Why customer experience starts with good customer contact.
It seems to be the new holy grail in marketing: customer experience. We see it passing by in all sorts of different terms: Customer Journey, Customer Experience or simply customer experience. We also increasingly see job titles such as Customer Centricity Manager, Customer Experience Manager or Happy Customer Manager. Organizations like to proclaim that they put the customer first and that they are busy improving the customer experience. We would like to tell you why customer experience starts with good customer contact.
In an earlier article, some customer experience according to us is. Now we want to give our views on the crucial role customer contact plays in the customer experience.
What is customer contact?
Customer contact is any direct contact moment between a supplier and a customer. This can be at any stage of being a customer or not. Contacts with potential customers or even ex-customers also fall under the heading of customer contact as far as we are concerned. These contacts can be initiated by the (potential/ex) customer or by the organization. In any case, the quality of that contact moment largely determines how the customer experiences the service.
What is good customer contact?
Good customer contact has a number of components. There is no single definition to be given. After all, customer contact must be a translation and expression of what you want to radiate as an organization. Good customer contact is therefore primarily customer contact that is an extension of what both the customer and the organization expect from it. If as an organization you want to radiate that you are service-oriented, then you make it possible for your customer to contact you in any way and at any time that the customer wants.
Nevertheless, there are some general criteria to mention when it comes to the overall quality of customer contacts:
- Quantitative aspects. These aspects are the most tangible and measurable. For example, this concerns the waiting time, the percentage of customer contact that is completely handled in 1 time, etc. So take stock of what are important quantitative aspects for your customers try to adjust the handling of customer contacts accordingly.
- Qualitative aspects. These are the aspects that determine the quality of the conversation for the customer. For example, the way he or she is spoken to or the accuracy and completeness of the answer he or she received. Again: Identify needs/ wishes of your customer and try to meet these as much as possible. Better yet, exceed this. These aspects are more complex. These include the extent to which a contact moment is the result of a business process that is not aligned with customer needs. Again, as an organization, you need to look at this from the inside out; engage with your customer and see what you can do better from there.
A good customer contact is a quantitative, qualitative and, above all, valuable contact for both the customer and the organization.
So why is customer contact important in the customer experience?
Customer loyalty no longer exists, at least not as it used to when you were just a regular customer of an insurance company, bank or supermarket. Consumers as well as business customers are critical, know what they want and, when they don't like it, just as easily use social media to publicly pillory you as a supplier.
Direct contact with customers is strangely still often seen as a necessary evil and not a marketing channel. Capital is spent on marketing but when a customer contacts himself, it is often suddenly a cost?
Direct customer contact is one of the few moments when there is direct and often 1-on-1 contact with a (potential/ex) customer. Those are the moments when you can make or break that customer's experience.
how do we do it?
Simple: Ask your customer what they expect and address that in... Start with the basics and make sure you bring up the quantitative aspects immediately. At the same time, start improving the qualitative aspects and improving the customer orientation of business processes. In doing so, it can be useful to use external expertise. We now have over 25 years of experience in optimizing customer experience and the improving customer service organizations.
SpangenbergGroup is a family business with 25 years of experience in customer contact, customer experience and customer service. With a no-nonsense approach, we help organizations with the improving the customer experience and the optimizing customer service.
With a team of professionals with extensive experience and an independent view, we can support on all kinds of customer experience and customer service issues.
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