By Warren Newbert, CEO at Infinity.
Almost half of consumers agree they have been on the end of a poor call in the last 6 months according to Infinity’s ‘Moments That Matter Survey. Call centres often represent the only form of real human interaction with a brand, having the ability to completely transform their brand perception.
If a customer is ringing up customer service it is most likely because they have a query, an issue needing resolving or information needing to be submitted. Infinity’s research canvassed 2,000 UK consumers and further demonstrates the impact of a negative customer call experience. As economic downturn indicates a further period of chaos for everyone, it’s never been so important for organisations to get customer experience right. Every question answered, every call that is returned and every problem solved is a moment that matters to consumers.
Time is of the essence
The digital age allows immediacy – consumers can watch their favourite TV programmes, order food and hail a taxi all at a touch of a button. As technological capabilities continue to grow, so do customer expectations. Similarly, customers want a smooth customer experience just as easily. to stay ahead of the game, businesses across all industries will need to raise the bar on their customer experience. Every market is now a fast-changing and demanding environment, and consumers expect more than ever from their interactions with brands.
Moreover, we all lead busy lives and time is precious. With the rise of remote working, everyday tasks like putting a wash on can be completed alongside the workday. Having to sit on hold, waiting for a call to be picked up, can create a great interruption. Only 60% of consumers would only wait on hold for up to 10 mins before hanging up on a brand, with 31% willing to only wait 5 minutes.
Easing financial worries
Businesses and consumers alike have faced a great deal of instability over the last few years. With a spike in energy bills, inflation, and a recession now on the horizon, customers will be feeling anxious and frustrated. People are going to be a lot more cautious when it comes to spending their money, making the sales journey incredibly precious to brands.
Creating a positive reputation needs to be a top priority for every organisation, especially as uncertainty will cause customer calls to increase. Worried customers need their questions answered by a calming and helpful voice – but what happens when they leave that call more tense and frustrated?
As the energy crisis has skyrocketed bills, customers have picked up the phone to their utility providers. The Moments That Matter survey also discovered that over the last six months, 60% of consumers say have been disappointed with how utility companies have handled their calls.
Similarly, interest rates are sharply rising, causing customers to contact their banks with concerns around mortgage repayments. Financial anxiety can be agonising and there’s a real need to speak to a person on the phone to solve such a human issue. But 24% claim their leading source of frustration with their bank was being put through to an automated voice. In a time where great customer experience is vital, energy providers and banks are quickly losing customers’ trust.
Customer calls are rich with insights into the thoughts and feelings of customers, helping brands to focus in on empathy during this time. Call intelligence tools capture these conversations, providing real-time insight into how calls are being handled, surfacing frequent questions and more. Businesses can then ensure customer queries are being answered with the right tone of voice and further train staff about the best advice to give.
Organisations can also use these insights to compile FAQs to list on their own websites. A lot of customer journeys begin with a Google search, trying to seek an answer before picking up the phone. By publishing questions and answers, companies may be able to resolve a customer’s issue entirely – if a query isn’t listed or a customer would rather have a conversation, they’re also welcome to dial customer services.
It cannot be stressed enough that excellent customer experiences are key during this period, especially as organisations face a storm of increasing call volumes. Customers will be seeking out call centres for reassurance only another human can provide.
Brands that strive to understand customer frustrations will come up on top, with customers finding them a safe haven for their financial worries.