7 Experiences Your Customers Value Most When They Need Assistance
It’s no secret that customers have high expectations when it comes to customer service. If you don’t meet those expectations, many will simply take their business elsewhere. Or, sometimes worse, they will spread the word on social media to make their family, friends, and acquaintances have a negative impression of your brand. With so much at stake, providing great customer service is paramount.
Delivering exceptional customer service starts with understanding that you have to provide a more human experience that is anchored in empathy and responsiveness. Within this framework there are seven main types of experiences customers value most when they engage with your company. Let’s take a closer at each type of experience along with the contact center technology you need to meet their expectations.
A key component of providing a more human experience is knowing your customers and their history when they contact you. In fact, today’s customers demand it. They don’t want to have to identify themselves and repeat when and why they’ve contacted you in the past. Just as you recognize your friends and remember your history with them, recognizing your customers and their previous interactions makes them feel known and valued.
Your contact center should include pre-built CRM integrations and screen pops to enable this. This will empower agents to spend more time listening and being empathic rather than putting the customer on hold while they hunt down information. AI-driven “agent assist” prompts and suggestions for next best actions, as well scripting, can help agents focus on engaging the customer while making them feel known.
According to Nemertes Research, contact centers that offer eight or more channels see a 92% improved customer satisfaction rate, while those that offer between one and four channels only see a 50% improvement. Whether it’s via voice, email, SMS/text, chat, video, or social messaging apps, customers want you to meet them where they are—regardless of the channel they choose.
While contact centers that go omnichannel see better results, we’ve found that phone continues to prevail as the preferred channel for customers. Still, customers clearly want options to be able to choose the best way for them to connect with your business as their needs, situations, and preferences change.
Many customers prefer to find answers on their own without having to speak to an agent, so it’s important to offer self-service options through visual IVRs and knowledge centers. When you meet this need, you provide a more human experience by respecting their time and preferences as individuals. Empowering customers with self-service options also increases call deflection and lowers your contact center costs.
Customers expect your channels to be connected so they can easily leave one interaction and return on a different channel, without having the experience disrupted or having to repeat themselves. This goes back to their desire that you know them. Your contact center should easily connect across the entire omnichannel customer experience journey and enable a smooth switch from channel to channel.
Customers want to feel that you respect their time. The best way to do this is to save them time by not keeping them on hold and resolving their issue the first time. Your cloud contact center should offer a comprehensive workforce management system that automatically and accurately forecasts call volumes. This ensures that you have the right number of agents available to handle calls at all times.
Resolving issues the first time is possible with intelligent omnichannel routing that gets calls to the right agents at the right time. Pre-built UC integrations improve first contact resolution by giving agents the ability to easily access subject matter experts who are using the UC capabilities. Agents can connect to them during the customer engagement and bring them directly into the conversation if necessary.
Delivering a more human experience also involves anticipating customer needs ahead of time. Proactively sending appointment reminders, follow-ups, shipment notifications, product availability, back-order/out of stock updates, and notifications of service interruptions are all examples of ways to proactively communicate with customers before they have to contact you. The more you can communicate proactively and even resolve a potential issue before it becomes one, the more customers feel supported.
Customers need assurance that you will be there when they need you. They also want to know that you are providing a secure and reliable experience—with data privacy and cybersecurity firmly in place—as well as what you are doing to keep them safe. Your contact center should meet the latest security certifications and give you the confidence you need to assure customers you are keeping their data safe.
Want to learn more about how to provide your customers with these seven human experiences? Download our free eBook, The Five9 Guide to Making Customer Service a More Human Experience, to get started.