What Customers Really Expect When They Contact Your Business
As leading companies have raised the bar on customer service in recent years, providing exceptional experiences across every aspect of the customer journey has become paramount to keep customers happy and coming back. But what does it really mean to deliver an exceptional customer experience (CX)?
At Five9, we believe that exceptional customer experiences are also more human experiences—the kind where your agents are empowered with the right tools to be more connected, more empathic, and more available to focus on and relate to your customers during every interaction.
Why CX is Really HX (Human Experience)
Customer experience is about how you make the customer feel throughout their entire journey with your business. We talk about CX so much in the contact center because it’s where customers turn when a brand is failing at CX in some other area of the business. It’s here that brands have the chance to redeem themselves, re-win a customer’s heart, and trust that the brand will take care of them. Fail at CX here and, in addition to failing the customer, you turn them into brand enemies who will shout it from social media rooftops.
After all, customers protect their fellow customers. They also advocate for brands they love, admire, and respect—all human qualities associated with the type of experience they have based on how brands relate to them.
That’s why great CX is really great HX—human experience. People respond to how brands make them feel. The more positive the experience is, the more they value the brand, spend money on the brand, and tell their friends about it.
Let’s take a closer look at two foundational factors for delivering a superior HX. Both are critical to understanding and meeting your customers’ expectations.
Brands and customers are in a relationship. Customers’ needs change over time and your ability to be responsive and proactive to those changes is essential to keeping the relationship intact. Responsiveness is the ability to adapt to shifting requirements in the market, customer needs, government mandates, global crises, and spikes in growth or lean times.
When you are a responsive brand, you are able to quickly change your business to meet new demands and show up where you can best continue to serve your customers—while still driving revenue.
Responsiveness is a human quality. The more responsive or agile your contact center is to what’s happening in the market and for customers, the better positioned you are to ensure business continuity, overcome crises, and improve loyalty.
Developing responsiveness takes more than a commitment to be present. It also takes being in the cloud with technology and processes in place that enable you to be up and running even when the world is falling down. Omnichannel options, scalable staffing, easy work-from-home setups, intelligent routing, data that is effortlessly served up to agents, and AI-assisted capacities that empower human agents to focus on resolving issues the first time are all ways to develop responsiveness. It comes from being able to trust your technology and processes so that agents can focus on relating to customers.
Effectively relating with and responding to customers requires empathy. Empathy is a key part of emotional intelligence, which is simply the ability to discern other people’s emotions and understand their perspective. It’s being able to imagine yourself in someone else’s situation and know why they feel the way they do.
A more human contact center experience is rooted in empathy for the customer. It takes what could be a generic, forgettable, or potentially negative interaction and turns it into one that is positive, memorable, and loyalty-building. It’s about listening to and understanding customers, making a connection that goes beyond simply answering questions or solving problems, communicating with compassion, and making the interaction so easy and convenient that customers instantly feel positive about your brand.
It is also what makes us human. To create more empathy, you need to hire people who are naturally empathic, train them to communicate empathetically, and intentionally value empathy across the customer service experience. It needs to be a deciding factor in every decision—including your technology.
Before purchasing a cloud contact center solution, you need to determine whether it gives agents the ability to be more empathic. Does it get the technology out of the way so they can focus on truly listening and engaging with the customer? Does it provide them with all the data they need in the moment to meet that customer right where they are?
Brands that truly build empathy into their customer service values choose technology that achieves this. They stand out by making powerful connections with customers and exceeding their expectations. Customers, in turn, reward them with their business.
Want to learn more about providing your customers with the type of service and support experiences they expect? Download our free eBook, The Five9 Guide to Making Customer Service a More Human Experience, to equip your business with the information you need to take your CX to the next level.