Providing a good customer experience is imperative to every business, getting it right will ensure customer loyalty and champion your business above your competitors. Temkin Group found that after having a positive experience with any company, 77% of customers would recommend it to a friend. However, call waiting times are still falling short of your customers expectations and it’s having major consequences.
There’s more visibility than ever when it comes to less than agreeable customer service with customers turning to social media to vent their frustrations with hold times. In fact, 75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent. (Source: Harris Interactive)
A recent investigation by Which? revealed that customers are being infuriated by their energy suppliers after being left on hold for unacceptable amounts of time causing them to switch providers.
A lesson that unfortunately energy supplier Spark Energy found out to their own costs recently, as the company went bust. Which was maybe no real surprise when the Which? investigation found that the typical waiting time for their customers on hold, was 27 minutes and 21 seconds. Any customer trying to make contact and being left on hold for this amount of time is going to feel severely undervalued, frustrated, angry and also out of pocket, as that call could potentially cost the customer £15.
Spark Energy were not the only business failing their customers, many other energy suppliers were found to be making their customers wait for long periods of time, five of the big six kept their customers on hold for 10 minutes or longer on average. It was not just customers on hold getting frustrated either, web chat was also neglected with long response times and many attempts completely unanswered or unavailable.
Fortunately, there are multiple ways to speak to your customers effectively rather than relying on call agents and call centres.
The key is to provide a variety of options that suit customers’ preferences as they will natural choose the method most convenient to them. JD Power found that 42% of customers prefer live chat over other methods of contacting companies making SMS chat a unique solution to improve dialogue with customers.
Utility companies need to contact customers regarding meter readings as well as collecting payments for their charges. These simple transactions don’t necessitate a phone call. A Mobile Journey can enable customers to enter meter readings at a time that suits them just by accessing the link in their reminder text message. Once submitted this new reading will then be pushed back into your system and a new Mobile Journey can be sent out to collect payment or issue an invoice in the form of a digital letter.
Providing customers with alternative methods to reach you will already ease the pressure of your contact centre and ultimately improve your customers’ experience. Take a look at our Call Centre Solutions