issue.
- 60% of companies gather feedback about their interactions with a company; however only 33% analyse customer insight across organisational boundaries (Source: Forrester).
8. Constantly maintain & up-date information
Regular content maintenance is key to managing and matching the needs of customers. Organisations that implement a centralised knowledge-base of information benefit from being able to instantly update information and gaps in the knowledge content identified by customer analytics / feedback. This ensures that the same information is accessible to customers across all channels.
9. Don’t make the customer repeat themselves
Keep a record of your customer’s interactions, past issues and their channel history to prevent them from having to repeat their query or issue over and over again. This avoids frustration from the customer’s perspective and improves the contact centre agent’s efficiency and response times.
10. Centralise knowledge
The benefits of unifying all of your customer service information into one single knowledge-base, which can be shared across not just the contact centre but also all other customer contact channels, are huge.
Making the same knowledge available to customers across web, mobile, social and email channels means they can find consistent answers to their questions instantly, reducing the need for them to escalate to further contact. Extending this knowledge to agents in the contact centre helps improve response times and customer satisfaction levels.
Technological advances mean that today’s consumer has constant access to the Internet, and whilst expectations for 24/7, instant customer service grows, attention spans and tolerance levels for inconsistent customer experience, continues to decline.
Peter McKean is managing director at Synthetix Ltd.