Customer Experience Featured Article

To Best Gauge the Customer Experience, Become the Customer

June 19, 2014

Do you really want live calls? This is an important question to ask internally, as some companies behave as if they really don’t. They treat the customer on the phone as a significant distraction, preferring to encourage them to use the website or initiate a live chat instead of simply answering their question or solving their problem by phone and satisfying the customer experience.

This topic was a point of focus in a recent Business2Community article, recommending that companies take on the role of customer to better understand the experience from their point of view. The concept takes on the personality of the secret shopper, allowing you to see exactly how customers are treated and how it feels to go through the process. Check your mindset when you launch this process, however, and be sure to set aside your biases about the company.

For instance, do you feel as though you should have checked the website first? Does the message while you’re on hold encourage you to lodge your issue via social media? Are you encouraged to launch a live chat session to avoid the long wait time in the call center? While none of these suggestions are a bad thing, do you feel they are helpful in nature or making you feel unwelcome?

To get into the mindset of the customer, take these simple steps to make the experience more authentic:

Become the customer. Establish your reason for calling and even write out a script to guide the call. Set aside the notions you have about the company as an employee and try to gauge the authentic customer experience.

Review the message. While you may think that informing the customer that your menu options have changed, how many of them actually call enough to have them memorized? Get rid of the message as it wastes time for both of you. Also, count the number of menu options and make sure one of them matches your reason for calling. If you don’t have a match, you have a change to make. If the number of options is too long, shorten and simplify.

How is the hold experience? If your hold music stops multiple times to tell you how important the call is and that the next available representative will be with you shortly, you really just got your hopes up that your call was about to be answered. If you can sense the false hope, so can the customer.

Listen to how the agent answers the call. Do you feel he or she is sincere? Is the script genuine? Any sense of false service or frustration can easily spill over to the customer and lead to a bad interaction. Measure how well the script plays out with your problem and whether or not you gave the agent enough flexibility to go away from the script and actually solve the problem.

How does the call end? Do you feel the agent wraps up the call appropriately and tries to gauge the customer experience or are they simply trying to get off the call? This is an important opportunity here, so be sure the agents are handling it properly.

Once you complete the call center through the customer experience, you’ll have a better idea on what needs to change and what is performing exactly as expected to ensure satisfaction. 

Edited by Alisen Downey

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