Great customer service is something every contact center strives for. But did you know that investments in improving customer service actually provide a higher ROI than advertising and marketing do? It’s true, according to a new study conducted by the W.P. Carey School of Business, in collaboration with Customer Care Management and Consulting (CCMC).
That same study also polled customers to see what they most wanted out of any contact center interaction – what was necessary to make the experience positive rather than negative. The answer might surprise you: It’s the simple things that matter to most customers.
Based on their responses, here are four strategies your contact center can put into practice today to improve customer service:
1. Treat customers with respect and courtesy. 90% of customers surveyed said they weren’t looking for anything more than “to be treated with dignity.” One easy way to treat someone courteously is to remember to say thank you. 70% said they wanted to hear “a thank you for my business.” Turns out Mom was right – those two little words can make a world of difference. Reminding contact center employees to say please and thank you regularly can instantly boost your level of customer service.
2. Provide explanations for problems. Often, giving customers the reasons that something happened is enough to satisfy them. 73% of those polled just wanted “an explanation of why the problem occurred.” This is hugely significant – they want an explanation, not necessarily a solution. As long as they understand why something happened, they are content. Train employees to educate customers about the reasons behind any problems, making sure to explain them in layman’s terms that anyone can understand.
3. Don’t hesitate to apologize. The study also revealed that customers truly value sincere apologies when mistakes occur. An apology isn’t an admission of guilt – it’s simply an expression of regret that someone was inconvenienced or otherwise adversely affected by something. And an apology lets customers know you value their business. Teach your contact center employees to offer apologies to any customer who has been inconvenienced in any way, shape, or form. Customer satisfaction levels will rise as a result.
4. Satisfy customers as quickly as possible. Handling customer complaints in one contact is the ideal to strive for. 50% of customers whose issues were resolved in only one contact were satisfied with the level of customer service they received. For those requiring more than one contact, however, the satisfaction rate dropped sharply. Streamline your processes to allow customer complaints to be taken care of in as few contacts as possible.
Emphasize the importance of these four strategies to your contact center workforce, and watch customer service improve by leaps and bounds. And don’t forget – when customer service improves, customer satisfaction gives you a sky-high ROI.
To help with your contact center workforce management needs, check out KOVA’s Impact360 Workforce Optimization Suite. With training and quality control streamlined in one easy-to-use system, you’ll be able to fine-tune your customer service to provide maximum customer satisfaction. Contact KOVA for your customized discovery session today.