In 2021, keeping the customer satisfied has never been more challenging – or important. We’re living in the customer experience era and the expectation that businesses should surprise and delight their patrons at every turn is rapidly becoming entrenched.
Broadly speaking, the term “customer experience” refers to the way your business and brand make customers feel, during the course of their relationship with you. Meet and exceed expectations when it comes to responsiveness, reliability, quality and service and they’ll likely keep coming back for more and recommend you to others in glowing terms.
Provide a so-so experience and the opposite is likely to occur, with the risk that negative feedback will be disseminated and amplified via the internet and social media. Even a handful of negative online reviews, whether warranted or not, can damage your brand and business, by deterring potential customers from trying your products and services.
Setting the bar high
It’s not just big businesses that are expected to pull out all the stops. Accustomed as they are to receiving slick and seamless service from Amazon and other digital Goliaths, Australian consumers are increasingly looking to smaller players to offer it too – online, in-store and whenever they get in touch to make an enquiry, place an order, seek support or lodge a complaint.
That can seem like a big ask, given your business likely doesn’t have the deep pockets to employ a Chief Customer or Customer Experience Officer – a la the likes of NAB, ANZ, Mercer et al – or a team of external experts to ensure you’re creating positive impressions and experiences.
Meanwhile, the COVID pandemic has driven millions of consumers out of bricks and mortar businesses and into the online realm, where numerous digital touchpoints provide opportunities aplenty to get it right – and wrong.
Staying abreast of the opposition
Implementing a cloud contact centre that incorporates email, webchat and SMS messaging channels is one way the “Davids” in the small and medium business sphere can keep up and compete with their larger, better-resourced opponents.
As well as presenting a consistent, professional interface to the outside world, an omnichannel contact centre allows your customers to connect with you whenever and however suits them best.
Historically, setting one up entailed a five or six-figure investment in facilities, infrastructure, software and personnel; making them the exclusive remit of large well-resourced enterprises. No longer. Cloud technology has changed the game, enabling small and medium-sized organisations to operate their own sophisticated contact centres, without incurring the crippling capital expenditure and overheads that put them out of reach in the past.
Platforms offering an array of digital channels in addition to the traditional voice can be rolled out quickly, easily and cost-effectively, to teams comprised of as few as six agents.
Because cloud software can be accessed from anywhere that has a decent internet connection, smaller enterprises have the option to employ off-site workers to staff the lines, and to enjoy the flexibility and cost savings such arrangements typically deliver.
Meanwhile, monthly software subscription fees of $150 a head or less offer certainty of expenditure and make it easy to scale your contact centre up or down, as activity levels fluctuate.
Investing in a stronger tomorrow
Small and medium-sized businesses that have come out the other side of the COVID crisis can’t afford to rest on their laurels. Today’s consumers won’t be dialling down their demands for efficient responsive service anytime soon and enterprises that fail to offer it risks losing out to larger competitors whose slick and seamless customer experience leaves nothing to chance. Establishing a cloud contact centre as your company’s communications hub can help to place you on equal footing with the Goliaths in the battle for mind and market share.