Three simple steps to a customer-focused culture

Does your organisation boast a customer-focused culture? Or, are you struggling just to keep your clients satisfied? Start looking at your business from your customers’ point of view.

 

1. Be ridiculously easy to buy from

Such a simple premise, but the implications are bountiful. Think about the last time you wanted to buy something. Was the process pain-free? Or, was it lengthy and frustrating? If a customer has gotten to the stage of purchasing from your business, don’t stop your efforts there! This is the easiest time to impress them and make a colossal impact on your bottom line. Go back to the last purchase you made… if the process was pleasant, you’re likely to return to the same place again. We’ve all heard the stat that it costs five times as much to obtain a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. So, why do so many organisations disregard this opportunity?
There’s many ways you can ensure your customer purchasing experience is an effective and efficient process. Consider who your customers are and how they like to buy from you. What is the most convenient process for them? Many businesses find that their customers want flexibility in the times they can call your company. An automated payments application will ensure your customers can complete their transaction at any time of the day, and without needing to wait in the queue to speak to an agent. If you adopt this strategy, make sure your provider is PCI DSS compliant, so security concerns aren’t an issue.

 

2. Value your customers’ time as if it is your own

We’ve all called a contact centre, only to wait on the line for what seems like an eternity. It’s this waiting time, where a customer is becoming so frustrated that they consider chewing off their arm that is holding the telephone; that you are setting yourself up for a negative experience once the customer actually talks to an agent. It’s true that making customers wait their turn for a certain amount of time is often unavoidable, but the way you handle high call volumes makes all the difference. Consider implementing a call-back service. This function enables customers to request your agents call them back rather than waiting for a lifetime on the other end of the line. When an agent does call them back, odds are they‘ll be a lot happier than if they’d waited on the phone.

Another gripe, that annoys customers more than anything else, is having to press countless irrelevant numbers on the keypad through countless round with the IVR just in the hope of one day being able to talk to a real person. Don’t get me wrong, the IVR is important as it does automate a lot of the repetitive tasks that customers often need to perform on a regular basis, and makes life a lot easier for your agents by pre-determining the reason for a customer cal. However, the reality is that a lot of people simply want to speak to an agent and some queries cannot be appropriately handled by an IVR. Your IVR needs to be the enabler in this situation. It can cater for those that only want to press a few buttons and be done with their call in record time, and for those who want to speak to a rep ASAP. Make sure your customers have the option to speak to an agent as early as practically possible.

 

3. Listen to customer feedback (even the negative ones!)

Finally, in your quest for a customer-focused culture you need to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. How do you that? Well, you need to know what they’re thinking and how they feel about your service. The best way to do this is to implement a survey solution. Surveys can be done at any time, by a phone call to the customer requesting they complete a survey on their experience with your contact centre. The problem with this strategy is the time lapse between the survey and the customer call. A smarter way to seek feedback is to ask customers to do a short survey at the end of a call, before they hang up. Opt-in rates will be significantly higher and the service experience will be fresh in their mind. Also, you need to pay attention to the high and low scores. These are where your best insights from your customers come from. A good way to probe into the reason behind a score is to record free speech from a customer when they rate you a 1, or 2, or a 9 or 10 (on a 10 point rating). This allows you to see why that customer had an extremely positive or negative experience, and act appropriately.

 

If you follow these three steps, you’ll be well on your way to customer-focused culture superstardom! If you have any questions about how to implement any of the aforementioned strategies, please get in in touch.

 

Tessa O’Brien

Director of Rainbows & Butterflies at Global Speech Networks

http://au.linkedin.com/in/tessaobrien

tessa.obrien@gsn.com.au

+61 9005 0607 or +61 400 551 694

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