28 Sep How Customer Service Improves the Stages of the Customer Journey
Depending on how detailed you want to get, there can be any number of customer journey stages. But to simplify things, let’s start with the basic three phases people go through to become a customer.
Acquisition refers to the first time a person becomes aware/interested in your company. Maybe it was from a social media ad or a recommendation from a friend. However they heard about you, you’re glad they did.
Within this phase, you may break up the customer journey into the following stages:
- Initial discovery
- Evaluation of product
- Comparison of other offers
Conversion is the point of sale. If the customer deems your product worthy of their time and money, they’ll purchase it. They will learn how to use your product and how to incorporate it into their lives.
This phase is relatively simple, with the sale being the only significant aspect.
3. Retention or Service
Retention refers to turning your customers into repeat and loyal buyers.
Once your customer has bought your product, you want to ensure they are satisfied with both the product and your company as a whole. To do that, you must have delivered an outstanding product that genuinely satisfies their needs. Then, you should be available to troubleshoot any problems they may have.
In this phase, you can break the customer experience down into a few stages:
- Use of the product
- Customer service experience
- Additional purchases from your company
- Advocating the product to peers
Service: ClearSource’s Specialty
ClearSource BPO is focused on providing industry-leading customer service so you can retain your customers and turn them into loyal brand enthusiasts. As such, we’ll focus the rest of the article on this slice of the customer journey and what you can do to improve it.
What Is Done During the Service Stage?
The overall purpose of the service stage of the customer journey is to minimize the time and effort the customer has to spend to get their questions answered and issues resolved. However, this needs to be done in a way that strengthens the emotional connection that customer has with your brand. That’s where the challenge arises.
To accomplish this tall order, our agents focus on four tasks when performing customer service—no matter the scope of the question or issue:
- Provide accurate information and follow our established processes to learn about the customer’s issue.
- Treat the customer in a way that strengthens the personal and emotional connection between the customer and your brand.
- Get the customer’s problem solved in a timely and efficient manner (ideally completed in one contact).
- Mitigate customer discomfort by sensing when they’re upset about a proposed solution, getting a supervisor involved when necessary.
All in all, these steps should help agents make your customers feel valued and result in calm, satisfying interactions—as opposed to an agitated response.
How You Can Improve Performance During the Service Stage
There are several practices that ClearSource agents observe to constantly deliver outstanding customer satisfaction percentages.
Don’t Overemphasize Wait Times
Too much of the time and money spent on managing call centers focus on reducing the average amount of time it takes for customers to connect with a customer service agent. While this is important, it’s not the most essential part of the customer service experience. That comes from the interaction between agent and customer.
Train for Emotional Intelligence
In addition to knowledge about your products, policies, and business processes, you should also train your agents on emotional intelligence. This will help them be perceptive to the concerns of the caller and de-escalate when the conversation gets heated.
Focus on Quality Assurance Scores
Companies focus on a variety of key performance indicators when measuring the value of their employees—things like customer satisfaction and net promoter scores (NPS) are usually on the radar.
But the most important score is one that many companies put on the back burner: quality assurance. This is because metrics like NPS and customer satisfaction scores are often influenced by elements outside of a call center agent’s control.
Rigorous and consistent attention to quality assurance will yield the best performance improvements over time. This, in turn, can improve the customer journey as a whole.
Improve Your Customer Journey
Looking to improve your customer journey? Enhancing your customer service experience can help. Consider what ClearSource BPO can do to make your customer service an enjoyable experience for both customers and agents.