A memorable experienceCustomer experience begins the moment a customer first encounters your brand, and it pervades every single interaction before, during and after purchase. In a competitive environment where brand loyalty is a rare commodity, customer experience is everything. In fact, a recentreport cited that 89 per cent of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service. Bad customer experience can take many forms. Among the most common are:
- Taking too long to answer calls;
- Variability in service representatives;
- Being placed on hold, or transferred from agent to agent without resolution;
- Poorly informed customer service representatives;
- Delays in response, or no response at all;
- Failing to provide interaction over customers’ preferred communication channels;
- Poor continuity in case handling; and
- Failure to personalise communications.
Myth-busting2013 data suggests that only around a quarter of companies have a well-developed strategy in place for improving customer experience. Although a growing number of businesses now regard it as a key strategic differentiator, many still regard communications systems that support customer experience as the preserve of big corporate. But it’s time to bust the myth; size doesn’t matter. When it comes to customer intimacy, experience counts, but size is irrelevant. So here’s a ridiculous question: is your business too small to care about your customers’ experiences? No, thought not. So having established the absurdity of the suggestion, how can companies improve customer experience and drive brand loyalty? One answer is to deploy smart technologies that reflect evolving consumer communication preferences, and provide greater accountability for business managers.
Multi-channel approachThe customer is always right! So why do many businesses rely on outdated methodologies to interact with their clients? It’s time to communicate on your customers’ terms. The call centre is a dying breed; today’s consumers want to engage with businesses through channels other than the telephone. SMS, email, virtual agents, instant messaging, web chats, video and even social media are now all common touchpoints in the customer experience. Chris Potts is Marketing Director of ANT Telecom. Image source
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