When it comes to customer service experience, people have some pretty lofty expectations these days. And why not? Living in an age when the world's collective knowledge, culture, and entertainment are available instantly with the click of a button, should they expect any less?
As these expectations continue to rise, it raises two important questions: What kind of experience are these customers looking for, and how can today's enterprises leverage business communications solutions to not only meet this expectation, but push the bar even higher?
Customer satisfaction is somewhat of an enigma. On one hand, everyone is a customer at some point and therefore has the perfect perspective from which to truly understand what people are looking for when it comes to customer experience. On the other hand, no two people have the exact same desires and expectations.
Discouraged? Don't be. While it's true that people have very personal preferences when it comes to ideal customer experiences, there are some universal truths you can rely on. For example, what are you more likely to find on an eHarmony profile page, "I love taking long walks on the beach at sunset" or "My greatest joy in life is spending two hours of my Saturday morning on hold with the utility company?"
Sure, this may be an extreme case, but the point is still valid. Exceeding customer service expectations begins with nailing the basic expectations at the core of every experience. Chief among them is communication.
Perhaps a better example is to simply look at the relationships in your own life. Don't worry, Dr. Phil has no part in this one. Have you ever noticed how much of a direct relationship there is between the health of a given relationship and the level of communication associated with it? Likewise, excellent customer experiences thrive on and, in many ways, depend upon effective communication. After all, customers are defined by their relationship to businesses.
If communication is so important to customer satisfaction, then it stands to reason that business communications solutions would be a top priority. Not convinced? Here are a few ways these types of solutions can help your business keep pace with rising customer expectations:
- Communication Options: If it were the 20th century, having a single option for customer communication would be forgivable. Here in the 21st century, however, there's really no excuse to limit these options. Different customers expect to communicate in different ways. Be it phone, web chat, video conference, or carrier pigeon, providing flexible means of communication is a great way to meet customer expectations.
- Keeping It Simple: Giving customers plenty of ways to communicate is great, but not if you sacrifice simplicity. If your customers spend more energy finding the right number for the right department than they would trying to coax Siri into navigating rush-hour traffic, you're not exceeding expectations. To avoid this, take advantage of a communications system in a more intelligent way, like a virtual receptionist. All forms of communication should get the customer to the right information or person with minimal transfers.
- Call Queue: Nobody enjoys lines, but everyone expects them. The very fabric of society might even fall apart without the order they create. When it comes to communication, bringing order is crucial. With a call queue, you can tailor the phone experience of each individual customer and better manage large call volumes to avoid falling short of customer expectations.
In the end, modern technology has spoiled the world with unparalleled convenience. Customers expect that same convenience when communicating with your business. Are you prepared to exceed those expectations?
Speak to a Vonage Business consultant to learn more about business communications solutions.