The logical mind versus the emotional heart - every time we make a decision these two forces go to battle. However, according to the book 30-Second Brain, feelings provide the basis for human reason. Or, in other words, the emotional side of our brains take hold before the logical one.
When engaging with customers, it's important to remember that you're dealing with creatures motivated by emotions such as fear, anger, and trust. Customers value emotive and engaging experiences positively, and companies that ignore these needs are suffering where it hurts the most.
Research by NewVoiceMedia reveals that businesses are losing $75 billion every year by failing to live up to their customers' expectations. Over two-thirds (67 percent) of the people we surveyed for this research said they switched companies after receiving poor customer service, and 38 percent had switched two or more times.
Considering this evidence, creating exceptional experiences and making emotional connections with your customers can help prevent switchers from getting itchy feet.
Good manners may cost nothing, but bad manners can cost your reputation. Nearly a third (33%) of the people we asked named unhelpful or rude staff as their number one reason for saying goodbye to a business and 40 percent flagged feeling unappreciated. And in the age of social media, there is increased scope for bad news to travel fast.
Our research reveals that significantly more people are turning to platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to vent about poor service. The damage of public shaming on these open platforms carries far and wide, so training your reps to make favorable impressions forms part of an effective defense against damaging publicity.
Chatbot and AI-powered assistance is growing. Although this tech offers businesses the 24/7 service customers demand, robots cannot make recommendations not hardwired into their code. For this reason, man holds the advantage over machine when it comes to forging good customer relationships.
AI-powered customer service applications are not yet able to recognize and respond appropriately to emotion. That's why nearly half (48 percent) of respondents still prefer a phone call as their primary method of communication. Self-service options are an increasingly crucial part of customer care, but building escalation paths from robot-enabled support to live assistance is still essential.
Our research reveals that customers are only prepared to wait an average of 10 minutes on hold. Now consider how long you make your customers wait to speak to someone on the phone. If it doesn't compare favorably, you need to start thinking about how to minimize the amount of time your customers spend on hold and is passed between agents.
Contact centers often field high volumes of calls for relatively few scenarios. Effective IVR self-service options for these common queries is, therefore, a must. But what about those times when customers just have to speak to a human? Using call center software, you can track key call center metrics, helping you examine your call data for choke points. By eliminating these choke-points, you can ensure that callers don't have to wait too long to reach someone that can help.
Businesses have an opportunity to create emotional connections while advising and assisting customers. As customers seek help and share their thoughts with agents, the contact center is at the forefront of building deeper relationships. The breakdown of these connections often originates from treatable problems you can address with improved technology.
Cloud customer contact solutions enable businesses to monitor customer interactions across channels and touchpoints. They eliminate redundancies, reduce waiting times and provide agents with the information needed to drive better connections and turn emotions like anger and frustration into trust and confidence. Cloud-based automatic call distributor (ACD)/IVR and intelligent call routing allow callers to be easily routed to the agents with the skills and knowledge to help them, eliminating the need for customers to repeat information.
Agents get immediate access to a single source of truth that presents important information about the caller, including which products they own, open cases, caller status and sentiment - allowing them to personalize the interaction, resolve the caller's problem and leave them with a positive emotional experience.
With billions of dollars hanging in the balance, can you afford not to consider the value of emotive experiences?
John Eng is the Chief Marketing Officer for cloud contact center provider NewVoiceMedia, where he leads the global marketing and product marketing organizations. John has been passionate about growing B2B software and SaaS companies for over 20 years, having led marketing for large multinational firms including LinkedIn, Parallels and Microsoft.
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