Monday, February 11, 2013

The Importance of Positive Customer Experiences

“Please hold for the next available representative. Your call is important to us.” Too often customers find themselves hearing these dreaded phrases. Customer service has shifted from human interaction to tele prompts. With customer service being the face of your company, it can either make or break your bottom line. How can you keep up with your growing business and still make time to personalize customer service?

What makes consumers unhappy?

Certain things make consumers unhappy: being left on hold for a long period of time, having to speak with more than one person to solve a problem, never receiving an email response or a call back, etc. Often times, businesses find it difficult to keep up, but it is important to make sure customer service always remains a top priority.

How do they react?

When a customer has a bad experience, he/she is more likely to voice his/her opinion, whether it is through word of mouth, reviews, or social media. An infographic shared by Zendesk shows:
  • 52% of customers who have had a negative experience with a company share it with friends, family, and peers. 35% of them actually cut off all ties with the company. 
  • Also, while it is a significantly smaller number, 8% of respondents would post comments on social media sites after a positive experience. 
  • Over 60% of consumers are influenced in some way by other people's comments about companies or products.
John Lawson of ColderICE shared a great chart (below) on The eCommerce Group showing how poor customer service may also lead to negative ratings and product reviews.

What can you do?

Focus on a more personalized approach and be available for contact across all channels.
  • Provide direct telephone numbers to customer service representatives 
  • Provide email contacts and answer emails within 24 hours or less 
  • Provide a live chat feature (whether you use Skype, Google+, etc.) 
  • Interact with customers via social media 
  • Include a comprehensive FAQ section on your website 
  • Respond quickly and without emotion to complaints. 
If you are using ReplyManager, there are plenty of ways to improve communication. Auto-responders and other functions can help you and your staff quickly respond to and manage emails. Plus, having everything in a centralized location makes it easier to control your customer service strategy.

What is the result?

According to blogger, Anson Alex, “when companies respond to social media submitted complaints, 75% of complainers are satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the response.” Today, people are expecting a different level of service from online stores than they would a brick and mortar business. Because most interaction is online, more people are expecting immediate responses. Continue making these efforts as not to lose that interaction with your customers.

by Samantha Warner
Marketing Extraordinaire