May 07, 2015
We’ve all been there: You call up a company with a question or basic process-inquiry. You get the recording, make your choice, yell “Representative!” and wait for a real person to come on the line. They then transfer you to someone else (AFTER you’ve given them all your info), only to repeat the process all over again. Maddening.
And now, as it turns out, costly as well.
Brian Olesen, Director of Enterprise Operations at cloud contact center leader inContact, just posted a blog on the problem in general and how it’s specifically impacting one particular industry: Financial services.
“Over the past two decades, the financial services industry has witnessed a number of transformative events including the rising popularity of online banking, increasing levels of technological advancement, and increasing levels of government regulation. Banking isn’t what it was when I was a branch teller over two decades ago,” Olesen writes. “It is the next big change, however, that will dwarf all of these. Naturally, some financial institutions will adapt and others will not. The Customer Experience – the combined set of processes and business interactions that define how a customer conducts business. Companies that get it will thrive, and those that don’t will die a painful death.”
Olesen cites a recent Ernst and Young comprehensive survey that looked at 32,000 retail banking customers across 43 countries.
“They found that customers expect superior customer experiences with ‘the way I am treated’ ranking as second only behind ‘financial stability’ as the most important reason for trusting their bank,” Olesen notes. That’s a sobering statistic all by itself, but the survey also indicated that poor customer experience is the most common reason for closing accounts – even more so than fees, rates, locations, and convenience.
Now, think for just a moment: How are your people interacting with those who call you? Frightening thought, isn’t it?
Based on the survey’s finding, Olesen offers three suggestions on how to better interact with your customers, so that they STAY customers. They include:
Empower Your Employees: “Allow employees to solve customer problems by providing them with the right tools and resources,” he suggests.
Empower Your Customers: Provide customers with easy ways to raise issues by removing roadblocks.
Leverage Technology: “Continue to evolve your technology assets leveraging best of breed tools for self-service, the contact center, and the Web,” Olesen says. This way, you’ll always be a step ahead.
“By focusing on the customer experience, companies can improve customer retention and ensure repeat business for years to come,” he concludes. Wise advice, indeed.