Customer Communication – How should we be doing it?
The year is 2022 and you’re still asking your customers and clients to raise questions and issues through email or by calling a contact centre?
While these channels still have a function, they are not how people like to communicate and nor are they convenient for the customer. Despite trends towards automation and efficiency, businesses have overlooked a key part of Customer Experience; how their customers can deal with another human being.
The reasons why a customer would want to speak with a representative of a business are often because they would like to purchase something or that they have a problem that they would like to resolve. Even seemingly mundane contact questions such as opening hours indicate a level of intent to purchase.
If the vast majority of contacts have a route to sales and/or retention – support queries and resolution will often determine if you retain a customer – then why do businesses make dealing with a human so difficult? Let’s take a dive into the main options provided by businesses in 2022…
Easy to initiate, but rather inconvenient. Call routing with an endless list of “press 1 for this, 2 for that” and even then, you do not know how much time you are going to have to spend on hold.
What makes phone calls so inconvenient is that you don’t know how long it will take. You almost need to block out time to handle the call and then be quite tied down to the phone for the duration. Wireless earphones have made this problem a little easier to deal with.
Extremely easy for the customer to send but incredibly slow. Will you get a reply in the next hour? Day? Week? At what point do you send a follow up chaser email?
It’s a terrible experience and usually the channel used for support issues. If somebody needs support, they have a problem and need it resolving – often fast! Resolve a problem efficiently and they’re more likely to recommend you to other people and commend your attitude to customer care.
Don’t make email a primary customer contact channel unless you really need to. Situations of escalation can be good for this as you summarise complex information, but make sure that you also have another active line of communication.
Website Live Chat
Let’s just get straight to the point. Its inconvenient and often just a chatbot. You’re tired to that device while you wait for replies and it’s very easy to miss a reply from the serviceagent if you’re browsing other tabs. You can forget about the conversation entirely and achieve nothing that you wanted as a customer.
These channels may be convenient for your business, but they’re far from convenient for the customer. 68% of customers say that speed and efficiency is a key factor in getting to a positive outcome according to American Express.
Hubspot say that 33% of people get frustrated when waiting on hold and that more than 90% of people expect an immediate response (less than 10 minutes).
So how can businesses give their customers what they want and keep things efficient and cost effective for themselves? We think that we have the answer.
WhatsApp and Instant Messengers
Everybody uses them multiple times a day. You can use them across devices from your desk, sofa, dining table and on the go. People don’t miss notifications from tools like WhatsApp and they can reply at their own convenience.
You’ll be communicating on a channel that your customers want to be using. Its familiar and incredible convenient.
As a business, you’ll be efficient too. One agent can handle multiple conversations at one time, unlike through phone or email where you must focus your time on a single contact. You might find yourself saving money and time by moving to such channels.
Agents can share conversations between themselves. If one agent is getting a bit overloaded, another can step up and keep the conversation going. You can’t do that on the phone either.
WhatsApp is the go-to IM communicator for the majority of people, but Facebook Messenger is also very popular and Instagram DMs are rapidly becoming popular for Gen Xers to speak with businesses.
Get with the times
No matter what business you have, you need to give your customers and prospects a way to get in touch. The faster you respond and the more efficiently you resolve the questions, the more money you are going to make. So don’t neglect this.
Pre-register to use ChatPilot and give your business a WhatsApp and IM Business Communications tool to start delivering a better service experience.