The desire to please customers continues to rank as a top priority for service organizations. Poor service affects the perception of your brand and your bottom line. According to a survey from American Express, 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction because of a poor service experience. Now, when consumers have a bad experience they’re not just telling one or two friends, they’re telling hundreds and thousands of followers. In the social media era, news of bad customer service reaches twice as many ears as praise for a good experience.
The customer is the center of any business. We refer to their desires and needs when making a decision, adapting product or services, or changing a pricing policy. Neglecting this interaction could cost you a lot of money, but if you manage to improve the quality of your products / services you can expect more and more happier customers. This is the golden rule in any business. Useless service will not sell, no matter what efforts you make to promote it. Approaching a quality and honesty-oriented policy is the key towards success.
A second rule of thumb for maintaining a loyal customer is the attention we give to them. It matters more than you think to treat your clients with respect and promptness, addressing their questions and desires in a quick and effective manner. Keeping in touch with them increases our chances of winning their loyalty and also gives them the feeling that they are valued. However, as with all customer-oriented business, slip-ups can happen at any time.
When it comes to reducing hold-time in the call-center, there are a number of terms that overlap each other, which can be confusing. Let’s try to clear things up.
I’ve written about this topic several times, but the questions keep coming up (most recently, in last week’s webinar with cruise industry giant World Travel Holdings – which you can watch here.) So, I guess it can’t hurt to revisit it.
Travel is the single largest e-commerce category. Last year, in the US alone, online travel spending exceeded $100 billion! So it’s no surprise that these companies are embracing new technologies in an effort to attract more customers and differentiate themselves from the competition.
“How” you say? Finding solutions that are geared at improving the call center experience resonate particularly well with this strategy. Fonolo, call-back software for the call center, has a number of customers in the travel sector taking this approach with our web call-back solution.
ContactBabel, a leading analyst firm for the contact center industry, just released this year’s US Contact Center Decision-Makers’ Guide 2013. This annual report studies the performance, operations, technology and HR aspects of US contact center operations.
Taking a random sample of the industry, a questionnaire was distributed to 205 call center managers and directors. The result is the 6th edition of the largest and most comprehensive study of the contact center industry. The report identifies six of the major pain points that affect the industry and contains a directory of organizations that provide services, products and solutions to contact centers. Companies like Genesys, Avaya and Interactive Intelligence can be found in the document.
We had a terrific webinar last week with guest Nate Sidmore, Web Analyst, from World Travel Holdings. Nate talked about how he and his team used Fonolo to add smart click-to-call, visual IVR and virtual queuing to Cruises.com (one of the many online properties they operate).
We were quite excited when Nate agreed to do this webinar because he’s really pushed the envelope of what’s possible with Fonolo. Cruises.com didn’t just embed the web widget; they really integrated it with their site. We were hoping Nate would dig into some of the behind-the-scenes details, and he didn’t disappoint.
Below, I’ll talk briefly about some of the cool things they’re doing like passing information from the web session to the agent (so that the context of the conversation is preserved) and tracking click-to-call actions together with all their other site metrics. If these topics interest you, keep reading or better yet, watch the webinar on-demand.
We’re all well aware of the major hurdle retailers face: understanding consumer buying habits. Spending habits have changed drastically throughout the years and it’s crucial for retailers to recognize current trends.
It’s not always the case that consumer behavior varies by age. For example, the ferocious Millennials (anyone born between 1980-2000) are 1.5 times more likely to make a retail purchase using their mobile devices and 3 times more likely to be influenced by social media. However, across all age groups (Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers), 40-41% say they would shop online or via mobile if they wanted a product outside of business hours.
Consumers are spending more time than ever on social media, with over 1.5 billion users on Twitter and Facebook combined. Customer service organizations face new hurdles in delivering quality social care and are scrambling to catch up.
Companies that get it right stand out from their competitors and reap the benefits. Those who ignore, run the risk of damaging their brand’s reputation – amongst a global audience. In the call center, social media adoption is expected to grow by 23%, more than any other technology.
Why do people hate call centers so much? Usually for reasons we can all relate to: wasting valuable time on hold, having to navigate frustrating phone menus, the dreaded annoyance of repeating information to agents, among others. The call center experience is more complicated than it needs to be and it’s taking a toll on customer service.
Investing in great customer service is vital!
Poor customer service is one of the biggest deterrents to brand loyalty. According to a recent survey, 72% of consumers say service drives brand loyalty and 48% say that the most critical time to gain brand loyalty is during the first impression. Once they’re happy, 78% of consumers will spread the word and tell others!
Jerry Gregoire, CIO at Dell, puts it this way,
The customer experience is the next competitive battleground.
When you incorporate self-service options into your inbound call center, customers can utilize an automated menu or interactive voice response (IVR) system to find answers to their problems without needing to speak to a live agent.
Offering customers a self-service option can increase customer satisfaction and reduce your call volume – thereby reducing your operating costs. However, there are several special considerations to take into account when deciding whether to install self-service in your call center. Weigh the benefits and the pitfalls of this technology before deciding whether it is right for your call center.