Customer Experience – The Ultimate Goal Is to Reduce the Need for Resolution
If an airline were to manage all customer issues on first contact, Forrester estimates the incremental revenue would be $705 million.
In the auto/home insurance industry, that number is just over $1 billion.
In the auto industry (manufacturing), the number is just under $5 billion.
All these revenues result from resolving a problem on the first call or contact.
And here, we consider customer service and customer support as costs to the company.
How wrong are we?
At the beginning of 2023, Shep Hyken, the customer experience specialist, came up with the top ten customer service and customer experience predictions for 2023.
One of his predictions read, “The customer service/support department becomes the revenue generation department.”
Except perhaps Shep Hyken, nobody else said so, and there is little belief among organizations to think of customer service or support as a revenue generation function.
A few things to keep in mind are:
1. Your Customer Service Representatives Are the Face of Your Industry
Customer service reps are your customers’ first point of contact and can make or break your brand.
With their interactions, they can increase the customer lifetime value by giving them an unforgettable experience.
For this, the customer service reps must be knowledgeable about the products and services sold to the customers. Also, they should be equipped with easy-to-search knowledge bases and be able to translate that information to the customer in terms that are easy to understand.
Besides, they need access to all the customer transactions and customer interactions on one interface.
This means you must have an omnichannel platform integrated with CRM, helpdesk, and other IT infrastructure.
All of this would create your brand’s credibility in your customer’s minds.
2. Self-Service Capabilities
Provide your customers with FAQs and knowledge bases on your website and product pages to resolve most queries of theirs. Also, offer them conversational AI chatbots that can pour through enormous amounts of data and provide the customers with the most appropriate answer to their queries.
At any point, allow the customers to talk to a human agent while interacting with your self-service tools.
This would help your customers resolve their queries faster while allowing them to reach an agent anytime.
3. Ensure a Higher Percentage of First Call Resolutions (FCR)
How often have you felt frustrated when you were passed from one agent to another, not getting the answer you needed and then having to call back again and again?
This leaves a bad taste in your customer’s mouth.
No company or product is perfect. Besides, the customers may not know how to use all your features. So, there would be calls to your customer service, which cannot be avoided.
But how you handle them makes all the difference when they call.
Managing the call the right way on the first attempt will make sense for the organization and will be cost-effective. This is exactly what the customers will hope for.
This will create credibility and confidence for the customers to return to you for their additional needs.
4. Empower Your Customer Service Teams
Empower your customer service representatives to make decisions without having to check with their supervisors and managers.
For instance, Ritz Carlton allows employees $2000 of discretionary spending to take initiatives to solve customers’ problems.
Customers would obviously perceive this brand differently compared to other brands.
Look at the example of Zappos.
Zappos is a customer experience company that happens to be in the business of selling shoes. They allow year-long returns and a 100% refund policy. They have three times higher returns than other providers, but Zappos considers this a small sacrifice to provide confidence to their customers.
Zappos asks its employees to live by the following ten values:
- Deliver WOW through service
- Embrace and drive change
- Create fun and a little weirdness
- Be adventurous, creative, and open-minded
- Pursue growth and learning
- Build open and honest relationships with communication
- Build a positive team and family spirit
- Do more with less
- Be passionate and determined
- Be humble
These operating values allow you to go to any extent to err on the customers’ side. This is how your customers will perceive you as well.
The easiest way to improve the lifetime value of a customer is by enabling and empowering your customer service representatives. Besides, provide your customers the option of self-service to sort out the most commonplace challenges while they reach out to your reps only for complex challenges.
By doing this, you can resolve most customer queries in your first attempt – keeping your customers happy and loyal to your brand.