Speculation does not work in Customer Experience

“In the not-so-little mind of your customer, consistency is absolutely essential for delivering a world class Customer Experience.”

In the vast and crucial realm of customer service, it is essential that companies fully understand what goes into making each customer experience world class. Speculation does not work in Customer Experience since customers know exactly what they want and they expect companies to know that too. That’s the bad news for companies who imagine and think that they have mastered customer service. The good news is there are a number of ways and methods now that afford companies the opportunity to gauge and provide the kind of customer experience expected. Putting these methods to good use allows companies to know what their customers feel about their offerings and their service and formulate strategies and innovate to make more personalized products leading to happier and long lasting customers. Creating the most memorable customer experiences will ensure that your company stands out and will always be preferred over competition. That’s a great advantage to have!

Studies reveal that now at least 9 out of every 10 customers expect service via multiple channels and each channel must provide exceptional customer experiences. This is a clear demand and expectation from customers and companies that continue to ‘sit on the fence’ speculating about customer experiences, will be left behind. Remember there are a plethora of companies out there waiting to scoop up every customer that they can, taking away some vital and profitable business. Providing multi-channel service is not easy since customers expect great but varied kinds of experiences with every channel and will not settle for anything less. Among the most crucial of their expectations is the speed of response. A live chat customer is on-line since they want an immediate response and not providing it would amount to a failed customer experience. As we said, speculation does not work in customer experience and hence for companies to offer a service and then ‘think’ that their response times are good enough, will not work. The maximum time that customers are willing to wait is 48 hours and that too only via email – this has been reported by a study conducted with customers.

With the emergence and rise of social media as another channel that is not only powerful but omnipresent, customers now talk and discuss almost immediately about the experience they have with a company. Companies must comply and respond in real time before a negative comment goes out of hand or a positive one goes unnoticed.

The other aspect of customer experience where speculation does not work is the amount of time a company takes to resolve a customer’s problem. Resolving customer issues in the shortest possible time is a factor of many things – the customer service team’s knowledge, communication skills, resources and support from the company and technical expertise of the personnel. Speculation does not work in customer experiences here too since customers are extremely vociferous making it amply clear what they want and when they want it. Companies must be paying close attention and know their customers well enough to be able provide the kind of experiences they expect, through lowering the time taken to resolve issues. The customer service representatives must be able to utilize all the resources and be empowered to take swift decisions without the help of the senior management and also provide personalized and great customer experiences that the customer will remember.

Speculation does not work in customer experience but listening does. There are myriad metrics that companies can choose from to understand customers, their behaviour and to gather personal data about them. The Net Promoter Score metrics for example provides companies with a segmentation of its customers in to – those who are loyal and remain enthusiastic about the company’s products and service, customers who are satisfied but expect more and can be easily swayed by competition and the final segment – customers who are dissatisfied and are ready to tarnish your reputation through the spread of negative comments via every channel possible.
Although this information is scary and a higher number of the final segment of customers can be demoralizing for a company, having the information can help companies to get their act together. Companies can revamp their strategies and put together new schemes and policies that will reduce or eliminate this last segment and also improve on the number of the first segment. It is important to take into account all the experiences your customer has at all the contact points and make improvements where it is clear that your service is failing the customers. Making positive changes on all points of interaction will improve the overall customer experience leading to happier customers.

When a prospective customer calls, they would become a customer only if the first interaction and experience they have with your company is memorable (apart from the offerings of course). When the customer moves to the next step in the ‘professional journey’ they would have a new set of experiences and if they are dissatisfied they may not say so but if the company is not paying attention, they would not be able to make any changes to improve these experiences. Speculation does not work in customer experience and regular monitoring is essential for companies to know for certain what they are doing right and what is annoying the customers.
Businesses know that customers like being treated well and dealing with people who are friendly and courteous. People like doing business with people they like and who like them. A study reveals that at least 70% of the buying happens based on how customers feel they are treated. Consistently positive and happy customer experiences are the ones where the customer service representatives are courteous and lend a human touch. Engaging with customers on an emotional level is a great way to up the customer experience quotient.

When customer service representatives are trained and have practiced empathy, they will be more inclined to truly listen to the customers. As we have been saying speculation does not work in customer experience and unless a company and its representatives are truly listening, every experience will be based on trial and error leading to customer dissatisfaction. Customers are a great source of opinions and knowledge and companies that are attuned to listening to them are the ones that innovate and make positive strides in the customer service realm. The fact is that amongst the expectations customers have of companies, being listened to, is among the top.

Speculation does not work in customer experience but to provide seamless and error free experiences, companies must focus on some key points. Again, these may seem like obvious and companies may think that they are matching up but in reality the experiences customers have with them could be leaving the customers disillusioned and ready to detract.

– Know your customers and understand their needs. Collect the information through various metrics, analyse the data and put it to good use by formulating customer friendly strategies that provide exact information of what customers expect

– Meet and aim to exceed their expectations and give them more than they ask for, at every contact point

– Solicit their feedback from time to time and then measure your company’s performance and service standards based on their ratings and feedback.

– Constantly aim to provide personalized service and products and always remember that despite technology being so readily available, customers are always happier when there is a human element.

– Reduce your customer’s effort at every stage and in every experience they have with your company and make it easier for them to buy, return, provide feedback and complain.

To avoid speculation in customer service, view your company from the customer’s perspective and create the kind of customer experience that you would like to receive as a customer.

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