Actioning Customer Feedback: The Secret to Turning Difficult Customers into Loyal Advocates

Difficult customers!

Every business has them, and no one likes to get customer feedback that is challenging to handle. So what’s the secret to turning difficult customers into loyal advocates?

The most important thing to remember is not to think of customers as difficult but merely as angry, frustrated or disappointed with the product or service they bought from us.

You may never have considered this, but customer complaints are actually a gift! Research shows that for every customer who complains, there are 20 or more who don’t complain and just switch to your competitor!

Wouldn’t you prefer to have the chance to retain their loyalty? That’s why you should do everything possible to respond quickly and positively to every complaint.

 

The Gift of Customer Complaints

When a customer reaches out with a complaint, they are offering you the chance to improve and strengthen your business in several ways:

  1. You get the chance to put things right and make them happy.
  2. You get the chance to stop them churning/leaving for the competition.
  3. You get the chance to delight them so they share their experience with others and build your positive image.

Let’s look at these in more detail, using recent examples to demonstrate best practices:

Correcting Mistakes:

  • Netflix: Netflix is known for actively monitoring customer complaints and using advanced data analytics to identify and correct issues. When they encountered streaming problems in the past, they quickly addressed them by upgrading their infrastructure, leading to improved service quality. This is a great example of exceeding the customer’s expectations, creating even greater delight.
  • Toyota: Toyota has a history of addressing product quality concerns promptly. In the case of the 2010 recall, due to accelerator pedal issues, Toyota swiftly communicated with affected customers, provided fixes, and introduced enhanced safety measures.
  • Samsung: Samsung’s handling of the Galaxy Note 7 battery issue is another prime example. They recalled and replaced the faulty devices, prioritizing customer safety and satisfaction. This transparent and rapid response helped mitigate the impact on their brand reputation.

Customers expect you to put things right. They don’t expect more than that in most cases. So going above and beyond will immediately change a negative into a positive event that the customer will share with their friends and family.

 

Preventing Churn:

  • Comcast: Comcast has made efforts to reduce customer churn by offering flexible plans and improved customer service. They introduced “Xfinity Mobile” to bundle mobile services with cable and internet, aiming to keep customers within their ecosystem.
  • Adobe: Adobe’s transition to a subscription-based model for Creative Cloud faced initial resistance. However, they addressed customer concerns and objections by continuously improving the platform, leading to higher customer retention rates.
  • Spotify: Spotify uses personalized playlists and recommendations to engage users. By analyzing user data and preferences, they reduce churn by providing a tailored experience that keeps users coming back for more.

This last example shows how a company quite often has the data it needs to better … Click to continue reading

Top Posts of 2023 on Customer Centricity

Here at C3Centricity, we publish books (Winning Customer Centricity), articles and training on customer centricity, because we’re passionate about helping companies to successfully adopt a customer-first strategy.

Since we founded C3Centricity in early 2011, one of our traditions has been to share the most popular posts on customer experience at the beginning of each new year. 

This past year has been particularly successful for C3Centricity, with many of our newest posts getting the top scores globally! This is quite tough for a blog that has been running for almost 13 years and highlights the quality of the content we share with you each month.

Of course, there are also a few perennials that have been appearing in our top 10 list for years, like insight development and customer observation. Since no brand is successful without a foundational insight, and customer understanding is its major essential element, these two will always be popular – they also are on Google’s first page, which certainly helps and confirms the quality of their content.

So let’s have a look at the Top 10 list in 2023, and see if your own favourites are there. If not, then please let us know in the comments. Thanks.  

#1. Five Brilliant Ideas to Boost Your Insight Development

Boost your insight developmentThis post regularly appears in the top three posts on C3Centricity. This shows the quality of its recommendations and content. And the importance of business insights. 

Ever wondered why you struggle to develop actionable insights? This post shares some of the main reasons why even large companies sometimes fail at this essential art. Then, it offers some suggested solutions to help you.

Insights are the foundation on which every single successful brand is built. If your brands are lacking strong positive growth, they are probably missing that insight that will make them powerhouses.

So it is vital that you learn how to develop them and then how to action them in your communications and innovation. Again, if you struggle to action your insights, you’re most certainly missing one of the steps covered in this post.

