Customer interactions: Every experience counts

What are customer interactions?

Customer interactions are one or more touchpoints that your customer has with your business. For instance, your potential customers might hear about you through an ad on Google, or an email campaign, a blog post you recently shared, or social media.  Regardless of the channel, every one of these customer interactions are a key piece of your customer experience puzzle.

Here’s an interesting statistic about customer interactions: 82% of customers seek a less complicated experience when dealing with businesses.

One of the reasons to explain this alarming number, is that companies are not taking the time to understand and optimize their customer experience strategy. Your customers are interacting with your business through various channels like email, support centers, social media, live chat or feedback portals. These customer touch points hold valuable information that can help you gain a clearer understanding of how your customers experience your brand and make the necessary changes to ensure customer satisfaction.

Using insights to optimize customer interactions

The best way to evaluate your customer experience is by looking at your customer data. Chances are high that if you dig deeper into your customer feedback you’ll discover rich comments, opinions, and frustrations expressed by your customers. These verbatims will help you understand their pain points at different customer interactions throughout each interaction with your brand.

Before you start examining these customer interactions, you should make sure you have a well mapped out customer journey. Here are a few key things to consider to help you create a frictionless customer experience:

  1. Reducing the number of touch points:Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. We ask for help and we get the total runaround: Support sends us over to sales, then sales sends us over to the dev team, with no clear resolution in sight. One way to keep your customers from getting too frustrated is to reduce the amount of departments and agents that a customer has to interact with. It’s better to have one person hear out their issue and reassure them it will be taken care of than sending a customer through an endless loop of departments without any indication that their issues will be resolved. That’s a sure fire way to get your customers walking out the front door, fast.                                                                                                                                              
  2. Amount of time before resolution: Contrary to popular belief, first call resolution is not always the strongest determinant of customer satisfaction. In fact, customers place more value on the experience leading up to the resolution than the actual time it took to resolve it. In a situation involving a particularly irate customer, trying to resolve the issue too quickly can actually really makes things worse. Josh Brown of Soldsie, said it best in a recent blog: “Often times an unhappy customer actually cares more about just feeling like they’ve been understood. But if you immediately jump to a resolution, the customer won’t feel like you’ve taken the time to truly hear their problem.”It’s important to note I am talking about how long it takes after the initial touchpoint to resolve a customer issue. How long it takes a company to respond to an initial touchpoint is a whole other story. I’ve written about the importance of listening to your customers here.                                                                                            
  3. Optimizing channels your customers use the most: These days, customers call the shots. They choose when and how they want to communicate with your brand. As a result, your customer service processes need to be adaptable and your support staff needs to be nimble. So when they reach out, you need to be ready  on the other end, with relevant information to answer any questions they might have. As a best practice, sit down with your team and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each channel. For example many live chat applications like Intercom, let you post in-app or email updates about features, or additional help resources. If you know your customers spend a lot of time using this channels, make sure you are providing them with a stream of fresh content to keep them engaged with your brand. Believe me, you are saving them valuable time they’d be using to sift through all your content libraries. Win-win.

  Related blog posts:

Customer Feedback Analytics: Evaluating Your Options

Verbatim customer comments hold valuable insight

Customer service strategies: From silos to satisfaction

Great Customer Service Starts With The Basics

Customer experience management: Extracting value

 

 

 

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