Using Predictive Customer Service to Improve Satisfaction
“The customer’s perception is your reality.” Kate Zabriskie
By 2020 the customer experience will leap frog over product and price as the most fundamental brand differentiator according to a Walkerinfo report. Gartner’s findings on the subject reveal that “50% of product investment projects will be driven towards customer experience innovations.” Our customers want more from us. They have higher expectations thanks to their experience with the digital age and all of its gifts of instant satisfaction.
I Want It All and I Want It Now!
Our customers have choice at their fingertips. They can look up any product information online and all of the competitor’s prices for the same item/service. Customer loyalty is not a given – you have to earn it daily. There are so many competitors for every single possible product – so you have to stand out in the market. Superior customer service is your new yardstick for success. You might have the better, cheaper product but if you keep a customer waiting for too long they will simply move on. An astounding statistic has popped up saying a whopping 97% of global customers say that customer service is linked to their decision to use or abandon a company’s product or service. They want you to resolve their issue very quickly.
So, how are you going to go about doing that? One way is to accurately predict customer behavior and solve their problem before they even know they have one. This is not crystal ball stuff – it’s common sense.
Predictive Problem Solving
Your agents must know the product backward and forwards so they can answer every possible permutation linked to their questions. When someone calls in they expect that the agent has complete knowledge of your brand and all products/services. They do not care if the agent is outsourced, they only want them to be brand experts. Customers need answers, good ones. They need clarity, accuracy, a calm tone, and excellent timing.
To know the product inside out, your team is going to need training in advance of your latest product launches, updates or modifications. It goes without saying that your product really has to be made with quality and easy to use. Otherwise, your call center is just a complaints line. If you are going to be bringing out a new product, you know there are going to be customers calling in about its new features and how to navigate the functions. Be prepared to answer these predictable questions well in advance. Don’t leave it to the agent to scramble around for new information. Empower your team with solutions to future problems. You will be making it possible for them to deliver excellent customer service.
Making Mindreading Mandatory
It is vital to get feedback from agents every day regarding the most common questions asked and problems faced by the customer’s calling in. Create a question and answer folder for instant access for the agents to have a clear, easy to understand the response to complex customer queries. When you are bringing out a new product line/service you should already foresee what potential questions are going to come up for your customer service agents. You know every aspect of your innovation but have you passed that on well in advance? You know what you have in the pipeline, so provide your agents with the best assets possible so that they can deliver unbelievable customer service. The client will feel like the agent has read their minds.
“Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game. Service wins the game.” – Tony Alessandra
It’s time to get proactive. Forward thinking companies are going to catch the brass ring. If you can predict what your customer is going to need resolving, you will exceed their expectations when they call in. Don’t get so wrapped up in cost saving techniques and reducing call waiting times. Put issue resolution at the top of the list in 2017.
P.S. A little prediction…” reactive customer service is a disaster; real-time customer service is becoming the norm but the future is faster than real-time customer service. Customer service teams should get ready for a world of automation.” Steven Van Bellegham, best-selling author of When Digital Becomes Human
Source & Credit: Contact Center World