In any business, regardless of industry, customer satisfaction is crucial to success.
Without happy customers, repeat revenue becomes all but impossible, and without sales, an entire company can quickly crumble. There are many factors that fall under the customer satisfaction umbrella, but a well-trained, personable customer service team is one of the keys that can make or break whether a one-time customer becomes a repeat customer.
Some modern solutions that companies have been adopting our customer service systems that involve virtual intelligence and automated prompts. And while A.I. and call routing can be useful tools in certain scenarios, too much automation can take the human element out of customer service – and this can wreak havoc on your customer satisfaction. Rather than more technology, most customers are craving more human connection. Here’s why – and how you can provide it.
Not Everything Should be Automated
If you want to check your bank balance, an automated phone system can be helpful in getting you from Point A to Point B. But if you have a question or concern, the last thing you want is to be led through phone or chat maze and asked one automated question after another. This frustrates the calmest among us, let alone someone who is already aggravated or confused.
Instead, customers want to speak with a real person who can not only validate their feelings and empathize with their situation, but also solve their issue. Another human being, especially one who has been well trained, can quickly diffuse a difficult situation and provide clarity at the moment it’s needed, hopefully resulting in a positive experience for the customer.
Humans have the natural ability to relate to one another in ways that automation simply can’t. With that in mind, evaluate which processes might benefit from A.I., automation, and streamlining, versus which ones should continue to be primarily handled by a human. A good collaborative BPO partner can be a critical set of eyes in helping to select the appropriate process to choose from.
Go Beyond a One-Size-Fits-All Approach
Customers want to be treated as individuals, humans – rather than a nameless face in the crowd. And sometimes, they just want to be heard. One of the best ways to provide individualized, one-on-one customer service is by appropriately staffing and training enough customer service team members. You can do this successfully through outsourcing your customer support processes, which gives you the cost-effectiveness you need and your customers the individual attention they deserve.
Another important part of figuring out whether your customer approach is humanized enough and resonating with your customers is measuring their satisfaction. There are plenty of tools that can be used, like NPS, CSAT, FCR, and CES, that give you quality insight into your customers’ mindsets and needs. These measurement tools can help you stay in tune with your base and figure out how to keep that human-to-human connection of great customer service intact.
Resolution Matters More Than Immediacy
When a company tries to cut costs and become more efficient, the temptation is often to expedite processes. The thinking goes that if something is done faster, it must use fewer resources, and ultimately cost less overall. Sounds reasonable, right? But simply expediting business functions can result in a decrease in quality, which often happens when customer service is rushed. In an effort to quickly fix a customer’s problems, a customer service agent might be less thorough and overlook something important. The cost of repeated contacts and customer churn will offset the marginal, short-term efficiency gains.
Research from the National Business Research Institute even found that a fast response to a customer issue often leads to mistakes and carelessness, and a need for employees to repeat the same tasks multiple times. Not only does this negate any potential time or cost savings for your company, but it also is likely to cost you both money and time. And your customer may even decide the hassle isn’t worth it, and decide not to use your company again. When it comes to customer service, take enough time the first time to handle the problem correctly, and resolve it completely. This is most efficient in the long run and contributes greatly to customer satisfaction.
When you’re looking to improve customer relationships, consider all the touchpoints your company has with customers as well as customer feedback. Keep the human side of customer service strong, and you’ll keep satisfied, repeat customers for years to come. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about outsourcing your customer support needs.