As a customer of many organisations ourselves, we’re all extremely well placed to understand what good, or great customer service looks and feels like. So why is it that so many, especially larger organisations find it so difficult to raise their game? I can’t bring myself to consider that they just don’t care… But I am prepared to consider that they have priorities a little messed up, and perhaps they have a culture and/or technology issue too. The critical point of engagement for many businesses now, is not face to face, as most communication is via a mobile device. This could be a phone call, a webchat, a social media chat (publicly or privately), WhatsApp etc.. The medium itself isn’t the issue I don’t believe, but the customer experience (cx) is critical. There are a few possibilities here, and some or all will apply. 1. Too much automation… Lacking human empathy especially where things aren’t completely black and white. This causes frustration for the customer resulting in a seriously poor customer experience. 2. Agents who are poorly trained lacking empathy and probably critically not suitably empowered or even motivated. 3. Poor (or lack of) tools and processes and lack of information for the agents to be able to effectively handle some calls or enquiries. 4. Integrated systems… Often businesses operate with disparate systems that do not inter-operate and therefore access to appropriate and often critical information becomes unnecessarily difficult. The agents at the coalface are therefore ill equipped to address many of the customer’s issues. This leads to friction and a feeling that the customer just isn’t important. Own goal! Bold business leadership is called for, and this demands that customers are placed at the centre of the business strategy, so that the customer experience (cx) is an exemplar. Who’s bold enough to do this I wonder? It needn’t be overwhelming for the business. In fact I’d suggest this will inspire the business and raise the game – happy to help if you’d like
It can’t simply be that you’re so busy, can it?
Are you simply too important?
Maybe you just forgot, and you had meant to respond.
I’m sure for many people the volume of email today is breathtaking and completely unmanageable, but not for everyone.
Could it be, that you’re simply inefficient, and replying when you’ve read the message is the solution?
Whatever the case, please make sure you reply, cos it’s rather rude not to
For many of us change is rather disturbing, but intellectually, we all know that change occurs whether we like it or not, and increasingly these changes appear to be accelerating. This is particularly true in the technology space.
You may be too young to remember, but there was a time when neither mobile phones, nor email were in use in the workplace, never mind our everyday lives. This change started in the UK in the mid 1980’s (scarily around 30 years ago) when mobile phones were first introduced. It was probably another 10 years before we saw large scale use of email in business and it wasn’t until the noughties that we saw this become mobile with the introduction of a handful of mobile devices, but it was Blackberry who gained the most traction, and rapidly became the de-facto standard for mobile email.
Then came Apple
Apple disrupted the smartphone market when they introduced the iPhone and have been instrumental along with Android, in making us a mobile population. Our children are almost permanently attached to their devices and we are reachable wherever we are.
This newish phenomenon is not without cost, as we often find it difficult to “switch off” from work and often complain about the balance between work and home life.
That said, the change has also meant that we are increasingly freer to work from wherever we choose, and so bizarrely we have more freedom than ever to roam and work. Ultimately it depends upon the tasks we must undertake in our work lives and of course the infrastructure must be in place to support us.
The speed of change therefore can often “catch us out” as there are many moving parts to consider:
People – current employees’ skills need to be maintained and their requirements and technology at their disposal needs to keep pace with the changes. Business systems and infrastructure needs to keep pace with the increased burden of use and reliance, and speed of service as we all need more, faster etc – All of this of course, requires investment and planning. Attracting new employees means that you need to consider how appealing the business is for people to want to work there. Many businesses are seeing the benefits of moving from an on premise, cap-ex funded acquisition model, to a cloud hosted, op-ex model, affording them a more agile business capability, and lower support burden. Many organisations are stepping beyond this to a total outsource of all non-core business functions, preferring instead to focus their investment on their core business activities
What is for sure, is that “one size does NOT fit all” and your suppliers will increasingly become an extension of your business, and in so doing should be striving to add value beyond a support function of simply aiming to keep services always available. Instead, they should be looking to be your subject matter experts and trusted advisors enabling your business to serve your customers better and more effectively.
The customer experience centre in London
Here is a short taster video of the new customer experience centre in Farringdon, London, hosted by Kinnarps – one of the largest furniture manufacturers in Europe.
Come and experience for yourself, how Workplace House showcases the results of a collaboration between six companies, bringing together the best workplace furniture, interiors and technology within one agile showroom.
We all know that it’s smarter and easier to offer more solutions to your current customers than to seek out new clients who don’t yet know you and what you stand for.
It costs 5x as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one
With this in mind, I’m introducing a few ideas that you may be interested in adding to your mix….
Video conferencing combined with content management
Vgreet is one of Vpod’s state of the art technology products offering a more human way of communicating with customers, clients and colleagues. The solution uses video conferencing technology combined with Vpod’s unique content management software and enables deployment of video/audio while simultaneously displaying content, similar to a super-sized smartphone. Every business can now have an incredibly flexible communications solution with intuitive touch-screen technology that is immediately familiar to anyone who owns a smart device
Video communication kiosk
Imagine a giant smartphone placed in a prominent position customised to display your own branded interactive content. Imagine the unlimited face to face interactive opportunities that could bring to your business. That’s what you get with Vgreet. A free-standing or recessed video communications kiosk that enables deployment of video and audio while simultaneously displaying content.
I’d start from the premise of aiming to sell more things to more people. In practice this can result in a range of actions. One of those can be a cooperative sales motion and one could be to expand your portfolio, so that your clients can source multiple products and services from you. If they’ve already bought, they’re likely to buy from you again. Cooperative selling is where you’re partnering with another similar business with complementary offerings and you simply look to sell to each others’ client. I’m seeing a marked increase in this latter approach.
If you a bereft of ideas or simply feel are stuck – drop me a line. Always happy to help
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