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Go the extra mile. Succeed as the agent! Be The Customer.

[fa icon="calendar"] December 10, 2015 / Philip Barron

It’s a crowded global marketplace out there, bursting at the seams with consumers who each have very different requirements, at different times, via different support channels. With that in mind, many organizations still strongly believe that it's as impossible to make a sweeping generalization about what every single customer expects than it is to sneeze with your eyes open.

To this very day, a bottomless sea of customer-facing channels continue to capture organizations as they persistently, profusely proclaim how they’re one hundred and ten percent customer-centric. Pretty reassuring, right? Why would customers even entertain the prospect of seeking alternative providers to cater for their requirements?

Customer service expectations will continue to rise

Think for a moment about the last time you phoned a contact center. How satisfied were you with the service received? Did you wait aimlessly in a lengthy call queue for what seemed like an eternity? Were you required to repeat information unnecessarily? Were you passed between departments like a Frisbee at a family BBQ?

Reminiscing on our own first-hand experiences of center life, we recently spent some time considering the key customer service considerations that help facilitate customer loyalty and positive brand advocacy.

Let’s take a look.

Are customers getting exactly what they’ve paid for?

If a customer pays for a professional clown to attend their kid’s birthday party, they expect to open their door and be greeted by a willfully clumsy clown with unicycle in tow. If they pay for a cleaner to help with the messy party aftermath, they expect a reputable cleaning service to assist.
In our experience, customer frustrations tend to stem from a discontinuity between the expectation of service, and what’s actually received. In layman's terms, customers expect to receive exactly what they’ve paid for!

As customers, value for money means everything to us. Let’s face the facts, when we spend our hard-earned cash on a product or service that’s of benefit to us, we expect it to do exactly what’s been pitched to us by that happy-go-lucky sales representative or on that slick, flashy website.

Current trends continue to reinforce the facts that exceeding customer expectations inevitably makes for loyal, delighted customers. As an agent, your willingness to cater for and meet a broad variation of customer requirements is simply expected as a fundamental cog in the customer service process.

Are customer queries being handled promptly?

A prompt speed of service should always takes precedence, irrespective of the support channels preferred and selected by customers.

Let’s assume you’re the customer for a moment. You’ve got a query about a recent credit card charge and decide to contact your bank to seek clarity and resolution.

Would you appreciate sitting in a call queue innocently humming the repetitive hold music that's now etched on your brain? Would you appreciate being constantly transferred between the “correct departments”? Would you ultimately appreciate jumping through a series of countless hoops in an effort to simply seek a satisfactory solution to your query?

Correct me if i’m wrong, but you'd simply want to know why you’re account’s been charged, right? Nothing more, nothing less!

As more pressing daily to-dos continue to shape our lives, a prompt resolution is always both expected and appreciated by customers. In fact, with every single transfer and subsequent follow-up interaction, customers will rapidly lose patience and trust in both your offering and organization.

Remember, leaving customers waiting has never, ever well received!

Are customers receiving a consistent, personalized experience?

Although growing trends and developments continue to evolve in favor of a seemingly anonymous culture where self-service is popular and prevalent, customers still also expect and appreciate a personalized customer experience.

We’re purposely stomping over common ground and reciting the basics of customer service etiquette here but let’s face it, who benefits from a stale, vanilla customer service experience? That’s right, absolutely no one.

By greeting customers using their name and having a complete history of their previous interactions at hand, agents can lay stable foundations for a welcoming customer interaction, even before queries and concerns leave customers’ lips or fingertips.

Don’t forget, customers and their loyal commitment to a particular product or service funds considerably the organizations and centers that provide our ongoing means of employment and income. An organization without customers is like a pizza without triple cheese.

Devastating and detrimental!

Are you down with the fundamentals of customer service?

Apologies in advance to any aspiring dancers on the call floor, but customers really don’t expect agents to break into glorious song and dance for them. They simply want to use and benefit personally from the products and services they’ve invested in.

When they have a query or concern, they expect a polite and personalized service from professional, understanding agents. While it may seem like a typical grandmother mantra, manners cost not one dime. Believe it or not, customers are not aliens. They’re just like you and I; forward-focused human beings who simply want to feel good and go about their daily business at ease.

Just one more thing. As you finish reading this blog and return to your tasks at hand, consider the questions we’ve asked today when you next communicate with a customer. You've got colossal boots to fill when it comes to exceeding expectations on every single interaction.

Yeah, common sense it may seem, but trust us. We've been where you are currently.

What are you waiting for? Customer expectations can't be exceeded without you!

Topics: Customer Service, Customer Satisfaction, Contact Center Training

Philip Barron

Written by Philip Barron

Phil Barron joined The Call Center School as an E-learning Developer in 2011. His background within various contact center roles helps him to bring his first-hand experiences to life, in the form of engaging and interactive training content.