To stimulate your thinking, the article includes many real-world examples of how great insights can be turned into powerful ad campaigns that connect with customers and motivate them to buy.

If you’re ready to finally learn how to develop actionable business insights, check out our online course on the topic HERE.

#2. Five Rules of Customer Observation for Greater Success

Measure your company image

This post has also been among the top articles on C3Centricity for many years. It is a cornerstone post that is regularly updated to remain highly relevant in today’s marketplace.

Its popularity clearly shows the need we all have to understand how to get up close and personal with our customers – the right way.

The five rules it includes are easy to follow and will make every occasion to watch and listen to your customers so much more interesting and valuable.

And if you want to learn how to watch

Click to continue reading

Using AI to Delight Your Customers With More AI (Authentic Interactions)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become an integral part of our daily lives and has revolutionized how we interact with technology and businesses. This post discusses how to use AI to enhance customer experience with another AI, authentic interactions.

Over the past year, the AI landscape has witnessed a significant shift from AI versus AI competitions to AI working in collaboration with AI. Although AI-driven interactions have made significant progress, it is time to take them to the next level by integrating authentic interactions with AI to deliver exceptional customer experiences.

Let’s examine how AI has evolved in customer relations and explore ten ways in which businesses can integrate authentic interactions with AI to enhance customer experiences.

Get ready to delve into a world where technology meets humanity, where the future of customer engagement is not AI versus AI, but AI working in tandem with AI.

 

The Evolution of AI in Authentic Interactions with Customers

Over the years, AI has greatly evolved in customer interactions. Initially, AI was used to automate monotonous tasks and to provide quick and efficient responses to customer inquiries. However, the early AI systems were often inflexible and could not understand and adapt to the subtleties of human communication.

With the advances in AI technology, we have seen the emergence of chatbots and virtual assistants that can engage in more natural and context-aware conversations.

This development has led to a shift from the traditional AI versus AI approach, where AI tries to outsmart or outperform other AIs, to a more collaborative approach known as AI + AI.

 

AI + AI: The Future of Customer Engagements

The combination of AI and AI marks a significant change in how businesses utilize AI technologies for authentic customer interactions. Instead of setting one AI system against another, businesses are now concentrating on integrating multiple AI components to function together fluidly, ultimately improving customer experiences.

Here are ten methods to integrate authentic interactions with AI to achieve this goal:

1. Embracing Emotional Intelligence (EI) is crucial for AI. It involves training algorithms to recognize and respond to human emotions by understanding cues such as tone of voice, choice of words, and facial expressions.

This helps AI to gauge a customer’s emotional state and respond appropriately with empathy and support. When AI acknowledges their feelings, customers feel heard and valued and offer personalized solutions.

I believe pre-programmed responses should be banned as they are easily recognized and do more harm than good. Call centre representatives should be given the autonomy to do what’s best for the customer within certain guidelines. If you’d like to read more about delivering best-in-class customer service, read the post: “7 Ways to Deliver Awesome Customer Service & Build Loyal Advocates”

2. Human-AI hybrid teams combine the best of both worlds by utilizing the strengths of humans and AI systems. AI is highly efficient in handling routine tasks and queries, allowing for quick and seamless responses to customers.

However, when complex issues arise or when human empathy

Click to continue reading

Today’s Toughest Marketing Challenge is Not Achieving Customer Satisfaction!

Customer satisfaction doesn’t last as long as it used to.

We’ve all become extremely demanding, thanks to constant new offers of innovation and novelty.

Today, we want things better, faster and sometimes cheaper as well. And customer satisfaction is becoming insufficient to drive growth alone. Companies need to deliver more, a lot more!

I was recently in the US, and as seems to be the norm these days, the hotel in which I stayed asked me to rate my stay afterwards. I completed their form, giving only four and five-star ratings, as I had been very satisfied with my visit, the hotel room, the staff and their services. Imagine my surprise, therefore when I got the following email a day or so after submitting my review:

“Thank you for taking the time to complete our online survey regarding your recent stay at our hotel.

