As a small or medium-sized business, it’s easy to get complacent. While the big guys scramble to stay ahead of the latest customer care trends, smaller companies move at a slower pace. With resources strapped and spread thin, it’s easy to postpone contact center upgrades. You don’t hear your customers complaining, and—as they say—if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Not All Silence Is Created Equal
But there’s silence, and then there’s silence. It might mean things are OK, nothing wrong. Then again, it might just mean you’re in the dark. Your customers are not happy, and you don’t even know about it.
If you’re counting on customer complaints to let you know there’s a problem, you’re not getting the full picture. Truth is, most of your customers won’t bother to complain, at least not to you. They don’t want to go through the trouble of sharing their opinions with the company that angered or disappointed them. If you’re lucky, they’ll just slink away and go to one of your competitors. More likely, they’ll tell their friends and families. They’ll turn to Facebook or Twitter and smear your reputation far and wide.
So what can you do about it?
1. Get proactive
Post-contact surveys are an easy and inexpensive way to gauge customer satisfaction without waiting for unhappy customers to contact you. In addition to learning of any individual concerns that you can follow up on, companies can also use the post-contact survey to spot customer experience trends as well as pain points for further investigation and improvement.
2. Respect your customers’ time
A 2016 Forrester study found that 73 percent of customers rank valuing their time as the most important thing a company can do to deliver good service. Providing virtual hold, robust self-serve IVR and improving first-call resolution through intelligent routing go a long way toward minimizing time to resolution.
3. It’s a journey, not a trip
By looking at the bigger picture of customer experience with your company instead of focusing on individual transactions, companies can get a better sense of what’s working and what’s not.
4. Get personal
Comprehensive interaction history and context data enable agents to speak directly to a customer’s personal experience, past and present, which facilitates faster, more effective interactions.
5. Change channels
A recent Google study found that 98 percent of Americans actively switch between multiple devices (tablet, PC, smartphone) each day. By enabling engagement on whatever channel customers are currently using, companies capitalize on effortless, real-time interaction. Factor in recent Aberdeen Group research that omnichannel contact centers deliver a 24 percent year-over-year improvement in annual company revenue, a 55 percent decrease in customer complaints and a staggering 241 percent improvement in customer retention, and it’s not hard to make a case that adding omnichannel access to your customer experience strategy is a winning proposition.
Even if not all companies can compete with big-budget blue-chip giants, there’s no excuse not to create good customer experiences. Leveraging cloud technologies, companies of every size have unprecedented access to cost-effective solutions that enable the better experiences their customers demand. Silence isn’t always golden. Give your customers something good to talk about.