June 20 – Who Are Your First Responders for Customer Care?

Who Are Your First Responders for Customer Care?

The term “first responder” has gained a high-level of respect. It doesn’t single out a particular type of public servant. Instead, it is all-inclusive of those who are most likely to be the first on the scene of an emergency. In some instances, the first response comes from the fire department, other times law enforcement, or EMTs. In addition to their training, they need to know the fastest routes to their destination. They provide a critical service to their community.
Business has first responders too. Their service may not be as heroic, but it is critical to the success and growth of a company. Those who respond to customer inquiries, complaints, and feedback are the first responders for your company. The question is – who are the best people to serve your customers in this capacity?

Instant Response

The top standard for quick customer response time used to be 24-48 hours. In 2016, a study showed that the majority of people expected a response within one day or less. Today, in our instant satisfaction society, 30 seconds to 30 minutes is becoming the preferred response time. Studies have shown that most people will hang up on a call to customer service if they have been waiting for over two minutes. Over a third of those people will not bother to call back and try a second time. From hours to seconds is a big leap, but that is the reality that businesses are dealing with in the digital age.
The variety of channels for customer feedback has further complicated the delivery of a quick response. Phone, email, review sites, and social media give your customers plenty of options. Monitoring all these channels and responding efficiently becomes quite a challenge.

Out with the Old, in with the New

We’ve all heard stories of frustration when calling a customer service phone number and reaching automated recordings or someone who is following a script that may or may not fit your situation.
Customer call centers were the technologic response to the increasing demand for faster response time to inquiries. They were efficient and budget-friendly. However, they aren’t always effective. Customers often resent being sent to a third-party agent to resolve their issues rather than dealing directly with the company itself.
Automation delivers the quick response customers are looking for, but they are demanding more than that. The more digitized our lives become, the more we value personalized attention and communication. We want to know that we are heard and that the person we speak with truly understands our issue. Routing customer communications to the appropriate person for resolution is more critical than ever.

Pairing Automation with Personal Response

Social media is easy to access and, as a public forum, provides extra incentive for a business to respond quickly. According to Statista, the majority of customer service departments got a budget increase at the end of 2018. That’s no surprise given the high value placed on customer satisfaction by most successful companies. But are those dollars really meeting the needs and expectations of customers? Does a quick generic response outweigh the desire for a knowledgeable human response?
Statistics say that 84% of customers get frustrated when the representative they speak with doesn’t have the answer they are looking for. 44% of customers say they have been given incorrect information in customer service interactions. Two-thirds of customers who have left a provider after a customer service interaction said they would have continued the relationship if their issue had been resolved during the initial contact.
This data indicates that reaching the individual who is most knowledgeable about the issue is just as important (if not more) than the speed in which their issue is addressed. If we want to improve our customer service ratings, we need to do a better job of connecting the customer with the right person, right away.
Getting your customer connected with the person best suited to handle their situation is one of the core areas addressed in Guest-Note. You decide who those people are – it might be the manager at the customer’s location or it might be someone in quality control. In addition, Guest-Note’s machine learning is continually assimilating data about each of these interactions to improve resolution routing in the future.  Checkout Guest-Note for nextgen communications with your customers.

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