A customer receives an email from an insurance company about their claim: ‘Dear valued customer…’ it begins. The customer immediately begins to think, ‘Wait, you say I’m valued but you don’t even know my name?’.
So, if we tell customers that they are valued, but they don’t necessarily feel that way, what are we, as businesses, doing wrong? How can we make our customers genuinely feel valued? Where do we start?
What you say and what you do needs to be aligned. If you truly believe that every customer call is important to your business, don’t tell them that while they’re on hold for 30 minutes waiting to speak to your contact centre agent. Show them that they’re important to you by valuing their time. Make it easy, quick, and painless to do business with you:
- Are there no agents available within a few minutes? Provide call back options.
- Do customers have to navigate lengthy IVR menus to get to the right department? Use their number to identify them and only present options that are personalised and relevant.
- Do customers get frustrated answering a lot of arbitrary security questions to verify their identity before they can discuss their query? Use a customer’s unique voice pattern to instantly identify them during a call.
- Are you struggling with long hold times over peak periods? Optimise your staff scheduling to predict and account for fluctuations in call volumes.
- Are customers calling in when the issue could have been addressed in another quicker and easier way? Expand your self-service options to enable customers to quickly sort out simple queries themselves.
Here I’ve mentioned only a few basic examples. There could be a vast array of opportunities waiting to be tapped into and discovered. Time is the one thing we can’t get more of, and customers, like businesses, value it immensely. Think about how likely you are to complete a task if it’s quick, convenient and takes very little effort compared to a complicated, difficult, and drawn-out one? The same applies to your business. Customers should want to do business with you because it’s convenient and easy!
Only once businesses show a concerted effort to respect a customer’s time, can they realistically look at other aspects of the relationship that are intrinsically tied to feeling valued. Like trust, it’s one of the building blocks that you just can’t do without.
- What are you doing to show that you value your customers?
- How can you reduce customer effort and save them time?
- Are you saying what you do and doing what you say?
By Lindy Drake