According to the 2012 American Express Global Customer Service Barometer, three in five customers believe that businesses have not increased their focus on customer service. Nearly one in three people surveyed felt that businesses were doing less than they had in the past to deliver good service.
Surprising? We thought so!
In light of these numbers, retailers have a significant opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competition by offering service that exceeds customer expectations. Success begins with delivering the solutions that customers expect over multiple channels of interaction.
Deliver Immediate Service
Whether the venue is social media or live chat on a website, customers want their problems resolved quickly and effectively. They do not want to listen to representatives dictate policy, and they do not want to be boomeranged between multiple people to resolve a single concern. Customers like integrated voice response systems that collect information from them while they wait for a connection to a person. Also, when representatives acquire information from customers, customers expect the company to retain that information so that they don’t have to re-explain themselves during subsequent interactions.
Provide Self-Service Options
Instead of waiting on hold for the next available representative, customers want access to options that allow them to resolve their own problems. IVR, self-service kiosks and mobile apps that connect customers to problem solving channels will enable customers to feel empowered instead of dependent upon the mercy of the company. According to the Aberdeen Group, 91 percent of best-in-class companies provide customers with the ability to track issues on the web. Over half utilize unified communications solutions that integrate email, chat, web and voice.
Empower Front-Line Personnel
Research from Convergys Corporation has found that retail employees are less likely than employees in other sectors to say, “I have all the tools and software that I need to do my job.” For this reason, companies need to empower their front-line employees to give customers satisfactory solutions. Whether they’re at the POS, opening email or engaging in a social media conversation with a contact center employee, customers want results delivered by capable, knowledgeable people.