On behalf of our entire team, I would like to apologize for failing to exceed your expectations. Your satisfaction is important to us and we will be using the feedback you provided to make improvements to ensure we offer an exceptional experience for our guests in the future.

I hope that you will consider staying with us again so that we can have another chance to provide you with a superior experience.”

Shocking mail, isn’t it? To think that a Hotel would apologise for not exceeding my expectations!

I believe that is exactly why they get a 4.5-star rating on TripAdvisor. For them, customer satisfaction is not enough; they want their guests to be enchanted, enthralled, and excited, so a return visit is a “no-brainer”; no other hotel choice would make sense!

So I have a question for you: How do you treat your own customers? Do you do just enough to satisfy them, or do you consistently look to exceed their expectations?

If you are a regular reader here – and I’d love to know why if you’re not, so I can do better in the future – you will know that I often talk about “surprising” and “delighting” our customers. These are not hollow words; there’s a very real reason why I use them. The reason is that our customers may be satisfied, but they will never stay satisfied for long.

The above example is one way that the hotel staff ensures they have enough time to correct whatever is not a “superior experience,” as they term their own desired service level, and to continue to offer total customer satisfaction.

 

Examples of Brands Going Beyond Customer Satisfaction

Here are a few examples of other companies that go above and beyond in terms of their own customer service. I hope they inspire you to do the same and to aspire to exceed customer satisfaction whenever and wherever you can.

Coming back to the title of this post, I hope you now agree that satisfaction is no longer sufficient to attract and keep your customers.

It’s time to step up your game to aim Click to continue reading

7 Ways to Deliver Awesome Customer Service & Build Loyal Advocates

How can some companies deliver awesome customer service while others get it so totally wrong?!

I want to share a personal story of disinterested client support with you this week. From it, I have drawn seven learnings for everyone wanting to deliver awesome customer service and build loyal advocates.

Let me start by saying that it still puzzles me why any organisation would have trouble offering superior customer service when there are so many great examples they merely have to copy. (JetBlue, Sainsbury’s, Amazon, Zappos) In fact, Mark Earls wrote a great book on exactly this topic, called Copy, Copy, Copy which I highly recommend.

This story is just one example of how some companies still struggle to accept that the customer is right, even when they’re wrong! Not that I was wrong in this case (at least I don’t think so, but I’ll let you be the judge of that).

However, the company concerned certainly gave me the impression that they believed I might have been trying to cheat them with the information I provided in my emails. They were never satisfied with what I sent, even when it was what THEY had specifically requested!

Perhaps they were just dragging out the process hoping not to have to “pay up”. You can see for yourself below, or just jump to the seven learnings at the end of the post so that you can avoid making the same mistakes yourself.

 

Background

Many years ago I bought a TomTom guidance system to help me navigate the streets of American cities.

I love to drive and feel just as much at home on a 26-lane Los Angeles highway as the two-lane Swiss autoroute system. (If you’re interested in which Californian road is 26 lanes wide, it’s the I-5/I-405 interchange.) However, after making many impromptu visits to unplanned US destinations I decided it was time to get a mobile GPS to use in my rental cars.

A few years on, I thought that it could also help me in Europe, even Switzerland, when trying to locate a new client or contact. (My car at the time was almost fifteen years old  and wasn’t equipped with a GPS!) I, therefore, added Europe to my online account, since my model couldn’t keep both in memory at the same time!

Last May I replaced the European maps with my American ones as I was visiting Florida that month. When I tried to reinstall the European maps in September, they had somehow disappeared from my account. I contacted TomTom customer service to ask how I could get my maps back and this is how our conversation went over the pursuing three months – with their worst English mistakes removed or corrected for better comprehension, but their own font bolding left in. (!)

 

The Exchange with TomTom

Me: Hi there, I contacted you in May about changing from European to US maps. I now want to change back and the maps are no longer Click to continue reading

Providing Amazing Customer Journeys by Leveraging the Power of Technology

Customer journeys are evolving fast, and technology is at the forefront of this transformation, especially in the past couple of years, thanks to AI.

This post explores how businesses can embrace omnichannel experiences, self-service solutions, and data-driven personalisation to create amazingly seamless and unforgettable customer journeys.

