Today’s consumers want it all— they are increasingly knowledgeable about the products they use and demand value-added, personalized service in real time, using voice, text-based media like email, chat, and social media. In fact, they won’t even hesitate to switch providers if they don’t find what they’re looking for. Even in industries where satisfaction is relatively high, loyalty levels are declining. And thanks to social media—the ultimate medium for word of-mouth communication—individual switching decisions can have rapid and widespread consequences. Given the rate of growth these days consumers have for anything or everything they buy, has led to importance of realizing that how crucial is customer experience for a product to not only grow but also to sustain their clientele. Between customer expectations and the services they receive, there is a huge gap. They use mediums such as social media to share their experiences and multiply its reach which could result in Brand Erosion.
The customer experience is defined as the sum of the entire experience a customer has with a company —- including awareness, discovery, attraction, interaction, purchase, use, customer service, and advocacy. In a paper published by Forrester Consulting commissioned for Aspect Software in 2012 stated that 90% of customer service decision makers told that delivering a good service is critical to their company’s success; 63% think, its importance has been rising day by day.
The customer experience highly depends on the channel of communication users decide to establish contact with. A survey by EConsultancy says that at least 83% of online buyer’s need support to have a successful transaction. Online support makes necessary for any online business to have proactive-chats, FAQ’s, Knowledge base etc. Econsultancy also stated the channels for assistance which are preferred by consumers, namely : Phone (61%), Email (60%), Live Chat (57%), online knowledge base (51%), “click-to-call” support automation (34%). It is very essential for the client’s to find a solution to their queries from any source when they are trying to make a purchase, at that point it becomes very important to have minimum AHT(Average Handling Time) to create best customer experience. A report from American Express, presented in 2012, Global Customer Service Barometer said that 26% of consumers have experienced that they were being transferred from agent to agent, without any solution to their problem.
The technology plays a vital role in making the customer experience better, which should be adopted keeping in mind that the user can easily access the support system of the organization, irrespective of what niche of products they are into. And, it is also equally important for customer’s experience strategy to be in perfect alignment with the contact center strategy of the organization. However, the challenge in delivering good customer experience does not only reside in technology, but there are other few factors that come into play, such as staffing right workers with correct skills, business process switch is the next area of concern and data accuracy from the respondent’s/clients with a single view of analysis.
The challenge lies in improving the customer retention with the help of best customer experience that can be provided not just by support but from every possible aspect in the organization that connects you with the prospects and the customers. Customers these days want it all including competitive pricing, value for money, and above all, high quality service. With the power of sharing their experiences and also getting feedbacks before they subscribe for a service or buy a product, the switching decisions from the customers are rapid. An effective Churn Management can be the best chance in any organization to cope up with such contingencies. Here are few pointers that can be helpful.
1) Efficient Support in Chain of Command – Every person in the organization from top to bottom should feel responsible for each and every client.. Success is ensured in the scenario when customer ownership is not a question across any department.
2) No two people are same – Not every client you lose will have the same reason to quit and not the same tactic will work for every client’s retention. Retention tactics should be designed keeping in mind the profitability and the customer value.
3) The operating model – Have a fact based database to understand customer intentions about what makes them switch. Deploy counter offer and market operating model swiftly. Employ corrective measures to understand churn propensities against customer value. With correct vision and right operating model, churn management can be improved.
How can it be improved?
As 78% of marketers believe that custom content is where the industry is headed. This means that customer experiences will ideally be as one-to-one as possible.Improving the customer experience is also good for internal operations. Companies that have invested in delivering better customer experience report reduced operational costs, greater productivity of their frontline personnel, and greater business agility —- a necessary requirement to stay ahead in the competition. Below are few recommendations on how you can improve the Customer
Experience to have good client retention.
1) Strategy – It is absolutely necessary that your customer experience strategy should be focused on the customers that you intend to serve and articulates the customer experience that you plan on delivering across all the communication channels.
2) Process – The customer interaction team should follow one process across all the mediums of communication, having effectiveness in meeting client’s requirements and agile enough to be changed to support a business’ changing needs.
3) Technology – Contact centers should employ technologies that can standardize customer experience across all medium types including social media; empower agents with contextual customer, product, and service information; allow agents to easily collaborate to quickly resolve inquiries; and provide managers with the right analytics to track outcomes that have a business impact.
4) Feedback – An effective customer experience strategy is incomplete without a feedback from your clients as to how they feel about your service. The feedbacks should not be forgotten, instead they should be constructively included in your customer experience strategy to mold it according to the ever changing needs of your organization.
5) Personnel Development – How teams are organized and lead are important factors that affect customer service success and make up your organization’s corporate culture, leadership practices, collaboration methods, training programs, and performance measurement approaches. It’s also important to empower your agents to do the right thing for the customers. They are, after all, your most important asset.