The rapid introduction of digital solutions changed the way that brands and their consumers think about customer interaction and customer experience (CX). Customers want access to reliable, accurate information. And they want it now. As many as 83% of customers expect to speak with someone immediately when contacting a company.
CX is increasingly a differentiator for brands and companies looking to get ahead are prioritizing CX delivery to engage and retain their customers.
A customers’ perception of a brand is based on the interactions they have with that brand. Each interaction, whether positive or negative, impacts the brand perception. With a proliferation of channels, brands must work harder than ever before to ensure that each interaction delivers the desired experience.
Organizations focused on CX carefully shape each interaction to deliver the best possible experience for their customers, promoting positive emotional connections that drive sales and foster loyalty. Meanwhile, brands that leave their CX to chance, delivering inconsistent and negative experiences, risk eroding their bottom line and damaging their brand reputation.
Empathy establishes a deep relationship, based on trust and understanding, with the customer, making it an essential factor in CX delivery. By enabling agents to understand customers’ motivations and needs, empathy also supports faster and more successful conflict resolution.
In the webinar; Empathy: The Essential Ingredient for Customer Engagement, Abhinandan Jain, Chief Digital Officer, Startek and Faheem Ahmed, Head of Industry Strategy, Genesys explore empathy and its role in the contact center.
1. Align employee experience with customer experience
Customer experience and employee experience (EX) are deeply connected. Various studies have established a direct correlation between EX and CX, supporting the adage happy employees mean happy customers. Indeed, nearly 70% of CEOs believe that better EX leads to better CX.
With agent experience directly impacting CX, ensuring agents are well supported is a must. Ongoing training combined with AI-based technology and collaboration tools to alleviate the burden of simple repetitive tasks is an important aspect of agent experience. When agents are engaged and confident in their roles, they have more time to focus on the customer’s needs and more proactively support the customer to achieve their goal, driving customer satisfaction.
2. Optimize the channel mix
As companies continue to provide multichannel customer support, it is important to decide the right mix of digital solutions and human connection. More channels do not necessarily mean better CX. Each channel must be viewed through the customer’s lens and have a clearly defined purpose. Each brand must decide on the right channels for their customer support scoping in cost, ROI, technology, ability to implement as well as customer use cases and expectations.
Understanding where customers want the speed of digital solutions and where they want the empathy that only live agents can deliver is essential and the best CX seamlessly blends self-service with easy escalation to a live agent while keeping the customer in their channel of choice.
3. Invest in training and tools
Leveraging technology to support agents is as important as introducing technology to enable customers to help themselves. From agent assist to gamification, technology reduces the need for agents to perform repetitive tasks, reduces errors and enables agents to focus their attention on the customer.
When it comes to agents' live interactions with customers, don’t leave the approach to chance. Agents need a framework through which to understand and deliver empathy. At Startek we use the proprietary model Essential Habits of Dialogue, a six steps model that focuses on championing meaningful interaction by establishing credibility, asking insightful questions and building rapport with customers.
4. Ensure a 360-degree customer view
Customers increasingly interact with brands across channels, for example interacting with a brand on social media, buying a product online, seeking shipping information via an online chatbot and calling to query billing. In this multichannel environment, a 360-degree view of all customer interactions is essential. Each touchpoint should be a seamless conversation, demonstrating your brand knows and understands the customer. Genesys data reveals as many as 84% of consumers report ensuring they are not asked to repeat themselves is one of the most important elements of customer service.
5. Embed a human-centric approach
Human-centric design is built around the needs of your customers. As such, a deep understanding of your customers and their unique needs is essential. Start by understanding your customer journeys, identifying pain points as well as high points and use these insights to reduce customer effort by simplifying technology and streamlining your processes.
Empathy: The Essential Ingredient for Customer Engagement is a part of our monthly webinar series exploring the elements that make up world-class CX delivery.