I have also added examples illustrating some of the more successful implementations. Be inspired by these real-world illustrations of companies that have leveraged technology to build strong customer relationships and unlock new avenues of growth for your business.

 

Technology-Enhanced Customer Journeys

In the dynamic realm of modern business, the pivotal role of technology in shaping customer service has become undeniable.

Organisations adept at harnessing the potential of technological advancements offer seamless and personalised experiences and gain a distinct competitive edge in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.

This article unveils the profound transformation of customer service in the digital age, underscoring how technology has revolutionised customer expectations and enabled organisations to deliver faster, more efficient and tailored support.

 

The Evolution of Customer Service in the Digital Age

The digital age has brought forth a sweeping transformation in customer service. Technology, the bedrock of this evolution, has spurred a revolution in customer expectations, compelling organisations to elevate their service standards.

By capitalising on technology, businesses can now offer swifter response times, enhanced efficiency, and personalised touches that cater to the individual preferences of their clientele.

As technology continues to advance, so do the expectations of today’s customers. A prime example of this is the seamless omnichannel experience offered by retail giant Nike.

By integrating web, mobile, social media, and in-store interactions, Nike has created a harmonious ecosystem that caters to customers’ preferred communication channels, resulting in a 40% increase in online sales.

This showcases how technology can amplify customer service, enabling organisations to meet customers where they are and provide a consistent, convenient, and personalised customer journey.

1. The Rise of Omnichannel Customer Service

In today’s digital landscape, omnichannel customer service has become a beacon of innovation and strategic importance. By seamlessly integrating multiple communication channels, including web, mobile, social media, and chat, organisations can provide a uniform and convenient customer experience. The synergy achieved through this integration nurtures customer satisfaction and provides invaluable insights into consumer behaviour and preferences.

As previously mentioned, Nike is one example of a brand that has successfully done this, but there are others. Starbucks is another industry trailblazer.

With its mobile app, customers can order ahead, earn rewards, and make payments seamlessly. This technological integration enhances convenience and deepens customer engagement, resulting in a staggering 40% of Starbucks transactions being conducted through its app today. This vividly illustrates how the convergence of channels empowers customers and fuels business success.

2. The Shift Towards Self-Service

The era of customers’ digital empowerment has fostered a discernible shift towards self-service options driven by the burgeoning demand for instant gratification and autonomy.

Organisations are now empowered to equip customers with comprehensive self-help resources, knowledge bases, interactive FAQs, and AI-driven chatbots that deliver … Click to continue reading

From Good to Extraordinary: Ignite Your Business with Personalized Customer Delight

It’s time to move from customer satisfaction to customer delight. After all, no one wants to be good when they can be great!

These days, providing a delightful, personalized experience for customers is no longer just a luxury—it’s a necessity for sustainable business growth. While every business is personal, which we would do well to remember, many companies shy away from truly getting close to their customers. Perhaps they’re afraid they will learn that they’re not as awesome as they like to think they are!

However, it is precisely through building strong engagement and trust that businesses can unlock their full potential.

It’s time for a paradigm shift in your approach to customer service, empowering your employees to exceed customer expectations, so they can drive sales, and foster long-term loyalty. (I wrote about this a few weeks ago; take a look at “4 Ways to Empower Your Employees to Give Outstanding Customer Service” for more details)

By understanding the importance of effortless customer journeys, personal connections, and continuous improvement, organizations can transform their customer service into a powerful growth engine.

 

The power of effortless journeys

Every touchpoint in the customer journey presents an opportunity to leave a lasting impression. To provide a truly personalized experience, businesses must go above and beyond mere satisfaction and aim for effortless interactions at every stage.

Understanding and anticipating customer needs is crucial to achieving this. By leveraging data, market research, and customer feedback, companies can gain valuable insights into their customers’ preferences, pain points, and desires.

Armed with this knowledge, businesses can tailor their touchpoints to meet and exceed expectations. Whether it’s a seamless online purchasing process, a user-friendly mobile app, or a responsive customer support system, every effort should be made to eliminate friction and make the customer’s journey as effortless as possible.

