Customer Experience Featured Article

The Importance of Staying in Touch with Customers During a Crisis

April 30, 2014

Today's consumers have many different outlets when it comes to researching a product or service in which they are interested. This access allows them to find everything there is to know about an organization, and oftentimes the one quality consumers look for is good customer service. Companies that deliver good customer service also use these outlets to stay in touch with consumers to address any issues as they arise. When there is a crisis within the organization, be it a natural disaster or man-made, businesses have to be proactive in notifying their customers as to how they will be affected.

An article on by Reed Henry, CMO of Genesys (News - Alert), stressed the importance of being proactive when an event takes place that can adversely affect your customers. He highlighted a couple of companies that were affected by the Heartbleed bug, but did nothing to inform their customers in a timely manner. He also recognized American Funds and Prezi, because they sent emails to their customers with clear instructions on how to change their passwords and protect their accounts immediately.

Considering the dangers of the Hearbleed bug, every company that has an online presence and was in possession of customer contact information should have sent an email, SMS or voicemail, as Reed stated.

With so many available touch points in today's environment, there really is no excuse for businesses to delay addressing an issue that can negatively impact their customer. Eventually taking no action will be the information that gets online, and as mentioned earlier it will be part of the decision-making process a customer will include when choosing an organization. Taking a proactive stance when it comes to notifying customers pays great dividends across the board.

With proactive communications, businesses can achieve measurable results using many of the multichannel solutions that are readily available to get in touch with their customers, but first a contact strategy has to be developed within the organization.

First it is critically important to have everyone understand how hard it is to acquire and retain customers in a global marketplace. Fully understanding this fact can help the organization appreciate the effort that needs to be put forward to ensure the value of each customer. Once this is understood every interaction a customer has with the organization should be readily accessible in one window, instead of having separate silos. This includes how they want to be contacted and ensuring their preferred channel is always the primary form of communication.

Proactive communication doesn't mean getting in touch with the customers only when you want to sell them something. Reminding them of refill prescriptions, travel changes, upcoming payments as well as any other information that could be helpful goes a long way in retaining customers.

Being proactive translates into customer satisfaction and loyalty, and focusing on an end-to-end customer journey will not only deliver higher revenues, but it will also differentiate the organization from competitors.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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