November 7, 2019

6 Ways to Boost the Customer Experience for Customer Service Professionals

Does this sound familiar to you? It’s a typical day at a busy call center. Customer service agents are taking calls that range from someone wanting to ask a question about a bill or report a service interruption to someone wanting to blow off steam because “they can’t believe you ____”. Resolving customers’ issues effectively isn’t easy and it takes time. Which of course leads to longer wait times. And inevitably leads to frustrated customers greeting agents with “Why was I on hold so long? I just want to confirm you received my payment!”

The Struggle is Real

This high pressure environment requires that you find tools that help your staff manage upset customers so situations don’t escalate. While also finding the sweet spot between wrapping calls up quickly and your customers hanging up happy. You understand the importance of finding this delicate balance because you’re the one who has to show your higher-ups that customer satisfaction is improving. To that end, you’re always on the lookout for new strategies and solutions to help enhance your customer experience (CX).

If this is your current reality, we can help. Here are some tips to boost your customer satisfaction and take some pressure off your customer service agents.

1. Empower your customers through self-service options
Trust us when we say that your customers don’t want to call you any more than you want them to. Make everyone happy by offering self-serve options across multiple channels including web, chatbot, SMS, and mobile app. Your customers will happily review account activity, view and pay bills, and more on their own if given the chance.

Do Millennials or Zoomers even use their cellphones as phones? Research suggests no, at least when it comes to contacting customer service. These uber tech-savvy customers (who make up approximately 60% of the population1) want to talk to you through a web chat or social media, not the telephone.2 Learn more about Millennial behavior here.

2. Give your customers options

According to a Gladly survey, the majority of your customers use at least three different channels for customer service. If you’re still just offering phone and email as your points of contact, it’s time to expand your options to include popular channels like chatbot and SMS.

Once you’ve expanded your options, you need to make sure the experience is consistent across platforms. Customers want to navigate between channels seamlessly, which means receiving the same level of service and the same answers no matter which channel they’re in.

3. Communicate frequently
Your customers want to hear from you. Research shows that customers are more likely to be satisfied with your service when they remember receiving your communications.3 Sounds easy enough, but the way they want you to communicate with them varies depending on what you’re talking to them about. For instance, the KUBRA Utility Consumer Billing Report 2018 found that consumers prefer to get emails about their bills. In contrast, 78% of U.S. consumers indicated that receiving a text message is the fastest way to reach them for important service updates.4

4. Personalize it
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name—or at least deal with companies that do. 71% of consumers want companies to remember them5 and 50% say they’re likely to change brands if a company doesn’t personalize its communications with them.6 Getting personal can positively impact how they feel about your business.

Specifically, customers want you to:
i. Know their previous interactions—30%
ii. Follow up to ensure they’re satisfied—27%
iii. Greet them by name—20%

5. Turn a service issue into a CX win
Customer engagement is at its highest when they have an issue. As the Service Recovery Paradox highlights, it’s inevitable that mistakes happen. You can aim to snuff them out, but a more realistic goal is to try to resolve them in such a way that it encourages customers to stay loyal to you. Whether it’s a billing problem, service issue, or product complaint, it’s an opportunity to turn a bad situation into a good one.

6. Listen and act on customer feedback
You probably don’t like hearing negative feedback but your customers don’t like being ignored either, listing long wait/response times as their primary frustration with a company. It’s time to embrace customer feedback because it has become a main driver of customer experience strategies. Mature CX companies are leveraging customer surveys, calls, and analytics to gain a deep understanding of their customers.7

An increasing number of your customers use social media to express their (dis)satisfaction with you so best not to ignore this feedback channel. In fact, 72% of respondents aged 18-34 and 47% aged 45 and up say they would be more likely to be loyal to a brand that replies to them, compared to those companies that don’t.8 A dedicated CX strategy demands that you have effective tools for collecting feedback and the resources to act on it.

Better communication = happier customers

KUBRA solutions can help maximize customer satisfaction with self-service tools that empower your customers and free up your customer service reps to effectively deal with more complex issues. Our intuitive, consolidated management tools include billing and payment solutions that span a multitude of channels, alerts and preference management, mobile apps, outage communications, and incident management maps.

Through automation and digitization of your communications, you can transform your customer experience by giving customers what they want–choice. With multichannel communication tools, you can talk to your customers where they want to talk to you and when, even if that’s 3 a.m!

 

Sources:

1 https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-20/gen-z-to-outnumber-millennials-within-a-year-demographic-trends

2  Mary Meeker 2018 Internet Trends Report, Kleiner Perkins.

3 Chartwell’s 2018 Residential Consumer Survey.

4 Lemzy, Alexa, 62 Text Messaging Statistics for Businesses, Text Magic, August 12, 2019.

5 Gladly 2018 Customer Service Expectations Survey.

6 Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer.

7 https://www.hotjar.com/customer-experience/trends-and-stats

8 https://www.telusinternational.com/articles/millennials-social-media-customer-experience/