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Tag Archive for customer experience

Which is more important? Customer Experience (CX) or Employee Experience (EX)

Many professionals would argue that both are important. So is this a trick question? Which experience should take precedence?

It turns out companies with a balanced emphasis on the customer and the employee’s experiences position themselves in the sweet spot with the most potential for exceptional results.

It is difficult to provide a positive customer experience when the employee experience is negative. Unhappy employees don’t usually bring their best effort to the job. And that can adversely affect the customer experience.

So start from the inside and work your way out. Start by focusing on the employee experience. Then move quickly to the customer experience and create a balance where both are kept as top priorities.

Employee Experience

What’s at stake with the employee experience? If employees hate their job, their negative attitude will affect every aspect of their performance…which includes dealing with customers. If they dislike their job enough to quit, you will spend more of your valuable time and energy recruiting new help and then training and onboarding them.

On the other hand, if an employee has a positive and rewarding work environment they are more likely to be happier and perform better. It’s a proven fact that happy employees do better work.

Ask yourself this question…Why would someone want to work for our company?

It goes to the way employees are treated, but also directly ties to customer experience. Without happy employees you will not have engaged employees. And a lack of engagement can impact customer experience. Take a look at the list of the best places to work for and the companies with the best customer service and you are guaranteed to see an overlap.

 

Customer Experience

We all know negative news spreads faster than positive news, especially now with the prevalence of social media. If a customer has a poor experience, not only will they never return but they are more than likely going to leave a negative review, which will keep others from ever giving you a shot.

Customers are more than happy to tell friends, family, or anyone who will listen to avoid your business.

On the other hand, if a customer has a positive experience, they’ll become a repeat customer. In turn, they will refer others to you, which is the best kind of advertising!

Ask yourself this…Why should someone do business with me?

What makes us better than our competition? What do we do differently…and does it affect customer experience?

Finding Balance

What is happening on the inside of a company can definitely be felt on the outside by customers. But as much as you focus on creating a positive customer service experience, the same effort needs to be made to enhance the working environment for employees.

 

 

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79% of Consumers want Human-Driven Customer Service

customer service

 

The use of automation in customer service (think chat bots and automated email responses) is becoming more common these days due to its ability to increase efficiency and reduce the burden on human workers. However, in certain circumstances, human intellect, emotional intelligence, and empathy are needed to resolve a problem. As technology becomes more capable and lines are blurred between humans and machines, customer-centric companies will need to determine the most appropriate circumstances in which to use automation or actual humans to earn the best outcomes within the empathy economy.

In recent years, retailers and brands have opened up a variety of new channels, including chatbots, live chat and self-service options, through which they can engage with and support their customers. For the most part, that’s a good thing, giving customers more ways to reach their favorite brands, and giving these companies more opportunities to provide their customers with positive experiences. However, customers still should have the option to speak to a human if that is what they prefer.

Human interaction still reigns supreme

Conversations have always emerged as the main method in which humans work to resolve problems and build relationships. Empathy is what enables humans to understand another’s position and builds a trusted connection, which  ultimately leads to the desired outcome. But while the concepts of empathy, conversations, and emotion seem simple and natural, good communication relies heavily on how words are spoken, not simply the actual words spoken.

Over half (56% percent) of customers believe a phone call offers the quickest way to get a problem resolved; in comparison, webchat was chosen by just 7%. When seeking creative solutions to complex service problems, most customers still seek out other humans.

In a study by customer engagement and analytics software firm Calabrio, about 79% of 3,000 consumers surveyed prefer interacting with a human instead of a chatbot or digital self-service channel. Also, 74% of those surveyed said they are more loyal to a business that provides them with the option to speak to a human, than those that only support customer service through digital or self-service channels.

 

Understanding emotional states

Brands need to be primed to handle various scenarios that require different levels of emotional intelligence. For non-sensitive interactions, customers choose the fastest means possible, such as email, chat bots, or website FAQs. But when it comes to more complex issues, customers want to speak with a human who can appropriately respond to the complexity and emotional nature of the problem. When it comes down to it, a customer ultimately wants to feel like they are important and their concern is being taken seriously.

