5 Commandments of Unsurpassed Customer Engagement
We know … commandments usually come in 10s. But in the age of digital media and diminishing attention spans, we’re sticking with five.
In the past few years, a lot has been written about customer engagement via contact centers, and this list is our attempt to integrate the elements that are most important for success.
With a singular goal in mind – to WOW your customers to the point that you ensure not only their loyalty, but also the evangelization of your brand – you should consistently follow these commandments:
- 1st Commandment: Know Thy Customer
- 2nd Commandment: Know Thy Agent
- 3rd Commandment: Thou Shalt Allow Thy Customers To Contact You In Whatever Way They Want
- 4th Commandment: Thou Shalt Keep Up With Any And All Technology Trends
- 5th Commandment: Thou Art Never Done Improving
Know Thy Customer
This is the first commandment simply because without customers, we cease to exist. You are in business to serve your customers, and the best way to accomplish this is by knowing them, their wants and their needs.
ContactPoint Client Research found that employees ask for the customer’s name only 21% of the time.1 Remember, your customers have names 100% of the time, and they want verification that you are focused on them and the reason for their call.
Walker Research’s Customer 2020 report reminds us who wins in the year 2020: the most forward-thinking companies – those that consciously and deliberately work at anticipating their customers’ future needs and create an experience they will value.2 Computer/telephony integration and readily available CRM systems make this a reality for everyone.
If you don’t take the time to get to know your customers, your competitor will gladly become their new best friend.
Know Thy Agent
Hiring and empowering the right customer agent is critical to delivering on your promise of great service.
Empowered contact center agents are essential to implementing managed engagement centers. In their landmark article, “Putting the Service-Profit Chain to Work,” the authors show that giving agents the tools and authority to do their job is vital to success.3
Today that means agents are highly trained in relationship and communications skills, fully capable of engaging customers and able to work through inquiries with first call resolution. When successful, conversations flow naturally and bonds form between agents and customers.
Invested agents reassure customers that the company values their time and truly cares about their well-being. As a result, customers are more inclined to stay with the company longer.4
Thou Shalt Allow Thy Customers To Contact You In Whatever Way They Want
Multichannel has rapidly evolved from a buzzword to a standard operating procedure.
According to a study conducted by Econsultancy, 83% of online shoppers need assistance during purchase. The same study showed that 61% of customers want to talk to CSRs on the phone, 60% prefer email and 57% prefer live chat.5
Contact centers are constantly challenged to offer a high level of service via multiple channels and to demonstrate the ability to maintain the same conversation regardless of the channel the customer chooses.
Thou Shalt Keep Up With Any And All Technology Trends
Be it webchat, smartphones, social network review/commentary – you need to understand what’s next and how it will impact the way your customers contact you.
According to Gartner, more than half of R&D investments will be directed toward customer experience innovations by 2017.6
- What’s your plan for staying informed?
- What’s your plan for knowing when/how to invest?
Thou Art Never Done Improving
Performance measurements or key performance indicators are consistently tracked, analyzed and evaluated in a managed engagement center. The best providers also track customer-centric measurements designed to forge lasting relationships.
Continuous process improvement is a cultural imperative for customer service success. Process, technology and customer needs are always changing. Your ability to identify these changes and adapt as a normal part of your business process is essential to staying ahead. Empowering agents to provide unfiltered voice of the customer and honest assessments of the tools and authority they have to do their job goes a long way to achieving this goal.
The five commandments of customer engagement require you to evaluate your ability to integrate people, process and technology into your customer service ecosystem. Your customers and your agents are the most critical part of this equation, since people deal with people, not companies. The process and technology variables allow your customers to reach you on their terms and provide your agents with quick access to the tools/information required to assist them. Identifying this standard and then maintaining it through continuous process improvement puts you on track to deliver unsurpassed customer engagement.
1Help Scout. (2014, February 19). 75 Customer Service Facts, Quotes & Statistics: How Your Business Can Deliver With the Best of the Best. Retrieved from www.helpscout.net/75-customer-service-facts-quotes-statistics
2Walker Information Inc. (2013, June 7). Customers 2020: The Future of B-to-B Customer Experience. Retrieved from www.walkerinfo.com/customers2020
3Heskett, J. L., T. O. Jones, G. W. Loveman, W. Earl Sasser, and L. A. Schlesinger. “Putting the Service-Profit Chain to Work.” Harvard Business Review 72, no. 2 (March-April 1994): 164–174.
4Reichheld, F., and W. E. Sasser Jr. “Zero Defections: Quality Comes to Services.” Harvard Business Review 68, no. 5 (September-October 1990): 105–111.
5Charlton, G. (2013, January 30). 83% of Online Shoppers Need Support to Complete a Purchase: Stats [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://econsultancy.com/blog/61991-83-of-onlineshoppers-need-support-to-complete-a-purchase-stats
6Alcala, L. (2014, October 7). Top 10 Strategic Predictions for 2015 and Beyond #GartnerSYM [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.cmswire.com/cms/digital-marketing/top-10-strategic-predictions-for-2015-and-beyond-gartnersym-026749.php?utm_content=bufferbc92b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin.com&utm_campaign=buffer
Customer Service is Our Passion
We help deliver experiences you and your customers value. Hitting your metrics is just the start. Our multichannel solutions leverage unfiltered voice of the customer. You can connect more deeply with your stakeholders because of the way our agents capture their input.
Our collaborative, innovative approach has led clients on three continents to recognize us with service awards. We can help you get the most from your customer experience management activities.
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