The outlook is rather bleak for companies that provide sub-par customer service: 82 percent of consumers have stopped doing business with a company strictly due to bad service. And if your strategy is to rely on new customers to replace those lost, you’ll have to pay a high price. It costs 6 times more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an old one.
Raising the customer service bar doesn’t have to be a heavy lift though. Just look at what consumers have said are the top things that customer service does to drive them crazy according to a recent study conducted by Forrester on behalf of eGain. The good news, many of these irritants can be addressed fairly easily. It would be wise for contact center managers to hone in on these three areas of displeasure:
According to the study, 41 percent of customers said this is what they dislike most about their customer service experience.
One way to solve this problem is to ensure seamless CRM integration, which ensures pertinent customer data is linked to every contact center interaction, providing agents with quicker access to accurate customer information when and how they need it. In other words, agents will be less likely to provide customers with different answers to commonly asked questions. Research shows that more organizations are focusing on CRM integration in the months to come; in fact, according to Deloitte’s 2015 Global Contact Center Survey, SaaS-based solutions are projected to fuel the most growth in contact center solutions, with CRM leading the way.
- When customer service agents immediately say they don’t know the answer to a question
Seamless CRM integration also helps ensure customer service agents won’t immediately default to saying they don’t know the answer to a specific question. According to the study, the least knowledgeable customer service agents are found in the offline retail sector (47 percent) and technology sector (47 percent). The study also found that young (and potentially new) customers are far less forgiving when it comes to a lack of knowledge among customer service agents. Interestingly, 40 percent of Gen Y consumers said that agents are not knowledgeable enough, versus just 23 percent of seniors.
Providing agents with access to the various information they need to answer customer questions and solve issues should be an essential part of every contact center solution—bottom line.
- When customers can’t find an answer on a company website
When it comes to giving customers the resources they need to find their own solutions, online retailers fared the worst in the study (40 percent), followed by banks (27 percent) and technology providers (27 percent). Unsurprisingly, seniors were far more likely to cite a lack of knowledge as the main road block to self-service (35 percent) than Gen Y’ers (9 percent).
To effectively mitigate this issue, contact center managers should reassess the myriad of self-service channels that are at their disposal, from FAQ sections on a website to live chat. In fact, managers should consider live chat to be an integral part of their customer service strategy. It is a notably easy channel to leverage, even for older customers, and research shows that it boasts the highest customer satisfaction levels among any customer service channel. This outreach method will ensure every customer has an outlet to ask an agent any question he or she cannot find on a company website in real-time. This, of course, ensures customer retention and satisfaction, as well as recurring cash flow for organizations.
By keeping these three customer complaints top of mind at all times, you can ensure your organization is providing the kind of service that not only meets but continually exceeds your customers’ expectations.
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