Our expectations for services and the customer journey we experience have changed a lot over the past number of years. We now expect these services much more quickly.
One of my colleagues recently shared her experience when contacting the customer service of an internet provider. The call was initiated successfully from her mobile. But when she was asked to enter her account number, it wasn't recognized, despite repeated attempts. Eventually, the system accepted it.
Next, she was transferred to a call queue where she assumed she would have a conversation with an agent who could help. Unfortunately, there was no one available to take her call. An automated voice then came to the rescue, offering the option to switch to a chat-based interaction. The system advised an SMS containing a chat link would be sent.
Unfortunately, the SMS never arrived. Frustrated but determined, she decided to switch to her desktop for assistance and initiated the chat herself. The agent at the other end promised a call back - which didn't happen for several days. This was a broken customer journey and it left a long lasting impression on my colleague and myself.
As a Product Manager working in the field of customer assurance, I found it highly interesting. It serves as the perfect example to highlight the importance of assuring every aspect of the customer journey. In this blog, I will explore each of these aspects and explain why they matter.
The Start: The First Impression
Imagine this: the phone rings, and an automated voice answers immediately. It may seem like a regular start to a conversation, but the beginning sets the tone for everything that follows. It's like a friendly greeting when you enter a store. But if this doesn’t happen and you have to wait a long time, it can make you frustrated. Businesses should use systems that reply quickly and can promptly help users.
Getting Help: When Things Should Work Smoothly
When my colleague tried to enter her account number into the automated system, problems began to emerge. Even though automation can make things better, it only does so when things work smoothly. Even small problems can make the customer journey more difficult and negatively affect the overall experience. It is essential to make sure that automated systems are always easy to interact with.
The Human Touch: Balancing Automation and Human Interaction
In the “world of technology”, it's easy to forget that the human touch is still an essential aspect of customer service. After dealing with an automated system, especially when it doesn’t go smoothly, talking to a real person can often feel reassuring. It's like saying, "Okay, someone will assist me now." However, lengthy wait times can take away that feeling. Balancing automation and human interaction is important because customers want and expect both efficiency and a personal touch when they interact with businesses.
Keeping Promises: Building Trust
My colleague was firstly advised that she would first receive a SMS with a chat link. This would then be followed by a call back on her query. But, she waited for days without any response. This oversight highlights how important trust is in the customer journey. When businesses make promises, they need to keep them, no matter how big or small they may appear. Failing to do so will make customers lose trust in your brand and go elsewhere. Consistency and reliability are key to building and keeping consumer trust.
Listening to Customers: Learning and Growing
Customer feedback is like a treasure. It shows you where you can improve. But unfortunately many businesses don't pay attention to this valuable information. Actively asking for and using customer feedback shows that a business cares about its customers. It also helps to improve the customer journey for future interactions. Remember, feedback is not just about hearing what the customer says - it's about making real changes.
Using Modern Tools: Why Monitoring is Important
My colleague's experience with the internet provider’s customer service team was not positive and it has left a negative long lasting impression. She will likely dread trying to contact the internet provider and is even considering changing providers if something similar happens again.
This case is a perfect example of why monitoring every customer interaction is important. At Cyara, we can help with this. We simulate customer interactions, so businesses can see what they are doing well and where they can improve. Monitoring is not just about finding and resolving problems - it's also about ensuring customers feel valued.
Using modern tools is not a choice. In today's competitive market, it's a necessity.
Conclusion: The Customer Experience Jigsaw
Customer experiences are like a jigsaw made of many pieces.
Some pieces may be bigger, like the product itself, and some are smaller, like a brief phone call. But every piece matters and has a part to play in the whole jigsaw. If one piece is wrong or missing, the whole picture is affected.
It's not just about the big things - even the small details are important. And their value is often underrated. Monitoring and improving the customer journey at every step is not optional… It's vital!
At Cyara, we are dedicated to excellence in this area. We offer solutions and services to help you better understand every part of your customer journeys. If you want to learn more about how we can help you to improve your customer interactions and create great experiences, please reach out.
Remember, in customer experience, every part and every interaction matters.