You may have heard the expression, “better to try and fail than never to try at all.” I think of this expression when I think about customer service. I often wonder, have we set up contact center agents to fail before they even get a chance to try? Let me explain, it doesn’t matter how friendly, helpful, or how hard a contact center agent tries, but if a customer must un-necessarily contact customer service, the whole engagement is already a failure in the customer’s eyes before the agent is even involved.
We’re in the midst of the Now Consumer series where we focus on the expectations of today’s consumers and share tools and strategies to meet these expectations. This week’s topic is making your customer smarter. Your customers should not be contacting you to inform you of things that you should already know about and in fact, be proactively communicating to them.
I’ll share a very tangible experience that most travelers can relate to and one that highlights the need for proactive service: lost baggage. A year or so ago, I flew from Chicago to Denver during a snowstorm. After arriving in Denver I waited for my luggage for two hours before the airline informed waiting passengers that our luggage didn’t make the flight. To file a lost baggage claim, I waited another hour (and I was second in line!). Here’s what really got my blood boiling: the airline knew before leaving Chicago that two thirds of the bags wouldn’t make the flight because they deliberately removed them so more fuel could be added to the plane to get us through the storm. The airline should have told us, ideally via text message upon landing and/or through an announcement on the plane, that the bags were left behind and provided a way to file a claim digitally. Had the airlines communicated with us proactively about this, it would have saved airline personnel time as well as time and frustration for all their passengers.
Companies should be proactively communicating with customers about order status messages, appointment and prescription reminders, service outage notifications, and other important messages depending on business needs. If your customer service is sitting around waiting for customers to contact you, there is room for improvement. Brands need to find ways to help make their customers smarter, not the other way around.
Learn about how Aspect’s proactive engagement solutions can help your contact center.