How To Use Customer Service Center Data Collection To Improve The Customer Experience

Business Jan 29, 2017
How To Use Customer Service Center Data Collection To Improve The Customer Experience
One sure way to alienate a customer is to miss expectations. What customers experience on the front line, be it in-store or through a contact center, must be consistently above average to bring them back. And, one of the best ways to understand customer expectations is to take advantage of feedback and data.

I recently had the opportunity to speak at inContact’s annual user’s conference in Orlando, Florida. inContact provides cloud software solutions to the contact/support center industry. A number of speakers shared relevant information and stories about how they are using inContact software to enhance their customer service. Some common themes kept coming up that impact virtually every company, regardless of size, regardless of industry.

Beyond the actual sale, the contact or customer support center may be the most critical component of a customer service strategy. Sales gets you customers, but it’s service that keeps those customers. At the point of customer service is where judgement happens. A customer can be doing business with a company for years without a problem. Then one day it happens. The way that a problem is handled determines if the customer made the right choice to do business with the company all of this time, and if it’s worth continuing to do so. The question is not if a problem will occur – it will. The real question is, how will it be addressed and resolved? Handled well, the customer will be saved, and may even have more confidence in the company than before. A problem is actually an opportunity to strengthen the relationship with your customer.

It starts with leadership understanding the customer’s expectations. That seems to make sense, but there can be a problem. Multiple studies prove that company leadership and customers’ expectations aren’t always in alignment. An interesting report from ICMI confirmed this. Consider this statistic:

69 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for a product or service with a good customer service reputation, but 35 percent of contact center leaders disagree.

Virtually every study I read claims customers will spend more money if the value is there, and a big part of that value is in the customer service. That’s how companies like Ace Hardware, which consistently wins awards for customer service, go up against the big box stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s. They have competitive prices, but aren’t known for being the low-price leader. They don’t have the large selection of a big box store. What they do have is rock-star level customer service that gives them a competitive advantage. Ace understands that customer experience is the new battleground, and they continue to leverage theirs at a high level as a key differentiator.

Ace is an example of a front-line, face-to-face consumer service experience. But, the same applies when customers reach out to a company’s contact or support center for help. The variance in experiences I receive from different companies is like night and day.

Take for example, GoDaddy, a company that provides customers with domain and website services. It has a lot of competitors, but few can match the amazing customer service that GoDaddy provides. In addition to competitive prices, they provide short hold times and knowledgeable reps, two of the most important customer expectations. Most importantly, the experience the typical GoDaddy customer receives is something I’d call frictionless. They are just easy to do business with.

Dyson is one of inContact’s customers. It is a technology company that designs and manufactures vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, bladeless fans, heaters, air purifiers and more. In 1978, James Dyson set out to build a better vacuum cleaner. According to the Dyson website, 5,127 prototypes later, he went to market with the first bagless vacuum cleaner and has since introduced many more innovative products. No doubt they have cool products, but even more important is what they are about.

According to a Dyson representative, one of the company’s most important goals is the customer experience, and as such, the company has built a reputation for product excellence and iconic customer service. An area of customer service that is often overlooked is feedback. Rather than just fix a problem or ask a question, solicit feedback. The Dyson support center uses inContact’s ECHO product to collect customer feedback, which is then sent to agents and management. Direct feedback from the customers they are servicing allows agents to continuously learn and improve and gives managers insights they can use to improve the system.

In addition, product feedback can be quickly sent to the right people and departments within the company.

The point of the Dyson example is to illustrate that even though they deliver great service, they don’t stop there. But how do you improve on greatness? Data and feedback from customers.

“Superior customer service is a significant competitive advantage that can elevate one company above another. Consumers now have so many choices and options to find the best price, it is the intangibles of the customer experience that set competitors apart,” said Paul Jarman, inContact CEO. “Despite the recognition that delivering the best customer experiences is more critical than ever, many companies fail to fully utilize their own data. Comprehensive analysis of this valuable business intelligence can help companies better understand their customers’ evolving needs and propel organizations to the next level of customer satisfaction.”

Look at your contact and support centers in a new light – as opportunities to serve two important functions. The first is to service your customers, as always, by answering questions, resolving complaints, etc. And, the second is to collect the data and feedback necessary to achieve your customer service goals and create an even better experience for all customers in the future.

Contributed By:
Shep Hyken

A customer service and experience expert, keynote speaker and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/shephyken/



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