By Wynand Smit, CEO of INOVO
Visit a consumer complaints platform, be it Hello Peter, social media or a company website and you’ll note some commonalities in the complaints. Lack of response, repeated contacts without resolution and having to repeat information will feature prominently. For the majority of these kinds of complaints, there’s no excuse: with analysis and a subsequent solution, many customers can have their complaints resolved, and be won over as loyal customers once more.
Customer retention is critical and should be prioritised, after all, if you are consistently attracting new customers but they aren’t remaining with you, that’s a lost opportunity. “Listening” to your customer via analysing the data that surrounds interactions can reveal pain points that lead to the loss of customers. Perhaps there’s a specific process that causes customers to abandon transactions – all of the elements around that process can be reworked to ensure that it runs smoothly. Additional means of hearing what the customer has to say about your company could include finding out what they’re saying about you on social media platforms – are they talking about that last phone call with your agent? What happened?
It may be that your agents are unable to access the kinds of information necessary to successfully conclude interactions, or that your customer information is not being updated in as close to real time as possible, leading to the customer having to repeat information. All touch points have a knock-on effect, so it’s imperative that the customer journey is a seamless one throughout.
Your customer wants to know that you see them as an individual, that you know them personally – what they want, how they prefer to do business. The existing data you have on their patterns of contact can allow you to personalise your response and act accordingly. For example, you may pick up that a customer has recently complained on social media platforms prior to engaging with your contact centre. When the customer calls, this could then be routed directly to the best performing agent, who speaks the caller’s first language, and who has access to all the customer’s complaints to provide context for the interaction. In this scenario, the likelihood of a faster resolution, and a more positive customer experience, is significantly higher.
Acknowledging interruptions in the customer journey is important: it demonstrates understanding of the customer’s situation, as well the obstacles they have faced. Couple that with effecting handling of the situation and a speedy resolution, and achieving satisfaction is that much more likely.
If you can fix those issues, from reducing the amount of times customers have to call to making sure that they get resolution to their requests, you’ll be increasing the chances of positive outcomes. Add to that a more personalised interaction and you’ve built the foundations for lasting customer relationships.