How easy is it for customers to do business with you? Would your answer match that of your customers? Perhaps the more important question is what do your customers want when they interact with you? Do they care more about the way your employees answer the phone or the method by which they can get something done?
In a market where omni-channel customer engagement is the gold standard, it’s a challenge to truly reach the pinnacle in the customer experience. But do companies truly understand what that means? A recent Aspect (News - Alert) blog explored the answer, citing a 2010 Harvard Business Review publication where research suggested that lowering the amount of effort required for customers to resolve issues had a direct impact on customer loyalty.
The study also suggested that the efforts companies put in place to exceed customer expectations were only marginally more effective at keeping loyal customers compared with being easy to do business with. Whether you agree with these findings or not, the concept of making it easier for customers to do business with you is simply smart business. In fact, if you can demonstrate that you value a customer’s time, you’re likely to be golden.
A Forrester Research (News - Alert) study found that 73 percent of participants want their time respected. In fact, it’s the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service. In a study completed by Oracle (News - Alert), 82 percent of participants describe their buying experience as requiring too much effort. What would it mean for your bottom line if you could remove obstacles, lower the number of agents, improve first call resolution and still implement the omni-channel customer engagement experience?
If this is the path most attractive to you, Aspect has a few tips that could help to reduce the amount of effort needed on the part of the customer and improve your overall outcomes. First, don’t ask customers to repeat themselves. If you put a self-service option in place, allow customers to easily get where they want to go. If a live agent is necessary, that agent should have all necessary information and quickly get the customer on his or her way.
Second, invest in the omni-channel customer engagement experience. Customers want solutions that fit into their lives. Sometimes that means you need to be able to offer social media interactions, even though you don’t like social media. Put the channels they want to use in place and make them effortless on the part of the customer.
Finally, predict their needs. This will require that you pay close attention to each and every customer interaction, but it will be well worth it in the end. The company able to predict needs and deliver beyond expectations will be the one that wins regardless of price. Make this a priority and you’ll be well on your way to dominating the market.