What makes the moment? You know, the moment you “just know.” That magical moment that knocks you out with the knowledge that was the person you would marry, that was the perfect job at the perfect time, or that was the brand you would do business with forever.
That moment strikes us each differently, and the effects of that moment can vary. From a customer service perspective, the one common factor is the importance of finding “that moment” for each customer and maximizing it to create the ultimate customer experience. LiveOps recently partnered with ICMI to conduct a study about how brands can “Own the Moments.” Results were shared in a webinar on February 26.
Every brand handles its customer interactions differently, obviously, because every brand is different. But there should be similarity in how different contact center agents at the same brand handle customer experiences. This research showed that, rather than creating moments for customers to remember, many brands are creating moments customers want to forget.
The goal of every customer interaction should be a satisfied customer who has had his or her question answered, issue resolved or order placed. The easier brands can make those interactions for their customers, the better. No customer wants to call repeatedly and talk to different people, repeating the story every time, to resolve an issue. Agents should be able to help a customer the first time, whether that means accessing real-time interaction data, going above and beyond to find a replacement product or offering a discount for the customer’s trouble.
ICMI’s research showed that the initial interaction a customer has with an agent has the greatest impact on the customer experience. But a majority of the organizations surveyed acknowledged making it difficult for their front-line agents to make customers happy. Why? It could be a technology issue, a training issue or an internal issue. Regardless, those customers are not satisfied after their interactions with those brands, and may not return in the future.
The research also illuminated a few simple stepping stones to improve the overall customer experience. Those are Moments to Empower, Inspire, Excel, Enlighten and Delight customers. The takeaways:
– Agents must be empowered to help customers.
– Agents must be valued for their contributions to customer satisfaction and retention. Happy agents = Happy customers.
– Agents must have access to real-time information through an integrated desktop, real-time screen pops or other technologies.
– Brands must measure customer satisfaction if that element actually is important to measure the brand’s success.
– Brands must strive to make customers’ lives easier, interacting with them when and where they prefer, even if that means adding new tools and technologies to the agent toolbox.
We are in the Age of the Customer. Brands must adapt their customer service, marketing and product development processes to meet customer needs, or customers could use their voices to sink the brand. Contact centers are often the first interaction a customer has with a brand (beyond visiting a website or social media channel) and that interaction can make or break the relationship.
There were many interesting nuggets from this survey, and I’ll be sharing more about this research in future posts. In the meantime, watch the webinar recording if you’re interested in hearing the specifics.
Image courtesy of 89studio at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.