By Sarah Pierce, Sr. Vice President
When it comes to designing a superior customer experience, one can’t spend enough time and energy on the experience being delivered by customer-facing agents. According to our customer pulse database, 76% of customers report experiencing a problem with a supplier’s product or service in the previous six to twelve months. Many will never complain to the company for a number of reasons, but for those that do, showing customers that you care during interaction is critical.
This interaction has the power to either increase loyalty to a level that is as if the problem never occurred, alternatively it has the power to decrease loyalty below those customers who never even attempted to contact the company. The feedback experience tends to compound their dissatisfaction and increase the likelihood they will defect.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Businesses that deal with consumers understandably want to show their clients that they care about them. When a consumer feels appreciated, they are more likely to recommend your business and make repeat purchases. This makes sense, considering that businesses which place emphasis on the customer experience are 60% more profitable than those which don’t make CX a priority. The solution doesn’t have to be an expensive new system or technology, it can be subtle improvements in the customer-facing agent experience that can show compassion and increase the chances that the customer walks away feeling cared for and appreciated.
1. Remember names
One way of showing customers that you care is by remembering names. In any kind of business from hospitality to retail, remembering client names is a simple trick with powerful results. The immediate effect of using a client’s name builds a more personal connection with them, while also making them feel special. Above all else, it increases the possibility of multiple visits.
2. Keep a client record (and use it!)
I see this situation happen all the time: A customer calls the support line of a business and is then prompted to enter information which is unique to their account (phone number or phone code). A customer-relationship management (CRM) system processes their information, and then, connects them to a representative who asks them to repeat all the information they just inputted.
Immediately, the customer starts to question what the reason is for typing in information if a representative is going to ask them to repeat everything all over again. It’s a waste of time for the customer, and in reality, CRM systems are designed to make the experience hassle-free. So it’s not about simply having a CRM in place, it’s about using it efficiently. Don’t lose sight of the fact that the technology is there to help the customers and not just representatives.
3. Listen patiently and don’t interrupt
It’s inevitable that some customers will eventually get in touch with your business to make a complaint or voice a concern they have. This is absolutely not the time to get opinionated. When customers explain their situation, the last thing they want is to be interrupted mid-sentence. It’s rude, and there are many simple techniques that companies can teach their representatives to ensure they are not cutting off other people’s thoughts.
Such a subtle expression has the power to make or break transactions in many different industries. When employees smile, it can communicate that your business is trustworthy, as well as building a subconscious connection with the customer. Furthermore, it shows the customer that the worker is happy thanks to a comfortable working environment. Smiles are so effective that it is even recommended to smile when speaking to customers on the phone! A first impression is essential when dealing with clients, and you need to make sure that it counts.
5. Train your employees to believe in your product or service
If your workers only care about clocking in and out and getting a paycheck at the end of the month, this careless attitude immediately spills over onto customer interactions. On the other hand, if your employees truly believe in what they represent at the company, they are more inclined to have positive exchanges with clients. These adjustments start at the top and not on an individual basis.
Clients like to know that the companies they make purchases from care about them. No one wants to feel as though they are just another profit number, and unfortunately, even the biggest global players make the mistake of thinking that they have already won the loyalty battle.