Last time, I cautioned about turning your customers into indentured servants by making them have to work too hard to get the information they need when contacting your company.
One of the most important things an organization can do for their customers is help them save time. People want to get what they need quickly, in the manner in which they want to get it, then move on with their life. More than likely, browsing your website for 15 minutes to find the information they need, or waiting on hold to speak with a customer service representative is not considered one of their favorite hobbies!
In fact, according to Forrester, 77% say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide good online customer service.
Another best practice to help you create an exceptional customer experience is:
Offering an omnichannel experience – Offering a unified experience across multiple channels is not only important to the customer experience but can also have an impact on your bottom line. Consider the nature of each channel when determining how it can be used most effectively:
- Web self-service – Directing interactions that are low in complexity but high in volume to Web self-service will result in high self-service rates. Customers will be able to resolve their problems quickly and effectively, and your company will be able to build the customer relationship while significantly lowering service costs.
- Community – Leveraging the collective intelligence of customers enables an organization to provide a whole new dimension to supplement Web self-service. It’s surprising how willing customers are to help their peers and collaborate on problem-solving. Community functionality is also perfectly suited for high-volume, low-complexity issues.
- Chat – This channel allows you to deliver just-in-time, personalized, interactive assistance at the right stage of every customer interaction. This channel is highly preferred by millennials (Watch CPI’s Millennial Panel Discussion).
- Phone – Although phone communication is the most expensive, it provides unparalleled first call resolution rates. High-complexity, low-volume issues are best suited for this channel.
- E-mail – This communication channel allows for non-real-time communication between your customer and your organization. This style of interaction is useful for low-priority, low-complexity issues and provides the customer with the ability to respond when it is most convenient. But beware, a slow response time is no longer acceptable!
- Assisted browsing – Although not strictly a support channel in itself, the ability to directly take control of the user’s computer can greatly reduce handle time in both the chat and phone channels, and can be very helpful in achieving optimum first call resolution rates.
- Click to call back – This is not strictly a channel in itself, but it enables a customer to schedule a call at a convenient time rather than wait on hold. Caution should be used to make sure that this feature is offered in customer-centric, not organization-centric, terms. Your company can realize scalability benefits by using this approach to flatten the peaks and valleys of incoming call traffic.
Imagine if, instead of a product, your company was selling time. What changes could you implement to make it easier for your customers? If you’d like some help, please get in touch with us! Ask about our complimentary CX Pathfinder Assessment.
If you missed Part 1, you can read it here: Avoid Customer Servitude