By Seth Nesbitt, VP at Amdocs. Globally, 1.4 billion people receive their phone, cable bills and customer care with Amdocs technology. Amdocs is at the heart of some of the biggest next generation networks in the world including BT, AT&T, Sprint and Telstra.
We no longer just manage customer relationships; we have evolved way beyond that. These days in the quest for customer loyalty we have to engineer positive, intentional customer experiences that keep our customers satisfied and intrigued by us, thereby ensuring that they will keep coming back.
This is never more the case than in the highly competitive telecoms market, where there is little differentiation in product offering.
In this arena, the customer experience has become key to survival. In fact, in the service industry the concept of customer experience is becoming as important as data security or staff retention strategies.
For example, when Carphone Warehouse acquired AOL UK the merger caused concern among the two million AOL customers who had heard of the negative experiences, including disappointing delivery of service and poor customer care, suffered by Talk Talk’s customers.
Despite the fact that three out of five of Carphone Warehouse’s principles cited the customer, including it’s most famous: ‘if we don’t look after the customer, someone else will”, it seems the company failed to put its theories into practice.
Carphone Warehouse has since improved its customer service, but once a customer is lost their trust is hard to win back.
Learning from this and other experiences and examples, we have compiled some tips to enable organisations to keep the customer experience “intentional” and always positive.
1. Be consistent
The easiest way to build trust is to be consistently reliable for your customers. If you are consistent you are trustworthy and if you are trustworthy you will be trusted over and over.
2. Advise don’t dictate
Make sure you are supporting your customers with advice as an expert.
3. Keep your systems simple
If you over complicate your working system you will be unable to provide a simple service for your customers.
4. Make your results measurable
What determines successful customer servicing to your business? Is it the number of people who recommend your service? Is it the number of repeat users? You need to set clear boundaries to show when you are hitting your targets and when you are not.
5. Tailor your service to your customer
By tailoring your service, you are demonstrating to your customer that you understand what they need and are therefore in the best position to help should a crisis arise. This will also boost your trustworthy status.
6. Deal with one interaction at a time
This point leads on from the last. Treating each transaction individually will ensure that you tailor your services specifically to the situation you are presented with. Working with many different customers at the same time can confusion and ultimately the level of service offered will suffer.
7. Have back-up
Make sure that you have ample systems in place to back-up your data. Should the worst case scenario occur, you will be prepared and your customer will not suffer for your faults.
While you should keep your transactions simple and one at a time, make sure you can provide the customer with expertise from many different viewpoints, this means that you are offering a complete package of services and are able to advise on the whole experience not just a segment.
9. Streamline your processes
Inconsistencies in working practices can be confusing and that confusion is easily translated to the customer. Find one way that works and stick to it.
10. Keep your experience targeted, not accidental
Sit down and work out exactly who you are speaking to and how you should be doing it. You will then be able to anticipate what their needs will be and when they will need them.
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