This week we feature an article by Todd Zerbe Senior Vice President of Engineering at Avaya. He shares why a neutral experience is just as bad as a negative experience and what can turn a neutral customer experience into an amazing one. Think about your most recent customer experience. Chances are everything was fine but […]
This week we feature an article by Todd Zerbe Senior Vice President of Engineering at Avaya. He shares why a neutral experience is just as bad as a negative experience and what can turn a neutral customer experience into an amazing one.
Think about your most recent customer experience. Chances are everything was fine but is “fine” good enough? For competing organizations, a “fine” or neutral experience is just as bad as a bad experience. This is because they’re not gaining any traction.
Research shows the average dissatisfied customer will tell 12 people about a bad service experience. If the experience is positive, the customer may tell a few friends or family members or write a review. If it’s neutral, however, they will usually tell no one. That’s because there’s no sense of actually enjoying the engagement experience. There’s no authentic connection.
Without this connection, customers will find themselves caught in a web of faceless companies providing just “okay” experiences. For most of these organizations, a toll-free number or a dedicated email address is as far as customer support gets. Even if they have graduated to more enhanced capabilities like a 24×7 chatbot, there’s usually a lack of personalization. It’s this personalization that turns a neutral customer experience into an amazing one. In fact, without it, the technology you implement will work against you.
Again, think about your own experiences as a consumer. If you take the time to complete a post-call survey with your bank and note that you like speaking directly with a person versus an automated system and your bank continues to make you jump through IVR hoops, will that lead to satisfaction or frustration? Will you feel heard as a customer, or neglected? Customers aren’t asking much from the brands they do business with; they just want to be understood.
This is where companies must start to create authentic customer connections. Successful organizations start with the experience, and what customers expect from their company. Then leverage technology to deliver that at scale. This makes a Voice of the Customer (VoC) program crucial. To gain a better understanding of your CX needs, you must capture your customers’ expectations, preferences, and aversions through customer listening and insights. This can be achieved in a few ways including post-call surveys, social listening, assessing NPS scores, feedback management, and reputation management. Gaining this understanding will also help you better align your various lines of business (marketing, sales, service, and product teams).
Combined with data from your CRM and these VoC techniques should provide you with a relatively clear view of what customers want from your brand based on a volume of collected data. This should include customer, historical, and transactional data such as interaction history, campaign history, customer verification, and upselling and cross-selling. From this vantage point, you can then start thinking about how technology will help your organization advance a positive customer experience.
Customer experience should not be measured by the fact that “everything was fine.” Fine is nothing out of the expected ordinary. To rise above the competition, companies need to create extraordinary experiences that connect with customers. This will help build trust, loyalty, and lifelong relationships.
Todd Zerbe is the Senior Vice President of Engineering at Avaya. He brings more than twenty-five years of software development experience to Avaya. Todd leads the company’s engineering functions, teams and programs globally. He helps Avaya to innovate the best platform and applications to meet the needs of customers across multiple vertical markets and geographies.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: President Biden Signs Executive Order To Improve Customer Service “For The People”
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