Could your Customer Care Department actually be making things worse?
The Customer Rage Survey is aptly named, as the report zeroes in on the issues that drive customers crazy. Its first conclusion is that there has been shift over the decades in the type of customers who complain. Previously, brand-loyal customers were the most likely to complain, and the customer care experience was an opportunity to lavish them with attention and keep their business. But now, it is the least brand-loyal who are quickest to get on the phone, and the poor customer service experience is driving them away, with over $200 billion in revenue at stake.
Some highlights from the report:
- Two-thirds of all respondents experienced customer rage.
- 35 percent of complainants have yelled and 15 percent cursed when speaking to customer service about their most serious problem.
- Among complainants who reported getting something, many felt that they got very little (e.g., 75% of complainants wanted an apology but only 28% got one).
- Complainants still consider the telephone their primary channel for complaining by a margin of more than six to one over the internet (72 to 11%).
- The most frequently cited damage resulting from customer problems was lost time (60%).
Perhaps the most interesting finding is that fixes are available that will cost a company little or nothing: customers simply want to be treated with respect and empathy.
For example, customers hate the stock phrases that emanate from IVR systems and agents reading from scripts. The top offenders:
- 50% – “Your call is important to us. Please continue to hold.”
- 45% – “That’s our policy.”
- 45% – “We are currently assisting other customers. Your call will be answered in the order in which it was received.”
- 45% – “Can I get your account information again?”Another peeve is being coached by an agent to give a top score in a post-call survey.
The report clearly describes the problems, and the information should be helpful to organisations that are trying to stem lost business. But what practical steps can be taken?
At ServeMeBest, we’ve put a lot of thought into this, and propose two services that can turn bad service around. Each is designed to enhance trust, and they’re backed by the world’s first standard in Customer Care Transparency.
Trust+: Transparent sharing of call recording
Trust+ is a call recording service with a unique difference: it is designed so that recordings can be easily shared with callers. It seems such an obvious step, why aren’t organisations already doing this? After all, it’s now routine to provide transcripts of chat sessions. One answer is that organisations don’t know the technology is available. Existing call recording services are very much designed for internal use, and do not make it easy to share the recording.
Of course, in some sectors (we’re looking at you Cable TV providers!) the service is so awful, that sharing call recordings is not going to happen. But in the better organisations, where there is confidence in staff, Trust+ deployment acts to improve the quality of service in a number of ways:
• Customer Care agents give greater attention to giving accurate information, and engaging with the customer without resorting to annoying stock phrases and buck passing.
• Customers get the chance to listen back to a call if needed. This is useful to go back over instructions, or get a better understanding of an explanation, thus averting unnecessary repeat calls, or disputes.
• The simple offer of recording sharing sends out a powerful signal of transparency, and trust in both staff and customer.
Trust+ is available as a cloud service, and does not impact on existing call recording solutions, making it quick to deploy. Callers are offered access to call recording via IVR, and if they accept, they get a link to the recording via SMS after the call. They can then listen back or download to their phone, or optionally register online to access their library of recordings.
In short, Trust+ is the perfect tool to deal with the issues raised in the Customer Rage Survey.
Survey+: Flexible, instant feedback by mobile
ServeMeBest’s mobile survey product, Survey+, can be deployed alongside Trust+ or as a separate service. It is designed to request feedback after customer contact via SMS and the mobile web.
Because survey invitations are delivered to mobile, they have a higher response rate than email or IVR.
The most powerful features of Survey+ are its APIs. Survey requests can be made in a flexible way, with a particular survey template selected depending on the type of interaction (such as a sales call, technical help, or a complaint). The request can be made after any form of interaction, not just phone calls.
Uniquely, Survey+ can complete the feedback loop by sending survey results back to the CRM system in real time for analysis and action. Using the web-based UI, it is possible to tweak survey text and graphics to keep the content fresh and relevant. As a cloud service like Trust+, it is quick and cost effective to deploy.
By using Survey+ to send snappy surveys, tuned to the type of interaction – or even the classification of customer – an organisation can demonstrate greater empathy and focus attention individually, making each customer feel valued.
A visible mark of transparency: the CSTS standard
Ultimately, Trust+ and Survey+ technology is designed to change behaviour, and to improve the care experience for both customers and staff. But it also offers an opportunity to gain market advantage by presenting an organisation at the top of the charts in transparency and trustworthiness. Bad organisations believe in keeping their customers in the dark, while the best recognise that sharing information, including call recordings, is the way to build strong and trusting relationships.
To maximise visibility in this regard, ServeMeBest customers can be certified under the Customer Service Transparency Standard (CSTS), the world’s only such programme. Independently audited by global registrars AJA Group, the standard allows organisations to display the CSTS logo, proof of adherence to the highest standards in openness in customer care.