Brand loyalty for a call center. Is it possible?
First, we need to ask ourselves, what drives people to dial into a contact center in the first place?
According to Contact Babel’s The Inner Circle Guide to Omnichannel report, inbound telephony has declined from 90% while email has risen by 20%. Today, non-telephony communication accounts for more than one-third of inbound interactions in UK contact centers alone.
It almost stands to reason that customers wanting to get in touch with you will try their preferred channels first, and resort to calling only if they need to resolve a query very quickly, or they are in a state of distress. These type of scenarios are hardly fertile ground for good CX. Think lost luggage, a stolen credit card, a missing package, a faulty internet connection, accounting errors. Chances are that the caller is already pretty upset to begin with and brand loyalty is the last thing on their minds.
Turn The Tables On Bad Days
According to Dimension Data’s 2019 Technology Trends report, 2020 is the year by which customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Turning bad experiences into great ones can be challenging, but it is essential for customer retention and the overall success of your call center.
A report by PWC claims that nearly 80% of American consumers point to speed, convenience, knowledgeable help and friendly service as the most important elements of a positive customer experience.
Other factors can include:
- Exceeded expectations
- Ease and effortlessness
- First call resolution
When it comes to navigating these types of tricky interactions, the human touch has become more important than ever before. Let your customers know that your company cares and wants to help by encouraging agents to use empathy statements and positive phrasings. Most importantly, encourage agents to make a connection with your customer.
By following these simple best practice techniques, you are not only laying the foundation for a good customer experience, but also brand loyalty. According to the Harvard Business Review, emotionally-engaged customers are three times more likely to recommend and repurchase.
Look Beyond The Call Center
Build on this trust by looking at ways to improve on your customer journey. If customers are calling in with simple questions, perhaps look at making those answers readily available on other channels, like your website, through webchat or even using automated voice responses. And when customers do need to speak to an agent, ensure your agents are trained to assist and answer the questions coming to them. Record that data for later. If a large number of customers are calling in for the same reason, chances are something needs to be fixed quickly.
Stimulating brand loyalty stretches beyond the scope of your call center and requires asking quite a difficult question: How open are you to your customer’s support?
Look at your company values and how they reflect in your communication strategy. How communicative is your executive team? Do you share social impact initiatives or green projects on social media or in the press? Do you give back to your customers in any way through loyalty programs, competitions, or more accessibly-priced products? How heartfelt is your engagement?
Communication is key and goes back to our earlier point about the importance of the human touch. Listen when your customers talk and respond in a quick and friendly manner.
Gaining your customers’ trust and loyalty can only be achieved if you are open to receiving it. And part of being open is a willingness to implement meaningful change to be more customer-centric.
Want to read more on this topic? Read The Dos and Don’ts of Digital Engagement.