In simpler times, employees needed to know how to manage the customer experience by phone and in-person. Employee training usually consisted of telephone etiquette skills and on-site selling skills.
Portals of entry to a business have multiplied, and with this expansion, so has the need to not only manage the brand consistency across these communication channels, but the experience the customer ultimately has as well. It’s no easy task, and that’s why training is so critical.
The multiple point of contact option for consumers even has a buzzword: It’s called omni-channel, and can be defined as an approach to communication that seeks to provide the customer with a variety of ways to make contact with a business, regardless of the reason for contact.
Think of it as meeting the consumer “where they live.”
Research recently conducted by Crystal Collier and Gavin Winter of CX Act in Arlington, VA resulted in some interesting findings. They called their study the Customer Touchpoint Stress Test. In this study, they looked at customer satisfaction across 4 different channels:
- Chat; and
…where simple issues such as billing questions and product inquires were addressed.
If you’ve ever tried to contact a business with a question or issue, the first finding of the CX Act study won’t surprise you:
[tweetthis]Companies aren’t making it easy for customers to initiate contact in the first place.[/tweetthis]
As a consumer and a researcher myself, I couldn’t agree more. Finding contact phone numbers and corporate headquarter addresses on business websites is often like looking for a needle in a haystack. It’s almost as if these businesses don’t want to hear from customers.
The ranking of the communication channels based on the level of customer satisfaction was also interesting, and it would appear that the more “human” the interaction, the more satisfaction the customer experienced. For example, Telephone ranked first in satisfaction scoring a 58% “Very Satisfied” rate. This was followed by Chat with a 40% “Very Satisfied” level; Email with a 22% level; and Facebook with a 17% “Very Satisfied” level.
These findings relate to training in that organizations need to establish how they want employees to respond to consumer issues over these channels, then train to these preferred protocols.
Consistency and professionalism will work to enhance and improve your satisfaction scores and will continue to generate customer loyalty for your organization.
Do you mystery shop the omni-channel methods by which your consumers may wish to contact you?
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