And the effort is worth it:

  • According to a study by Salesforce, 84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is crucial to winning their business.
  • Research by Accenture reveals that 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations.
  • A report by Deloitte found that companies that prioritize personalization see an average sales uplift of 10-20%.

 

Smiling for that personal connection 

Building genuine connections with customers is the cornerstone of exceptional customer service. A smile is one of the most powerful tools to establish this connection.

Even in a call centre environment, where interactions may be limited to voice-only, a smile can be heard through the phone and can significantly impact the customer’s experience. Encouraging customer service representatives to adopt a friendly, empathetic tone and providing them with the necessary training and resources to do so can make all the difference.

Customers appreciate feeling valued and heard, and a warm, personalized interaction can leave a lasting positive impression. By investing in employee development and creating a culture that values the human element of customer service, businesses can cultivate stronger relationships and inspire customer loyalty.

Building … Click to continue reading

4 Ways to Empower Your Employees to Give Outstanding Customer Service

If you’re reading this, then you are probably eager to delight your customers and take your service to new heights. Well, you’re in the right place to learn how to give outstanding customer service.

In this article, we will explore four transformative ideas that will elevate your current customer service standards to exceptional levels. Prepare to embark on a journey that will empower your employees, foster customer loyalty, and drive your business towards greater success.

As our customers have found their voice and the power to approve, criticise or question brands and manufacturers, customer service has evolved into a vital aspect of every organization.

And while most businesses see the need for customer service, too many service reps continue to respond using pre-defined scripts and answers. In today’s world of personalisation, this is clearly not going to delight your customers, so a fresh approach is required.

Enter employee empowerment – a paradigm shift that enables customer service representatives to make decisions within defined boundaries, tailored to the customer’s best interest.

While guidelines are still important, organisations should empower their customer service reps to do what’s best for the customer – within agreed boundaries.

So giving employees more say in managing customer connections is good for customers, but it is also good for the company.

Organizations prioritising employee empowerment create a positive work environment, which in turn fosters customer loyalty, and leads to greater business success.

 

The Power of Employee Empowerment in delivering outstanding customer service

Empowered employees exhibit higher job satisfaction, engagement, and a sense of ownership in customer interactions. They are also more likely to take ownership of customer interactions, proactively solve problems, and deliver more personalized experiences. This, in turn, leads to improved customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.

So what exactly is employee empowerment, you might be wondering. Well, it is the process of granting employees the authority, autonomy, and resources to make decisions and take actions that positively impact customer experiences.

By trusting employees to act in the customer’s best interest and equipping them with the necessary tools and support, organizations can unlock a host of benefits.

It increases job satisfaction and engagement as employees feel valued, trusted, and responsible for their work.

 

Investing in Customer Service Training and Development Opportunities

Perhaps you’re feeling slightly nervous after reading the previous section about giving your employees more freedom. Well, don’t worry; we are not suggesting that you give them a totally free rein.

Embracing employee empowerment does not mean relinquishing control; it means providing comprehensive training and development programs.

These initiatives equip customer service reps and other customer-facing personnel with the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to handle diverse customer scenarios and deliver exceptional service.

Comprehensive onboarding ensures that employees receive proper orientation, understand their roles in delighting the customer, and are introduced to the organization’s customer-centric values and expectations.

And ongoing training, workshops and online resources are all vital to keeping employees updated on new products, services, and industry trends. They also allow them to … Click to continue reading

Win Online: 9 Ways to Make a Great Website that Engages More Successfully

What makes a great website?

What makes a website great for your customers?

What makes a website great for your potential customers?

The answers to these questions will help you to publish a successful website. One that encourages current and potential customers to find, see, like and then engage with your content. All of these are precursors to buying your products and services for many customers! 

I published a post on this topic many years ago, which included the seven elements that must be on your website. It is called “The 7 essentials of Customer Centric Websites.” and it still makes a useful (and short) read.

One of the major changes since then, is that today, with mobile more likely to be the screen of reference, we have gone from a “no scroll” to a “must-scroll” format. Words have given way to more images and now also to videos. We have gone from information to entertainment, from push to pull, and from “ours” to “theirs.”

Many articles about optimising websites talk too much about technology and usually include company rather than customer priorities. But you, fellow customer centricity champions, know that everything should start with the customer! So I’d like to build on my earlier post to lay out what it takes to win online these days.

