Three Ways Companies Can Offer a Smooth Customer Experience Over a Complicated One.

Imagine having a challenge with a new product you purchased, you
want to communicate via chat, but they push you to a 1-800 number,
only to be put on hold, routed to various call center agents who
asked you the same information time and time again — and finally
only to be hung up on? Yeah, that has happened to me, and it’s
not a company that I’ll recommend to others.

If you’re like me, this is a reality for many customers. I
wanted to share both a vision of what an ideal customer experience
looks like, as well as share some personal interactions I’ve had
with brands. Today, customers have higher-than-ever expectations on
companies in their interactions:

  1. Customers expect responses in near real-time and at all
    hours of the day.
    I can relate. Recently, I had a tech
    support issue for an internet communication device. I was on hold
    for nearly an hour awaiting a rep in a far-off country. What’s a
    sign of customer frustration? When I’ve heard the same hold music
    so many times that it’s repeating in my head. In an ideal state,
    I should be able to self-support using a pre-scripted chat bot, or
    access a customer community that could give excellent support. We
    know this: today’s customers expect speed in an on-demand
    world.
  2. They expect a smooth, unified experience. Like
    in real life, we want to speak to the right person — not be
    passed around like a hot potato on a hot day. Recently, my family
    was an innocent victim of a fender bender, and upon contacting our
    insurance agency, they routed us in circles to various business
    units for a common claim. Furthermore, to update our contact info,
    we had to separately contact various departments to give them our
    correct info — we had concerns that our claim check would not be
    correctly delivered to us. Data shows we’re not alone, in a
    recent study from eGain, customers are frustrated that
    41% Different customer service agents give different answers and
    34% Customer service agents don’t know the answer.
    We just
    want to get to the heart of the problem
  3. Customers expect companies to be present in the digital
    channels they’re familiar with
    . Some companies require
    you to use the channels that the company prefers — rather than
    the channels the customer already uses. With so many consumers
    shifting to mobile first, or mobile-only, brands need to shift
    their offerings. “9
    out of 10 consumers globally want to talk to businesses using
    messaging; but only 48% of businesses are equipped to do so.

    Recently, I had an issue with a product purchased at Target for a
    Mother’s Day gift which I shared
    the puzzling issue on Twitter,
    they responded to me on social
    media, within one business day, and rectified the issue with
    empathy, a gift card, and professional communications. They kept on
    the primary channel, in this case social media, and solved the
    issue. Nicely done. It’s in their best interest, with research
    showing companies with multi-channel customer service have a

    91% higher year-over-year increase in customer retention, compared
    to organizations who don’t provide varied options.
    Hey
    brands: fish where the fish already are.

My new contact Darryl
Kelly-McDade
from RingCentral, shared with me he just purchased
some new $400 high-end noise cancelling headphones, but was having
some issues with the active noise cancelling features. He went to
headphone company’s website but it’s hard to find someone to
ask a question, furthermore, he had to write down the “contact
us” phone number, wrote it down, had to dial, then was presented
with an automated IVR experience with seemingly endless set of
choices, and poor voice recognition. Finally, he was routed to an
agent that wasn’t well prepared or informed. Frustrating.

On the other hand, I’ve received a great customer experience
from GoRuck, a company that
makes rugged backpacks and offers even more rugged-events that I
love to participate in. Their team knew my records, gave personal
recommendations on products (that they actually use). Their
customer support team is filled with purpose, as the staff that are
repairing items are veterans. While their products are
significantly more expensive than others, I know this is a brand
that stands behind their quality product, as well as offers top
notch customer service. They’re not alone, I
Twitter-sourced a few other examples of companies
that have
provided a great experience.

Aside from our personal frustrations, this adds up to actual
business pain problems. “42%
of customers walk away from a brand in frustration and 1/5 never
come back.
” which means, that all that money spent in
marketing and sales to close a new client, can often result in
costly customer-churn, if the customer experience is not being
met.

In summary, companies need to offer a delightful customer
experience that spans the three areas: fast, real-time responses,
unified experiences, and meet customers in the channels they
expect. You can continue this conversation with RingCentral, who
sponsored this post (although I wrote and edited it myself) by
meeting them at X conference.
Darryl and team from RingCentral will be at Booth #802 at Customer
Contact Week in Las Vegas June 24-28
, would love to meet you,
show a demo, and introduce you to one of their customers who is
doing it right, Goosehead Insurance, who maybe I need to speak
to.

This post was written by me, Jeremiah Owyang, but sponsored by
RingCentral. Photo
credits, by
Pexels
, used within license.

Source: FS – Social Media Blogs A
Three Ways Companies Can Offer a Smooth Customer Experience Over a Complicated One.