Whether you run a furniture or DIY store, are an insurance broker, a car dealership, or a hotel, the challenge is the same; you are always striving to provide the optimum customer experience.
In today's global market, many products and services can be bought almost anywhere online, so the real differentiator for many small, medium and large businesses is the quality of the service that goes along with them.
Recent research from Avaya shows that customer experience is the new battlefield, and it differentiates businesses. So you may want to take a wider view, not just of your products and services, but take a look at your business through your customer’s eyes:
- Step into their shoes, rather than as an employee, look at how they view all of their interactions (or touchpoints) with you, what were their expectations, and did you meet those expectations?
- Be prepared to invest; customer engagement comes from empowering your employees with the tools and technology required to deliver the experience that your customers expect.
Best in class businesses optimise journeys, not just touchpoints.With multiple touchpoints throughout your customer journey, regardless of the type of business you own or manage, every one counts. It does not matter which department or with whom the interaction takes place, it is key that their journey through your business is smooth and meets their expectations. Whether the experience is a phone call, an estimate, a quote, an online booking, or at the point of sale, they are all points at which a customer has an expectation. It is easier than you think to evaluate every touchpoint and ensure that it leads to a good customer experience. As a starter, let’s consider two areas, telephone call and online, where you could potentially improve the experience;
- What happens when someone calls and you do not answer?
- What happens when a new member of staff answers the phone?
- What happens when you put the customer's call on-hold?
- What happens when you try to transfer that customer to another extension and then lose them?
- What happens when your client calls you out of business hours and leaves a voice message?
These are very simple steps to consider, however now add your online presence into the mix and you suddenly have a myriad of interactions to consider, not just from the telephone above;
- What happens when a potential customer tries to contact you via an online form?
- What happens to their online message?
- What happens when they book an appointment online and then calls you to discuss it?
- What happens when they send you a message through social media?
- What happens when they send you a chat message?
Understanding what your customers expect is easier than you think.
By leveraging feedback from your customers, you will ensure that you are meeting their expectations. Asking a continuous set of questions at the right time will also enable you to measure and enhance your process to improve. The key to successful feedback is not to ask the customer every question every time, but to be specific and relevant to them, so don’t ask them meaningless questions, ask them the questions relating to how they interacted with you. Focus on which part of the process you want to measure and then ask just a small number of questions repeatedly to ensure you get a good sample size. This process should be embedded into your service to drive an internal culture of continuous improvement. Improving the interaction experience will encourage those customers to become loyal brand advocates and therefore spend more with you.
So what does this mean in practice?
So this all sounds simple, but how do you connect the dots? Here are three takeaways to help you move forward:
- Track interactions across all of your departments and online, customers looking for information on your website can click for a live chat with you, whether that is via text chat, voice chat, or a video chat.
- Typically you need more than just great business processes; you need business processes underpinned by the right technology solutions to help you measure these touchpoints across the whole journey. More importantly, it is this same technology that will also help you to improve your touchpoints across the end to end customer journey.
- Be consistent across all touch points by monitoring and measuring the experience, leveraging both customer feedback and data from your telephone and IT systems.
Moreover, do not be complacent; it is critical that you keep pace with what your customers expect. Here at Telefonix Voice & Data, we have been helping clients to improve their customer experience by implementing business technology solutions for many years. Whether it is a solution for business telephones, telephone lines, call centre systems, or live chat and the internet, talk to us today and get our view on the best technology solution for your business.