Consider an insurance company, where customers often call to deal with difficult circumstances such as death, accident, or financial loss. Chat bots are incapable of providing the emotional support required in these situations and such coldness can be off-putting to customers. This could result in the feeling that a company does not value its customers.

AI customer care

 

Augmenting human empathy with artificial intelligence

As technology continues to advance, brands are now forced to find the right blend of automation and human interaction. Brands must tailor interactions to meet the unique preferences of consumers. By combining the best capabilities of humans and machines, the service industry will be a prime example for how human-aware and human-empowering technology can help brands deepen and evolve trusting relationships with their customers.

Backed by extensive behavioral science research out of MIT’s Human Dynamics Lab, Cogito delivers A.I. software that analyzes behavior through voice to give live feedback to call center agents and an instant measure of customer perception. The result is agents who are more empathetic and attuned to a customer’s emotional state, which allows them to provide better, more personalized customer service. The technology is being used by Fortune 500 companies like MetLife, Humana, and Zurich Insurance to enhance employee productivity, which will result in improved customer interactions and deeper relationships.

To be successful, organizations must realize the value of human connection and provide emerging technologies to amplify employee capabilities. By investing in employee skills and human-empowering technology—and realizing the significance of augmented intelligence—companies will provide better customer service offerings, increase brand loyalty, and support overall business success.

 

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Simple Steps To Improve Customer Service

customer service

Google “good customer service” on the internet and you will find a plethora of articles about best practices and steps to help your company improve customer service. But what it really comes down to is knowing your customers.

Social media provides an amazing way to collect tons of customer feedback without having to do much work at all. You don’t need to spend time sending out questionnaires or recruiting focus group participants. You can simply turn to the thousands of customers talking about your brand on social media to find out exactly what they think.

The following tips will tell you how to collect product feedback, get to know your customers a lot better, and provide more responsive and effective customer support.

  1. Solicit Product Feedback

One of the best ways to find out what your customers think about your brand and your products is to simply ask them. In some cases, they may already be telling you what they think; you just have to listen to what they’re saying. So be sure you’re monitoring for all mentions of your brand and products so you don’t miss any valuable insight. Check Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp, and Google for reviews.

  1. Get to Know Your Customers

Beyond what they think about your company, your customers think about a lot of other things. Social listening can help you identify what other topics are important to your customers. The more you can learn about what your customers are interested in, the better you can reach them. You can create more relevant content, share targeted articles or tips, and just generally speak their language.

Also take note of when your customers are active on social media, this is when they are most receptive. Use this information to ensure your social accounts are fully staffed up at those times, so you provide the fastest possible response. You can also be sure you’re posting news or updates at the right times so the people who need this information are most likely to receive it.

  1. Identify Issues Before They Become Serious

If something is going on with your product, you’ll probably hear about it first on social media. Be sure you’re paying attention to even the seemingly small issues your customers bring up. You might be able to identify potential problems before they become actual problems. And if someone points out something about your product, acknowledge their contribution and tell them how they’ve helped.

 

 

  1. Be Courteous on the Phone

Nobody likes to go through a gauntlet to get to the person they’re trying to reach, so don’t screen your calls unless you absolutely need to. Don’t risk insulting the caller by demanding their name before you’ll consider putting the call through. Try the following: “Absolutely–may I let him/her know who’s calling?” That way, if you do have to tell them their desired party is unavailable, it doesn’t sound like a personal slight.

When the phone rings, aim to answer it immediately. PURE Insurance strives to do it in eight seconds; that’s just a little more than one ring. Answer tweets immediately as well; answer emails within two hours or better.

Encourage your employees to smile when they are on the phone. Smiling adds treble and other pleasant cues to the sound of a voice, even through a phone line.

  1. Post Positive Letters and Testimonials You Receive From Customers

Nothing is more impactful than honest testimonials from happy, satisfied customers. This creates trust in your company and demonstrates to potential customers that they will have a great experience as well.

 

If you don’t have social listening in place (or if you’re unhappy with your current solution), implement the above strategies to start improving your customer experience. Your business depends on it!

 

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