 

9 Essentials of a Great Website

Checking a website is often the first step a customer makes when they are interested in buying a brand or learning about a manufacturer. Therefore we should ensure that ours responds to their needs, whatever the reason for their visit. I have chosen the nine essential elements of a customer centric website below.

Please let me know what you think, by adding a comment below.

1. It’s for the customer, not (just) you

Although your website is about you and your company and/or brands, it is your customers, both current and potential, that need to like it.

Therefore, start by thinking about for whom you are developing the site and what their desires and needs are. Use our  4W™ template to ensure that you go as deep as possible in your understanding of them. I also suggest you read “12 things you need to know about your target customers for more on what information you need to gather in order to describe them in depth.

 

 

2. An intuitive structure

We don’t have time to read, let alone learn how to navigate a website. Customers will leave if they can’t immediately find what they are looking for. This explains why many – dare I say most? – businesses have a 50% plus bounce rate. (See 20+ Average Bounce Rate Benchmarks -2022 update)

It may still be necessary to have a sitemap for those visitors who need help in navigating or are less logical. However, it no longer needs the prominence it once did.

Put it at the bottom of the page in the footer and don’t waste valuable real estate by placing … Click to continue reading

5 Powerful Ways to Upgrade Your Customer Journey Maps

Mapping your customer journey is an important part of understanding and satisfying them better. Since the travel and leisure industries are still in turmoil after covid, I believe that now is a good time to review how they treat their customers. And this should include their customer journey mapping.

Through the example of an experience I had with the Hilton Group, I share some important lessons about getting customer service right! These will be invaluable as the travel industry fights to recover. 

 

Background

Each year around Christmas time, my family get together for a weekend of fun somewhere in Britain. Last year we met up in Bristol. As a Hilton Honors member for more than twenty years, I offered to book rooms for all of us in the local Doubletree.

I expected to get a better rate with my membership, and certainly cheaper than those offered by all the booking sites. Well, I reserved five double rooms for the weekend, as well as a table for ten in their restaurant for dinner on the Saturday evening.

I booked directly by calling the hotel, as I always prefer to do. I expect to be recognised for my loyalty – and if possible rewarded too! On this occasion I was proven seriously wrong!

A couple of weeks after booking and pre-paying for all the rooms, I received Hilton’s weekly newsletter offering me a significant discount for the exact same hotel and dates. Clearly their online pixels had identified me as being interested in this hotel, but they hadn’t connected this interest with my having booked directly. You can already see from this, that their customer journey mapping is incomplete.

As Hilton offer a “guaranteed lowest rate” I reached out to their call centre and was told that yes I was entitled not only to the lower rate, but to an additional 25% discount for having made the claim. I was told how to complete the claim form and I hung up ecstatic that I could save my family even more money – which we would no doubt spend in the bar before and after our dinner!

Imagine my surprise when the next day I was informed that my claim had been refused! I was notified that the guaranteed lowest rate only applied to third-party sites and not to Hilton’s own website!

[bctt tweet=”Guaranteed lowest rates should mean just that! Otherwise you’re just cheating the customer. #CEX #CRM #Customer” username=”Denysech”]

I immediately responded and was again told that their guarantee didn’t apply to their own rates. In addition, as I had pre-paid I could not get the lower rate even if it was now being offered!

Not being one to take “no” for a final answer, I contacted their corporate customer service group again, as I felt my loyalty was not being recognized. I was once more given the same response, but this time was informed that my request would be forwarded directly to the hotel concerned – no doubt to … Click to continue reading

The New Qualities for Customer Service Excellence

The covid pandemic clearly highlighted those companies that truly care about their customers and which provide customer service excellence.

If a company claims to be customer centric, they must not just talk the talk, but walk the talk too. The pandemic gave many people more time to review from whom they bought and what services they were getting in return.

A few years ago I was prompted to question my own purchase decision of cable services from the Swiss company UPC-Cablecom. It had been known to have a  long-term deficit in customer service excellence versus its main competitor Swisscom. And as recent PWC research shows, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.

