We live in an age where customers have so many choices available to them. Competition has never been higher and customers now expect to be able to use the most convenient channel when communicating with a company.
Brands that recognise this new reality understand they need to offer their customers the right choice of channels; not just the channels that are easier for the brand to manage. Unfortunately, many customers end up using a channel they don’t want to use because brands make it so hard for them to use their channel of preference.
Most of us will have an experience where we need to contact a brand and couldn’t get through using our preferred channel
Perhaps we sent an email, which never had a response, or posted a social media message, which was ignored. It’s likely you can relate to the experience of phoning a bank, entering your account number into the dial page and then having to reconfirm it several times during the course of the call. Or you’ve tried to reach a brand over social media, only to be told you have to phone someone in the Contact Centre to get a reasonable response.
These examples show that many brands still promote the channels that are easier for them, rather than for their customers. Or, they don’t join up the communications, so customers have to re-share information over and over again. These brands haven’t yet made the connection that making life harder for customers is one of the easiest ways to disengage and frustrate them. Plus, it’s a sure-fire way to make customers want to leave and go to your competitors.
As much as two-thirds of two-way communication between businesses and customers is still done through the Contact Centre telephone, with an average of only around 15% through email [Source: ContactBabel] - even though email is a popular first choice for customers because it doesn’t require much effort from them.
Exceed customer expectations by communicating in their channel of choice
A big part of exceeding customer expectations is about providing customers with the right choice of channels - the channels customers actually want to use. Then, where appropriate, responding to them in that channel of choice. Brands that understand this can position themselves as accessible and responsive to the needs of their customers.
A survey by McKinsey found that companies providing low effort access across the customer journey see real benefits in business results. By effectively managing problems, smoothly onboarding customers and making account updates straightforward, these companies saw a 10-15% increase in revenue growth and reduce cost to serve by 15-20%.
Of course, there are times when only a phone call will do. But, for simple enquiries and straightforward questions, it makes sense to keep things as easy as possible for the customer.
Interested in hearing some more Contact Centre wisdom?
Get your hands on our latest report with ContactBabel where we explore the best methods you can use to gather customer insight and what makes a Voice of the Customer programme successful. What are you waiting for? Download Part One below!