Changes in consumer needs and expectations happen quickly. Still, one trend that is clear will stick around is the value customers are placing on the experience they have with the business and the effect it has on their repeat business. A study by Walker is seeing significant changes in the importance of how consumers feel at the end of an interaction with a company, and how this will dictate future interactions.
Walker found in their research that the trend in consumer communications is shifting from pure voice to mostly digital interactions, including business SMS, phone, and video conferencing.
While the number of ways a consumer will communicate with a business will continue to grow, one thing that won’t fade into the past is the need for voice communications.
Unified Communications Enable Proactive Consumer Experience
Traditional customer experience is reactive. If the customer encounters a problem, they contact you by calling into your customer care center to get a resolution. But businesses who recognize the shifts in providing effective customer experience realize that the process must shift from a reactive one to a proactive one.
The authors of Walker’s Customer Report 2020 felt strongly about this, stating in bold letters that “to adequately serve customers and enable the sales function, customer support must ascend beyond “one size fits all.” Providing valuable support means knowing nearly as much about the customer as the sales team does and tailoring support activities accordingly.”
Knowing your customers is vital to getting this right. Customer support application provider, Freshdesk, compiled a list of businesses who have mastered this ability to provide proactive customer support to their consumers and can be a great place to get a start. Additionally, here are a few other ways that unified communications can help:
Integrate Your CRM With Your Unified Communications to Support Proactive Consumer Experience
How does your customer support staff know your consumer? Usually, it’s a function of familiarity. Customer support staff who have interacted with your customer frequently has built a relationship with that customer and knows the history of that consumers experience with your business and product. But what if your more experienced support staff is out, either for illness, vacation, etc.? How would someone unfamiliar with the customer quickly get up to date on their needs to effectively serve that consumer and maintain a good, quality customer experience?
Unified Communications solutions can integrate with your customer relationship management (CRM) solution, bringing all of your consumer information up as soon as the call reaches the PBX, and enabling your staff to know at a glance the history of interactions, regardless of if they specifically had worked on this customers account.
Pre-Defined Call Routing Logic Keeps the Lines Open
Nothing can leave a bad taste in a potential consumers mouth more than being unable to reach service agents when they have a question or support issue. Any number of unexpected events can take a communications system offline, from line cuts to severe weather. You can prevent a potentially damaging interaction with your customers by proactively setting systems in place to keep your lines of communications open.
Unified Communications has systems in place that allow you to set a failover plan in the event of a line cut, severe weather or other unexpected situation. You can pre-define your UCaaS solution and tell it how to act when events occur by setting a failover plan. Maintain open communications with your customers by setting your call flow to failover to individual cell phones or a backup call center (who would also have access to your CRM) if the connection fails. This can be seamless, leaving your customer with no idea of the loss of service.
Proactive Customer Service Builds Positive Brand Image
By keeping the lines of communications open between your business and your customers, you leave your consumers with that warm, fuzzy feeling that will keep them coming back to you. A survey by InContact found that 87% of consumers who were contacted by companies regarding a customer service issue were happy to have been approached. Other statistics included:
- 65% of consumers want to be contacted directly in the event of a fraudulent action on their account. Further, consumers are receptive to reminders, questions, and updates on their orders.
- By receiving an incoming call from a business the consumer is working with, 73% left with a positive experience and feeling about the provider.
Customer experience matters and can be the key to setting your brand apart from the rest. Unified Communications can enable positive consumer experiences for your business. So the question is, how will you compete?