How the Right Business Phone Features Improve Customer Experience
As the landscape continues to shift for businesses large and small in the wake of the digital revolution, it’s vital to understand the importance of customer experience. Customers can get almost anything delivered to their door after only a few quick search engine queries, and they can get it at a competitive price that is only going to be driven lower and lower as more businesses throw their hats in the ring. When it’s no longer a viable business strategy to compete on price, what can you do to stand out among the sea of competitors all vying for your customers’ attention (and their dollars)?
Businesses and brands can be more than just ways to get the things you need. A business with a keen eye on how to improve customer experience knows that the best way to deepen that relationship is through customer loyalty.
You need to go above and beyond the expected in order to create fans who will support your business no matter what. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to bend over backward to comply with every single demand a customer makes of you, however. Rather, the next frontier for businesses large and small lies in personalization—the ability to step into a customer’s shoes and understand what things are like from their perspective.
We’ve all had the experience of calling into a customer service phone system only to have to enter our information over and over again, repeating the same information to a parade of customer service representatives to get that one thing accomplished, all the while feeling like it should take half the time it actually does. With the right business phone features, you can improve your caller experience and ensure that your customers will want to come back to you time and time again.
Why You Should Be Concerned About Your Caller’s Customer Experience
No scenario highlights the importance of customer experience more than a typical call to a typical customer service phone center. Generally speaking, you are greeted with an automated answering system that attempts to figure out why you’re calling. Depending on what business you’re calling, it may ask for personal information or something else to identify your account. The purpose of these kinds of automated customer service systems is pretty obvious—they attempt to filter out the calls that don’t need human intervention in order to save their customer service reps’ time for the calls that do.
While it makes perfect sense to maximize your customer service reps’ time, it can be incredibly frustrating when you know you need to talk to a human. We all put up with automated systems from time to time because we understand that businesses need some way to keep up with the volume of calls coming into those systems, but it becomes frustrating when there seems to be no obvious way to speak to a human, or we’re asked to repeat information we’ve already entered into the system several times before we’re allowed to speak to someone.
Remember that a happy customer tells a few people about their experience, but… It’s a key factor in highlighting the importance of customer experience, and your business phone system is just as important as anywhere else when it comes to opportunities to raise the bar.
Bad reputations and poor customer service can translate to real loss. On the other hand, a customer service crisis can also become an opportunity to create a new, loyal fan if you treat it the right way. That’s the power of a clear customer experience strategy in action.
Features That Help Small Businesses Shape Their Caller Experience
As a small business, you can certainly recognize the importance of customer experience (CX) when it comes to your phone system, but what steps can you take to ensure that anyone who calls in will feel good about calling back? How can you set up your customer service phone system to ensure that your customers are handled in the best way possible?
Think About CX From the Ground Up
One of the most important things you can do as an organization to create a great phone customer experience is to think about CX from the ground up. Quite literally, that means finding ways to empower your customer service reps to go above and beyond the call of duty and add that personal touch to all of their interactions.
Again, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to bend over backward to accommodate customer demands. However, you do need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and give your reps the authority to make a judgment call as the situation develops.
Customer experience inflection points have a tendency to be viral, and you want the story to be about how you did more than what was asked, instead of the bare minimum. It’s free marketing for your brand, and word-of-mouth marketing is among the most powerful ways to get new customers.
Your On-Hold Music
Nothing can be more frustrating than having to listen to the same music time and time again while you’re held captive by your phone, waiting for a customer service representative to become available. Consider the alternative: getting an entire podcast episode devoted to how cool your hold music is. The best hold music for business is ultimately what your ideal customer wants to listen to, so do some research and talk to some customers to gain a better understanding of what’s good and what isn’t.
Decrease Wait Times
While we’re on the subject of waiting for a customer service rep to answer the phone, it’s important to realize that even if you have the best hold music for business, it’s still incredibly frustrating to take time out of your day to resolve a problem only to wait on hold for an eternity. Customer service reps are busy representing your brand to your customers, so anything you can do to decrease wait times is key to running a great business.
Improve Information Handling
One of the most frustrating things about calling into an automated system is the number of times you’re asked to re-enter your information. While it’s understandable to have to enter your customer information once or even twice, it’s important to remember that touch-tone phone and voice recognition systems frequently make mistakes, meaning that many customers have probably spent longer on it than you’re estimating. Anything you can do to improve information handling and reduce the number of repetitions is a big win for CX.
Infrastructure That Supports Automatic Callbacks, Call Routing, and More
Nothing you do to improve the customer experience is possible without the right system supporting your customer service reps. A Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) implementation ensures that you’re ready no matter what happens. What is VoIP? It’s a way of routing all of your calls over the internet in order to make it easier to route, reroute, and call customers back no matter what happens.
What You Can Do Right Now
Smart businesses are looking to improve customer experience in any way they can. With VoIP technology and an organizational philosophy that empowers customer service reps to go above and beyond the expected, you can take advantage of CX as the next frontier for business