How To Deliver Buzzworthy Customer Care

Besides commenting on breaking news, celebrity hearsay and updates on latest trends and predictions across various industries, social media users also love to comment on their customer care experiences. And consumers trust word-of-mouth (WOM) reviews from their friends, family and fellow social media users more than any other type of brand referral.

In fact, an infographic from Lithium revealed that a whopping 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other form of advertising. What’s more, WOM influences 50 percent of all purchase decisions.

As such, the task at hand isn’t simply to generate more positive WOM reviews, but also to generate a quantifiable amount of it in the first place. In other words, to increase your brand awareness, customer engagement and ROI on your integrated marketing and customer care initiatives you must strive to produce the quality of customer care that makes consumers buzz around the web.

The Internet is blossoming with blogs, social posts and news articles about companies that have entered into the “winner’s circle” of customer care. And your consumers heed the reviews included in these content types and base their decisions from them as well. Take CNBC’s summary of the latest findings from Consumer Reports—a company that provides customer care ratings—that highlights the industries that are the best and worst in customer care.

The companies that landed on the “best list” didn’t get there by chance. Rather, they exuded superior customer care that offers a human element that is becoming so vacant in customer care due to the rise of digitization and automation.

So if you want your consumers to buzz about your company, then you must invigorate your strategy and go above and beyond by personalizing each and every phone call, providing continuous professional support for Communicators so that progress never comes to an end and remaining alert to the ever-changing needs and requests of your consumers.

You can’t rise to the top by sitting, waiting and wishing…the best-of-the-best in customer care work tirelessly to provide support that positively impacts their cherished consumers.

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.

Quality of Customer Care Is Now in the Eye of the Beholder

Think about how good it feels when you call your favorite local restaurant for takeout and the order-taker not only greets you by your first name, but also remembers your individual preferences (well-done, extra sauce on the side). In remembering these small but important details, the business shows that it cares about you as a customer; as a result, the restaurant has a spot on your speed dial.

Your contact center most likely deals with a much larger customer base than a local restaurant does. Still, it’s imperative that you avoid taking a blanket approach to customer care and strive to create highly personalized customer interactions. Why? Customers today have come to expect white-glove service over the phone; if you don’t provide it, chances are more than likely that your competitors will.

As a recent Walker report states, this is a trend that will increase in importance over the next few years.

“The customer of 2020 will be more informed and in charge of the experience they receive,” the report sponsor explains. “They will expect companies to know their individual needs and personalize the experience.”

That being said, here are the steps your contact center needs to improve its quality of customer care:

Understand your customers: It’s important that agents can see exactly who is on the other end of the line before picking up the phone. The easiest way to do this is to assign individual profiles to each one of your customers. Using an application like Inscription, customer profiles can be created and updated in real time.

Put your data to use: Collecting customer data is an important first step. Next, you need to make sure that you use it to facilitate better experiences. If a customer prefers to speak Spanish or is hard of hearing, for instance, he or she should not have to select the option every time. You can also use customer data to create intelligent scripts that can greet callers based on known preferences.

Be mindful of your customers’ time: Make sure that your contact center is known for being as efficient as it is knowledgeable about its customers. Update your interactive voice response system so that it’s user-friendly (meaning it’s easy to understand and navigate). You should also invest in a skills-based routing solution so that the best available agent is always assigned to assist customers with their inquiries. This way, your customers will always be greeted by someone who is equipped with the necessary skill set to answer their questions.

In taking these steps, your business will differentiate itself from many other providers in its industry. Click here to learn more about how InfoCision can help make customer care a strong point in your company.

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.

Why the ‘Contact Us’ Form No Longer Cuts It

By Steve Brubaker, InfoCision Chief of Staff

At some point in your Internet life you’ve probably experienced it. You visit a company’s website to ask a question about a product or service and, after looking high and low for some kind of contact information, you realize the only way to reach the business is by filling out a generic “Contact Us” form. There’s no direct email addresses for different departments or individual employees, no phone numbers, no social media account contact information—nothing.

 

As a customer, think about the message that sends. At best, the business doesn’t seem to care much about making itself available to address your issue. At worst, it appears the company simply doesn’t want to be bothered. Either way, you probably don’t feel valued.

 

Now, flip that scenario around. If your website doesn’t include multiple avenues for consumers to reach your business, you may be driving customers to your competitors. Chances are you have simply put updating your contact channels on the back burner rather than neglecting it because you don’t care. Still, you are sending negative signals to your site’s visitors.

 

Today’s consumers expect more intimate, personalized relationships with businesses. As such, making your business easily reachable is part of providing a high quality of customer service. With so many industries saturated with competition, customer service is now a major competitive differentiator. In an increasingly multichannel business world, if customers can’t contact you how and when they want, they’re likely to simply take their business elsewhere.

 

Just as they do when they speak with call center Communicators, customers begin to form opinions about your company as soon as they land on your website. The first thing you want customers to think when they attempt to reach you is, “That was easy.” And for that, you need to go beyond the “Contact Us” form.