The new era of Customer Dialogue

The new era of customer dialogue: How not to fulfill but exceed customer expectations

Customers have expectations and sometimes don't even know their own needs. Sounds absurd, but a classic shows that it is true. If Henry Ford had asked us at the end of the 19th century what we customers wanted, we would probably have answered "faster horses". That would have fulfilled our expectations. But the task of companies is to exceed customer expectations again and again.

In customer service, too, we should definitely meet customers' expectations, but preferably exceed them. Because only great customer service creates a great customer experience (CX). In the digitalised world, customer service is often the only point of contact between customers and companies. Unfortunately, this opportunity often remains unused. We now think a lot about how we can keep enquiries away through self-service, but personal contact is crucial for a magical customer experience.

So, automation adé? No, of course not, because customer service can be raised to a higher level thanks to automation and the empowerment of your employees, so that customer expectations are not met but exceeded. There are three points that you should definitely bear in mind:

Customer needs want to be heard

Once your customer is on the phone, all you have to do is listen, because people love interacting with other people and talk a lot on the phone about their preferences, what they like about the company, where they see potential for improvement, etc. All this information has to be processed. All this information has to be processed. Of course, your employees can't do that manually; you need an analysis tool for that.

So when you say to your callers: "For quality purposes, this call is being recorded", then you are also using this valuable data, not just for a few spot checks by your coaches, but to improve your products and services and thus really improve quality, even raise it to a new level. Turn Big Data into Smart Data. This way you can process and use what you "hear". Use the collected knowledge from your recordings, from every single one.

Concerns want to be understood

A major challenge of service centres is concern recognition. Often concerns are squeezed into a corset called IVR. Of course, this helps with a rough distinction: Is it a complaint or an order, does the caller want to book or cancel, do I have a Gold or a Platinum customer on the line? You quickly realise from this list that there is not just one customer with one request. Requests are usually complex and should not be standardised too much. Because this determines the routing, the next switch in your service centre.

Thanks to smart routing, you can nowadays make much finer adjustments, save time in distribution through intelligent voicebots and pre-qualify requests. This modern type of concern recognition is also called intent recognition. Here, not only words but also the context are recognised, paired with smart routing, time is saved when distributing requests (whether via voice or text) and the request always reaches the right employee who has the necessary competence for processing it.

Employees want to be supported

Your customer will feel in good hands if the right employee speaks to him or her. During the routing process, ideally not only the name or the customer number is forwarded, but the employee already has the relevant information from the CRM on the screen. She:he sees, for example, when an order was received and can directly ask the caller about it. And if the process is also smart at this point, the status of the order is also displayed. This way, the AHT (Average Handling Time) can be reduced and your agent:in will feel secure. Use smart technology not only for optimal CX, but also to support your employees, because they want to have information at hand and be able to answer questions on the phone quickly and competently. This also improves employee experience. Because without knowledgeable and friendly employees, there is no perfect customer experience.

Autthor: Florian Daerr

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