Consumers Value Relationship Over Product Innovation

I want you to take a moment and think about your favorite brand. What makes you stay loyal to this particular company? Is it because its marketing messages resonate with your personal goals and interests? Or perhaps it’s due to the quality of customer care exuded through these messages. After all, customer care goes beyond the walls of the contact center. In fact, brand to customer relationships start with the marketing department and are further nurtured through customer care professionals who understand their consumers’ needs and communicate this knowledge effectively.

In fact, according to a recent study from The Fortune Knowledge Group in collaboration with Gyro, buyers find an array of qualities far more important than the actual product when it comes to choosing a company to patronize. Interestingly enough, in many cases buyers value a company’s corporate culture, beliefs, goals and dedication to cultivating long lasting relationships above product innovation.

And while product innovation is undeniably a huge factor in a brand’s overall success, today’s consumers are beginning to value the connectedness they feel with the brands they love. So let’s highlight a few ways businesses can work towards fostering better relationships with their customers based on the insights derived from the aforementioned study:

  • Live and breathe your core values: Customers respect brands that emanate strong values and beliefs. So if one of your business’s core values is to be an industry game-changer by providing the utmost quality of customer care, then you’d better start acting like it. Your customers may not know this your core value, but in living and breathing this particular belief it will eventually become apparent. As well, it will help your team stay consistent in its delivery of customer care as each and every member must work to provide the same level of service.
  • Weigh in on current events: Without becoming too controversial, try taking a stance on a particular current event or social issue through marketing channels like social media, for instance. Oftentimes it helps your consumers understand your values and beliefs. It will also give your brand a chance to further assert its unique personality, and customers that share the same value and beliefs as your brand will likely become that much more loyal to you. But before taking this approach consult some do’s and don’ts…read our article about Starbucks attempt at weighing in on a social issue.

Never underestimate the power of human connectedness; it just might be the differentiating factor between you and a competitor.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

How Word-of-Mouth Can Make or Break Your Contact Center Success

When a consumer has a great experience with a brand he or she is likely to tell friends and family about the experience, as well as recommend the business, therefore generating more leads via word-of-mouth.

In fact, the American Express Global Customer Service Barometer revealed that 42 percent of consumers are most likely to try new business if they were referred by a friend or family member. In fact, 34 percent of consumers said that positive word-of-mouth is even more important than a sale or promotion.

But consumers are just as likely—if not more—to spread negative feedback like wildfire if their experience is disappointing. Indeed, businesses must ensure their customer care initiatives are pristine in order to inspire positive word-of-mouth about their brand. As such, the strength and intuitiveness of contact center agents’ behaviors—such as social intelligence, empathy and problem solving skills—are essential to providing a truly out-of-this-world customer experience.

Since consumers’ reactions carry the most weight in your business’ success and reputation, it’s vital to ensure your customer care agents end every call on a positive note. Here are two to enhance your agents’ quality of customer care:

  • Utilizing Business Intelligence Tools: There is much to be said about contact center technology and its ability to guide agents’ before, during and after their interactions with consumers. For example, tools like predictive analysis garner insights from consumers’ past behaviors and compiles the information in such a way that allows agents to prepare for future interactions more soundly. This technology helps agents solve problems faster and become more receptive to particular consumer’s preferences.
  • Continuing Professional Development: Once agents have completed initial training, their learning process shouldn’t come to a halt. Instead, contact center supervisors should continue to provide professional development training in order to maintain proper phone etiquette and problem solving skills. It’s important that all agents are able to come across as knowledgeable and empathetic over the phone with each and every consumer to ensure the best customer care experience possible.

A single phone call can either generate a multitude of leads or backfire and send your brand’s reputation on a downwards spiral. However, businesses can ensure that all chatter about its brand is positive so long as contact center agents make use of the right tools and continuously improve upon their quality of customer care best practices.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.