Customer Experience Featured Article

Understanding Your Impact on Customer Experience

April 22, 2014

These days, “customer experience” is not just a buzzword—it’s a significant part of most companies’ business plans.  With many markets maturing and becoming saturated, great customer service is emerging as an increasingly viable way to differentiate from competitors in a crowded industry. But understanding the importance of customer service and how to optimize it are two different things.

In a report titled “All Industries Worldwide Benchmark Report: Best-in-Class Call Center Performance,” Benchmark Portal explains that “contact centers are one of the enterprise’s keys to the customer experience, satisfaction and, ultimately, loyalty. The center’s relative performance on quality metrics can reveal volumes about its competitive position against its industry.” Largely the trend these days is toward digitizing the customer experience—through social media outreach, mobile presence and online messaging services. Contact centers are becoming multichannel hubs of communication that rely on many types of communication to interact with customers.

But once a company provides all of these ways to keep in touch with customers, how does the company manage those services? How does it monitor the progress of its customer experience through so many channels? These metrics can be picked up in a variety of ways, but having a centralized, consolidated system in place can make this process much easier. When using social media to interact with customers, for instance, companies should pay attention to engagement: which posts are generating the most comments, “likes” or shares? Which promotions seem to be more attractive to customers, and how can those promotions be made even better in the future? What are customers saying about your company on their own accounts and in online public forums?

Image via Shutterstock

Text messaging, emailing, and calling by phone are all interactions that, in many ways, are more linear and easier to track. Conversations with customers using any of these channels can be documented, recorded, and assessed using analytics software to determine not only the satisfaction of the customer, but also the performance of the agent representing the company. By tracking agents’ interactions, managers can determine weak points of service and use actionable data in order to make changes. Agents can be continuously trained to improve their work using feedback from customer experience metrics, which ultimately enhances the overall customer experience that the company provides.

By focusing on how a company is engaging with customers, and actually listening to what customers have to say, businesses will give the impression that their customers are their top priority. Offering customers ways to reach out and provide feedback is only half the battle; if they voice concerns and no one appears to be listening, what’s the point? Businesses with strong customer service understand that hearing what customers have to say and making changes to accommodate popular demands shows their customers that they come first.

Investing in customer experience software to monitor and manage customer interactions will show customers that your business not only wants to hear from them, but that it will care enough to listen. 

Edited by Alisen Downey

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