Competition is fierce and it’s getting harder for businesses to stand out. Customers aren’t only looking for the best price or convenience anymore. Customer experience is now the lifeblood for many businesses.
Customer experience, or CX, is the overall impression that customers have of your brand and product or services. Ultimately, you want that impression to be positive to boost your customer retention and revenue. Happy customers may even recommend your business to others.
For contact center operations especially, a positive customer experience is key to success. Whether it’s a sales team doing client outreach or a customer support team helping clients solve problems, a positive experience can make a huge difference.
Why Does Customer Experience Matter?
If you’re not looking for ways to level up your customer experience, you’re doing it wrong. Your customers want to feel that you genuinely care for them and their needs. In fact, 80% of consumers are willing to pay more to get a better experience. New studies even show that 76% of consumers would stop doing business with a company altogether after just one bad experience.
CX isn't just about attracting customers; it's about retaining them. Acquiring a new customer costs approximately five times more than retaining an existing one. While there are many reasons customers may stay loyal to businesses, customer experience is a big one.
Customers stay with brands that they trust and have established a relationship with. As well, they may stay due to special offers on products or discounts. The most successful special offers are given based on customer personalization, and these upsells will add to overall company revenue. Today’s decision-makers want to feel valued and over 70% of them expect you to deliver a personalized experience. Focusing on customer personalization is an example of how you can build a stronger CX strategy.
Prioritizing CX as part of your company culture will ultimately keep your customers happy so they keep coming back for more. It’s a win-win.
What is Customer Experience in a Contact Center?
Customer experience is about relationships between businesses and their customers. Every interaction customers have with your team or your product plays a part in shaping their overall experience. Customers will take all this into account when they choose to buy your product, stay with your business, or, if it comes down to it, go to a competitor.
This is especially important to keep in mind when operating a contact center. Contact centers are central points through which businesses can communicate and interact with clients. These interactions can happen via various channels like phone calls, text messages, emails, social media direct messages, and more. In a contact center, a customer support agent may be able to provide assistance to a client through an online chat or message on Facebook rather than being limited to a phone call.
As you can probably imagine, contact center agents handle a lot of client interactions, up to 50 calls per day in fact. Ensuring all of those interactions are positive and that issues are resolved quickly and efficiently is no small feat.
There are many different factors that can come into play when creating a solid customer experience that lasts throughout the buyer journey.
- How long did a client wait on hold or in the queue to speak to an agent?
- Was the problem resolved within the first contact?
- How long did it take to solve an issue from beginning to end?
- How many times has a client contacted your company overall and what was their experience like each time?
- How easy is your product or service to use?
All of these aspects and more are important and can contribute to your overall customer satisfaction scores, so creating a solid and consistent CX strategy is vital to ensuring long-term success for your business.
What is Excellent Customer Service in a Contact Center?
Good customer service in a contact center isn’t just about providing your customers with information or solving all their problems. Those aspects are expected. Truly white-glove customer service experience is about not only meeting client expectations, but exceeding them to prioritize customer success in the long run.
Contact center agents need to be knowledgeable and well-versed on your products and services. They need to be able to handle a wide range of customer interactions and requests. Have you ever had a frustrating experience when you contacted a customer service line only to be passed around to several different agents or departments? When that happened, you probably had to explain the same thing to another person after you were handed off. Or maybe you struggled to search for information about how to contact a company in the first place on the company’s website. Common situations like these are an example of a poor CX that discourages customers from reaching out for support. Chances are, they may just take their business elsewhere.
Today’s customers expect to have multiple ways to contact you for support. Believe it or not, they also want to be able to solve problems themselves before contacting you. About 88% of consumers actually expect companies to have an online self-service support portal, which can save a lot of time and energy for both customers and your agents! For example, automated solutions in the form of chatbots that can answer commonly asked questions allow customers to not only help themselves, but enhance the overall customer experience with shortened response times.
Good customer service is also about anticipating problems before they occur. For example, if a client’s term is coming to an end, it may be a good idea to proactively reach out to go over their contract with them instead of going ahead and just billing again. Another example is a customer mentioning another service they may be looking for that isn’t currently part of their package with a company. Agents can make good use of this information and perhaps provide a better deal that bundles these services together. Again, this is all about prioritizing the customer experience to deliver top-notch service.
These aspects demonstrate a company’s commitment to CX, putting the needs and desires of customers front and center. All this to say, a good experience with a brand is about building trust and showing customers that you're their ally.
Contact Center Customer Experience Best Practices
On the surface, creating a strong customer experience seems simple. Just solve customer problems quickly and make your customers feel valued. But when you have so many customers and so little time, it can be difficult to manage a high volume of requests and exceed expectations. Proactive customer support is necessary as a best practice to keep CX at the forefront of the way you do business.
That is where contact center as a service (CCaaS) solutions can come in handy. These cloud-based systems help agents manage customer interactions through multiple channels like voice interactions, emails, online chats, social media, and SMS text messages.
And while multichannel CCaaS solutions offer multiple ways for customers to interact with businesses, omnichannel solutions like uContact take it a step further, allowing for consistent and seamless interactions. Omnichannel CCaaS systems allow for integrated touchpoints across all channels and help agents boost their productivity with a single snapshot view of each individual customer journey.
Related: Contact Center Vs Call Center
Let’s say a customer reaches out to your company via a direct message on social media. With a CCaaS solution, your agents would be able to not only reply to that message, but could pull up all interactions that particular customer has had with your company and view them all on a single dashboard. Agents can quickly determine if this is a repeated issue, if the customer has been reaching out a lot lately, or if there are other services that could be offered to solve the customer’s problem or enhance their current package. Knowing these pain points can help with training or identify problem areas for other teams for proactive maintenance.
Level Up Your CX with an All-In-One CCaaS Solution
The bottom line is that as you scale or grow your business, you can’t afford to leave your customer experience in the dust. Your customers expect and deserve a consistent experience to reward their loyalty and keep their trust. The good news is, there are innovative tools and technologies like contact centers to help you enhance your CX.
At net2phone, we understand that every client is unique and has their own expectations and needs. That's why we take the time to get to know them and provide them with the best experience possible. With uContact, our all-in-one solution for contact center management, we give you the tools to deliver a personalized experience with every interaction, across every channel.
Ready to meet the next generation of contact center software?
Book a demo for uContact today!