It’s no secret that when it comes to customer service, customer expectations are higher than ever – but how customer service leaders and teams are adapting to these growing demands
Some reports have shown that while 73% of customer service leaders say customer expectations are increasing, only 42% believe they will actually meet those expectations. This is a big gap between expectations and reality – a gap that makes it easier for your customer service team to fall into.
This customer expectation gap — the gap between the personal and effective experience that customers want and what your team can reasonably offer — creates a problem for companies. According to the Microsoft Global State of Customer Service report, 90% of respondents said customer service is an important factor in their choice and loyalty to the brand. And if their support expectations are not met? Nearly two-thirds (58%) cut their relationship with the business due to poor customer service.
As the customer experience quickly becomes a major highlighter, increasing consumer loyalty, increasing revenue and saving more costs, it is more important than ever to excel or lose. So how do you start closing this gap and providing world-class customer support on a large scale? We’re going to explain those things on this subject.
Understand how customer expectations change
The past year has permanently changed the consumer landscape. In particular, the Corona epidemic has brought about an unprecedented shift in our reliance on technology that has had an indirect impact on how customers relate to and interact with companies and brands.
For example, more customers have had to focus on online shopping than ever before; for many, this came with an additional level of pressure due to factors such as supply chain shortages and delays in delivery. Coupled with an increase in the absorption of digital channels, executives are likely to say that at least 80% of their interactions with consumers are digital in nature.
As companies begin to understand the importance of better satisfying customers to retain customers and build loyalty, the great customer support experience goes from “good” to a key highlighter. “I think customer expectations are higher, because more and more companies understand that this is the key to their continued growth and success,” said a customer support expert. “So customers get better experiences with business activities and this has become a standard, which is great. Customers must be the main focus of any business.”
Listen closely to customer feedback
If you really want to meet customer expectations, listen closely to what your customers are telling you. To do this effectively, you need to take a comprehensive look at the entire customer experience, and collect comments at multiple hotspots along the way.
To understand the customer’s journey and any points that cause suffering, we recommend proactively anticipating problems by putting yourself in the customer’s place, try to enjoy the customer’s own experience. Suppose you’re an agent. Ask yourself: “Am I happy with the experience you just had? Does it meet my expectations and needs? What can be improved and how? What am I missing?’
When you get comments, be sure to respond appropriately, in a personal and timely manner that allows your customers to know that you are listening to them.
Meet customer preferences for chat
Customers expect to be able to communicate with companies through multiple communication channels. While it’s important to provide them with a consistent and unified experience no matter where or how you get to you, there’s one channel you really need to improve: chat.
These days, customers expect to experience conversation and messaging first. They want quick and effective answers, but they also want to be able to do multiple tasks (excluding phone support), without sacrificing speed, let alone customers accustomed to communicating through chat in other areas of their daily lives.
However, increasing chat support doesn’t necessarily mean increasing staff; it’s also about finding smart ways to make the chat tool work harder (and smarter) for your team.
Automatically direct conversations to the right specialists
Customers should not have to talk to all customer service representatives to get the answers they need. Asking them to constantly re-mention basic information or give the context provided repeatedly is a waste of everyone’s time – and creates a very frustrating experience for your customers.
To avoid this, make sure you collect the right data in advance, and then use it intelligently to improve your team’s workflow.
Focus on what you can do (not what you can’t do)
Customers rely on you to give them a reliable and trustworthy answer. But when you try to exceed customers’ expectations, it may be tempting to tell them what they want to hear, rather than giving them what can be considered a “negative” answer.
In fact, the honest word “no” is better than the vague or deception “yes.” Disinformation and confusion will not only lead to a bad customer experience, but can eventually lead to a deterioration in customer confidence in your business. Even when you can’t meet their expectations about your product or service, you can still meet their expectations about your brand and customer support, by providing clear and intro answers that explain logic and offer potential solutions.
Comments are essential, as they provide you with more ways to understand what your customers expect and what you can do in the long run to meet those expectations.
Because support teams always have conversations with actual users, they’re uniquely positioned to provide some of the most valuable comments that will help you break customer expectations in the future.
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