Swisscom has made customer service their MSP (main selling point or value proposition) and they were renowned for putting their customers first. UPC-Cablecom, on the other hand, had until then, been trying to win customers through non-stop promotions and aggressive price cutting. In today’s connected world, especially where the internet is concerned, dissatisfied customers will be quickly heard – across the net.

Back to the incident that prompted this post. After a few days of being ignored by UPC-Cablecom – my perception at least, because my emails and phone calls were not being answered – I’m somewhat embarrassed to say that I resorted to Twitter.

More than five years ago, Twitter was first referred to as today’s customer service centre. Social media usually guarantees a quick response, since contacting customer services through the usual channels often results in no reaction for hours if not days.

[bctt tweet=”Social media usually guarantees a quick response, since contacting customer services through the usual channels often results in no reaction for hours if not days. #CustomerSatisfaction #CustomerCare #CallCentre #CRM #CEX” username=”Denysech”]

 

What makes a great customer care centre?

Customers these days expect a response in minutes or hours rather than days. Research shows that nearly half of all customers (46%) expect companies to respond faster than 4 hours, and 12% expect a response within 15 minutes or less. And yet the average time to respond to customer service requests is currently 12 hours and 10 minutes! How do your own customer service response times compare? As you enjoy my blog posts I assume they are significantly better.

Most call centres are a frustrating, if sometimes necessary, experience for (often dissatisfied) customers to endure. In many cases, they are automated, with a long and complex self-selection process of button pushing to arrive at the department one needs – if you’re lucky that is!

But too often the result of all that effort is just a recording telling you to call back later as the department needed is not open at the moment, or that the collaborators are currently busy and to please stay on the line.

We are next subjected to music supposedly designed to calm our nerves, interspersed with messages suggesting alternative solutions to waiting in line. Go to the website to … Click to continue reading

Are You Giving What Customers Want Today?

As a dedicated customer centricity champion, just like you, I spend a lot of my time researching what customers want, just like you do too, I hope. In this period of great global unrest, understanding our customers has become more important than ever before.

Just a few short months ago, I didn’t think that it would be possible for customer-centricity to become any more important. But things change and now everyone is fighting to keep their businesses afloat. So the new and constantly altering needs and desires of our customers should be a top priority for all of us to follow.

To help me keep abreast of the changes, I’m regularly checking online searches for such terms as customer service, customer satisfaction and customer care. Google and Bing have become some of my best friends!

A couple of years ago, I came across some surprising facts, which prompted this post when I first drafted it. But with the incredibly unforeseen events of the past few years, I feel it deserves a update.

Already at the time, my analysis suggested a serious problem in the business of looking after our customers. Today it is clear that any organisation that hasn’t spent time putting things right, will most certainly be suffering in this post-pandemic, global unrest in which companies are trying to do business. I’d be interested to hear your own thoughts once you have read the article.

 

Customer Centricity

Wikipedia, another of my faithful friends, doesn’t have a definition for customer centricity! If you look up the term, you get directed to customer satisfaction! Unbelievable.  Try it for yourself and see!

Gartner defines customer centricity as:

“The ability of people in an organisation to understand customers’ situations, perceptions, and expectations.”

It then goes on to say:

“Customer centricity demands that the customer is the focal point of all decisions related to delivering products, services and experiences to create customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.”

What I particularly like about this definition, is that it refers to customer understanding and the need for customers to be the focus of decision-making. It also highlights the need to create not just customer satisfaction, but loyalty and advocacy too.

Now whereas it seems to be difficult to build longterm loyalty these days, especially in B2C businesses, advocacy is essential in today’s connected world. Of course the latter means that customers are surprised and delighted rather than just satisfied, so that they are excited to share their positive experiences with others.


Need help in adopting a customer-first strategy?

Check out our Brand Accelerator™ Course in the C3Centricity Academy


Aim for Advocacy Rather than Loyalty

As we all know, it costs between 5 and 25 times more to acquire a new customer as it does to retain existing ones. (Invesp) Therefore strong loyalty is a valuable benefit for a brand. But covid saw us all changing our purchasing behaviours, as we researched, compared and then bought more online. So although loyalty is difficult, it … Click to continue reading

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