Strike 2: Why Customer Service Matters

In a recent blog post, I shared a frustrating personal customer service experience about how it took six agents over six days to answer a simple question about additional charges to my account for WiFi-Boosters. At the end of the six days, they had confirmed there would be no extra charges to my account. Issue solved, or so I thought.

At my next billing date, much to my surprise, I saw the extra fee on my bill. Furious may be an understatement of how upset I was as I had already put in a considerable effort on this issue. This time around, I decided to forgo the email channel and try chat. I initiated the chat and provided my account details to complete the security check. Much to my surprise, the promotional message that appeared on the screen was that I was eligible to receive free WiFi-Booster services.

Imagine for a moment, my customer journey and valley of emotions. You say it will be free, you charge me, and then you say it will be free when I take the step to contact your customer service centre. Next to being extremely annoyed, I am also rapidly losing trust in the service provider. In the end, the chat agent was gracious and kind and reversed the charges to my account; however, as a customer, I am feeling close to the line of walking away and seeking the services elsewhere. Two strikes.

This example demonstrates what happens when businesses launch new customer service channels independent of others and forgo a review of the holistic cross-channel strategy and objectives. It is a living example of the phrase; the left-hand doesn’t know what the right is doing.

Regardless of the channel, each customer contact generates new information on your customers’ needs, wants, and behaviours. Capturing this data, analyzing and sharing it across other contact channels is the secret sauce. When you integrate and extend your view of the customer beyond their demographics and products to include their contact reasons and outcomes, you allow your Agent or self-service interaction to be as knowledgable as the customer. When you don’t do this, you are one step behind; the customer feels it and is already slipping down the satisfaction scale.

How do you leverage customer contact data in your customer service interactions? Unsure? Contact Sage & Rae Solutions to learn more about our Customer Service Healthcheck, providing you with an overview of improvement areas and detailed plans to tackle them.

Where does your customer search?

Are your customers using a preferred search engine? Are they researching on social media platforms? Do they ask their friends or online communities for recommendations?

Chances are your customers are observing, researching, and making buying decisions based on information sourced from various digital channels. Many clients ask, – where do I need to be? What digital channels will be most effective for my business?

It can be a hard question to answer at times.  On the one hand, it depends on what products or services you are selling and the demographics of your target customer. On the other hand, there are several well penetrated digital channels where you need to be at a minimum, as that is where the masses are searching. 

According to the Hootsuite Global Report (Q3 Update), 69% of the North American population is on Social Media.  The top 5 Social Media platforms leveraged by consumers aged 16-64 are:

Social Media PlatformCanadaUS
YouTube85%79%
Facebook79%74%
Facebook Messenger62%55%
Instagram53%52%
Twitter40%40%

Next to visiting Social Media channels, these consumers are also leveraging internet sites on a daily basis. The following table shows the top 5 internet sites by volume for consumers aged 16-64:

Canada
(average time spent)
US
(average time spent)
Google.com12m 55s12m 55s
Youtube.com25m 02s23m 47s
Facebook.com11m 55s11m 29s
Google.ca7m 51s 
Wikipedia.com4m 10s 
Amazon.com 8m 10s
Yahoo.com 8m 23s

Based on the above information, it is clear where the masses are, and this is your starting point to determine where your business needs to be.  And it is not just about being present, it is of utmost importance that your business is easy to find and that your presence is fresh and engaging.

Getting the right exposure to your current and target customers takes more than a simple post.  It takes well-crafted content and cross-channel campaigns to drive customers through your sales funnel. Remember, your customers compare the service you provide them against every other service provider they engage with. Hence, you are competing daily in a cross-industry landscape for the support, advocacy, and share of wallet of your customers.

So, if you have been dabbling with Social Media, perhaps an employee does it now and then as a side job, then it is time to reconsider your approach to get more value from your investment. Social Media platforms undergo frequent changes by introducing new features and tweaking the analytics which determine how you show up in your target customers’ feed. In today’s marketplace, numerous social media companies with the right expertise (and niche focus) can help you gain more value for your investment.

Contact Sage & Rae Solutions for more information on how to get started today!