There is an inherent disconnect between enterprise executives and the consumers they serve, one that is hard to address — even for companies with a long track record of success. Rapid marketplace innovation means keeping up with consumer expectations is more difficult than ever before, especially when it comes to Customer Service. This article analyzes several consumer behavior trends and devises strategies to help you retain customers that are leaving by implementing Enterprise Content Management (ECM) for Customer Service.
Established companies around the world are acutely aware of the challenges of the current marketplace. As the cost of new customer acquisition continues to spike, refocusing on the customers that made your company successful in the first place has become imperative. There’s never been a better time to invest in customer retention, and there’s never been a better way than investing in your company, especially when those investments help improve the customer experience and, therefore, customer loyalty. As an enterprise executive, the following consumer behavior trends might be alarming, but when acted upon by implementing ECM with your Customer Service Management or Customer Relations Management (CRM) system, they can actually help you plot the course for a more successful future. How will you respond?
Even Loyal Customers Are Comparison-Shopping
Customers are no longer willing to stick with a vendor based on loyalty alone. Comparison-shopping has become deeply ingrained in our consumer culture, which means your best customers, the ones your business depends on to make large purchases regularly, could be eyeing your competitors to see if they offer cheaper prices, better service, more attractive loyalty incentives, or superior products. It’s just what today’s consumers do. There’s no use fighting it — you have to adapt. While customer loyalty continues to flounder, consumerism is at an all-time high, which means a customer lost is undoubtedly a customer gained for one of your competitors. This is one of the primary reasons why many businesses are turning to Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Workflow Automation to increase back-office efficiency and serve better customer experiences. When discussing the laurels of ECM versus CRM, it’s important to keep one thing in mind: scalability. ECM can help you streamline and automate your Customer Service department while integrating with other technologies throughout the enterprise to insulate your business against disruptions and technical anomalies inherent to disparate or “point” solutions.
Customers Expect Their Problems to Be Resolved in a Single Session
What happens when a customer’s order goes missing? Of course, you do everything in your power to track it down, but are you set up to resolve your customers’ problems efficiently? This is a challenge facing most businesses in the United States — and you don’t need to own a company to understand why. When interfacing with other businesses, how often are your issues resolved in a single session? Are you put on hold? Or promised a callback? Customer loyalty is motivated by a number of factors, but nothing tarnishes your relationship with a customer like poor customer service. In fact, 4 out of 5 consumers have not expressed a notable increase in customer service satisfaction in over 10 years. If you want to retain customers, it’s time to enhance your customer service capabilities.
Web-Based Customer Service Can’t Replace Live Support (Yet)
Droves of companies have started to transition to web-based customer service; however, despite its popularity among business leaders, it has yet to fully win over consumers. Let’s face it, consumer challenges are becoming more and more technical as technological innovation continues to flourish in our world. Posting a library of help-related resources in lieu of phone support can be maddening for consumers who want quick answers to their questions. Live chats that aren’t overseen by a human employee are oftentimes even less effective. There’s still no substitute for a phone call with a reliable representative, but equipping these workers with the tools to succeed is something many executives overlook. If you want to improve customer service, you must not only diversify your customer service channels but also equip your team with the tools to store and retrieve documentation with the click of a button.
Businesses Have Little Control Over Customer Service Expectations
Unfortunately, your customers’ expectations of customer service are largely dependent on factors outside of your control. It doesn’t matter whether an individual is purchasing a pressure washer for their home or ECM tools for their business, consumer behavior is relatively consistent. Therefore, customer service expectations can be elevated by consumer experiences on a personal level. For example, if they purchased a pressure washer online and it was delivered damaged, but they were able to solve the conflict amicably on the first contact, this experience could manifest in unpredictable ways — like heightened expectations for another company’s customer service capabilities. Even if you’re a B2B shop, customer service can be redefined by a buyer’s B2C experiences. What does this mean for enterprise executives? Consumer trends for the enterprise can be gleaned by taking a close look at the best customer experiences you’ve come across personally.
ECM Tools for Customer Service Can Help You Retain Customers Who Are Leaving
No matter how much data you have, predicting how consumers will act always require a little luck. You can eliminate some of the guesswork by fortifying your Customer Service department with ECM tools designed to elevate efficiency and serve superior customer experiences. Oftentimes, this is accomplished in ways your customers cannot see or perceive. What happens behind the scenes at your company matters, and by implementing ECM for Customer Service, you can ensure that you retain more customers by providing the level of service they expect — whether making purchases on the B2C or B2B level.