In today’s marketplace the customers call the shots and organizations that deliver a superior customer experience are thriving, and those that don’t…aren’t. Here are two statistics that put things in perspective:
- 86% will pay more for a better customer experience
- 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience
A customer’s experience is undeniably important to your success as a business; and it’s just as important to understand how customers want to interact with businesses:
- US consumers prefer to resolve their customers service issues using the telephone (90%), face to face (75%), company website or email (67%), online chat (47%), text message (22%), social networking site (22%)
- 79% of consumers who shared complaints about poor customer experience online had their complaints ignored
Armed with this knowledge, we begin to understand how important it is to answer any and all calls from our customers…whether through a telephone or other channels, and whether or not we are physically in the office. For brevity, I will address the best practices for the top method customers prefer: the telephone.
Unless you are operating an enterprise-scale business, you probably don’t own and operate a large and expensive ACD (Automated Call Distributor) that allows you to answer calls based on skill sets and distribute them across multiple people or locations. Many consumers want to speak with a live person versus listening to a complicated menu of choices, so if you do use an auto attendant or voicemail system to answer and distribute calls, keep it simple. Even as a small or medium sized business with limited resources, it is also possible to use a network based ACD via the new wave of providers offering CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service). There are many ways to make sure your customers get to the right person or department quickly. For example, using a network based auto attendant allows you to use simple menu options to route calls directly to a desk phone, mobile phone, or home phone…simultaneously or in sequence…to make sure your employees have every opportunity to answer your customers’ calls. Even an individual employee’s phone number can be set up with a variety of options to route the call based on their schedule, location, or preferences. The options for getting customers to the right resource quickly are bountiful and can be complex. To help guide you through these options EarthLink Business has created a team of highly skilled Solutions Engineers that can assist with understanding your needs and designing a custom solution that enhances your customers experience. EarthLink Business is a full service provider for your voice and data communications needs as well as a trust partner for outsourcing your IT Services.