Get More for Less: The Power of Messaging [Aberdeen Report]
Customer service is never without its hang-ups. The biggest challenge customer experience management (CEM) faces is addressing the rapidly changing consumer needs. With new apps and gadgets touted as the next best thing for customer service daily, it’s hard to keep up.
We can agree that certain methods are outdated. We’re talking the 1-800 number, waiting on hold, repeating yourself once you finally reach a representative, having to write down information, and the other pain points associated with customer service. It’s really more trouble than it’s worth! (It’s also more expensive than it’s worth — but more on that later.)
The one thing that’s remained a constant across all things digital-first? Messaging.
Customer messaging, defined: A joint set of technology enablers helping firms communicate with customers across multiple channels, including web, SMS, and mobile apps.
The Aberdeen report “Customer Messaging: Exceed Consumer Expectations and Reduce Cost” studied more than 400 businesses regarding trends and experimentation in CEM. It concluded that messaging-savvy businesses save money and make more customers happier.
This finding not only makes sense intuitively, but it also has the numbers to match. The key to reaching customers and providing better service lies in messaging. And companies like Facebook and Twitter have doubled-down and are banking on messaging as the next big service they can offer brands to accommodate consumer demand. Brands can capitalize on the channels that align with customer preferences to increase customer satisfaction 24% while actually saving 23% on the cost of service.
Messaging is a win-win.
There are several reasons messaging benefits both brand and consumer. The first is speed. Customer care professionals (CCPs) can handle more customers at once, so customers aren’t left wasting their time on hold. Another way of saying this is that more customers can get help faster with fewer CCPs needed — reducing labor and infrastructure costs.
On the flip side, providing an excellent customer experience fosters brand loyalty, turning casual shoppers into repeat buyers. So, increase the number of paying customers while reducing labor costs? You do the math.
Of course, without a strategy in place, you and your CCPs will be flying blind. Thanks to insights from the Aberdeen report, we’ve outlined a few ways to optimize your approach to customer service at every touch point. For a deeper dive into the numbers and how messaging will impact your bottom line, view the Aberdeen report.
Four customer service tips that will always be true.
1. Always monitor and adjust your approach. The first step in deploying a new customer support program is clearly defining your goals so everyone’s on the same page and you can track your performance against them. And be flexible. From the report: “Those that [regularly gauge the effectiveness of their activities and make appropriate adjustments] enjoy 94% greater annual improvement in customer lifetime value.”
2. Maximize your customer care professionals. One of major benefits of customer service in the digital age is that CCPs can handle multiple conversations at once, helping more people in less time. But there’s a fine line between efficiency and productivity...and becoming overloaded with requests. At this tipping point, the quality of care can plummet. Concurrency must be consistently aligned with CSAT. Bonus tip: Let each agent define his or her optimal number of concurrent chats. Everyone works a little differently, after all.
3. Empower your CCPs with the tools they need. Time wasted searching for answers on the CCP’s end costs businesses around $1.45 million every year. This can be undone by giving CCPs everything they’d need to access answers in one easy-to-find place. Note and catalogue the resources that solve each problem to streamline the process in the future. Messaging also empowers managers to easily jump in, view the conversation and lend a hand--without the customer every being interrupted.
4. Set each customer up with the right CCP. Direct customers with the most complicated problems to the most experienced CCPs. This could even happen mid-conversation, if one CCP realizes they’re in over their head. Making sure each CCP is matched with challenges that suit his or her level and abilities makes the best use of everyone’s time on either end of the conversation. And when customer care is efficient, everyone’s happy.
When deployed correctly, messaging can totally transform customer service from a necessary annoyance to an enjoyable experience. A parting thought from Aberdeen:
“Success in CEM is not associated with who spends the most to manage customer conversations. Rather, it’s associated with who invests wisely.”
For more insight and wisdom, download the full report below.