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Rapidly shifting behaviors have fast-tracked a new customer experience where digital engagement is part of almost every customer journey with your brand.
But consumer preference for convenient, self-serve options isn’t just about how they choose to do business with you—it’s also about how they wish to leave feedback on their experience, or more specifically, communicate any issues they had during that experience.
For a long time, brands have leaned on contact centers to field those cases. But as consumer demand for digital interaction continues to advance, brands should consider providing customers with another option—one that is quick, convenient, and available 24/7.
Adding an always-on digital listening touchpoint to your customer experience (CX) strategy is beneficial for several reasons. 1) It provides customers with an immediate outlet to voice their issues; 2) It reduces the volume of calls to your contact center, saving your brand money; and 3) It sets up a more efficient and holistic close-the-loop process across the organization.
In this blog, we’ll dig a little deeper into these benefits and provide you with best practices for implementing digital listening touchpoints—including what features to look for and how to successfully integrate + optimize always-on feedback into your existing problem resolution efforts.
Every interaction with your brand is crucial to consumer perception and future intent. But not every interaction ends with a CX survey, meaning you could be missing out on valuable input. By adding an always-on feedback option you can collect this unsolicited feedback, allowing you to:
Most consumers turn to your website when they want to share something with your brand—whether it’s a brand-level question or a location-specific issue you might not have considered.
Providing a digital feedback form (like the one shown below) directly on your site provides customers with a simple, intuitive outlet—giving you real-time insight into the customer experience in the moment they are willing to voice their thoughts.
Though customer preference continues to aggressively lean more toward digital options, we’re not here to advocate for the removal of contact centers. It’s important to note digital isn’t always the best method.
Recent SMG research on consumer trends shows a significant part of the population preferring human interaction over digital options (this is especially true with customers over the age of 55). Beyond that, there are some customer issues that just can’t be resolved through a form and require a proper two-way conversation.
But the reality is, contact centers can be a pricey operation—especially for brands using a third-party service. And call agents are often under a lot of stress, making it more difficult for them to do their job well which can lead to even more customer dissatisfaction. Anything your brand can do to lessen your contact center’s call volume would be beneficial.
Adding a digital listening touchpoint is one of the most efficient ways to take the pressure off. This not only saves you money in the long run, but it alleviates stress on your call agents and gives them space to handle the most pressing customer cases more effectively.
When CKE Restaurants reevaluated its partnership with a third-party contact center, it was clear there was room for improvement. Its current strategy for managing customer inquiries was not only expensive but included a complicated framework that made it hard to efficiently address customer issues.
To improve its process, the brand began collecting digital customer feedback. The intuitive, always-on digital feedback form allowed CKE customers to communicate and categorize issues directly to the brand’s system, resulting in faster resolution and less labor overall. In fact, CKE was able to automate 80% of customer cases, leaving only 20% of issues needing the “human touch” of an agent—ultimately eliminating the need for an external contact center. CKE cancelled its contract and moved the operation in-house, resulting in an annual six-figure cost savings.
CKE sees six-figure annual savings by automating 80% of customer cases
With the right strategy—and the right CX partner—you’ll have the capability to sync all your feedback channels into one centralized platform. While there are numerous advantages to this holistic approach to case management, we’re going to focus on the top three:
Customer issues aren’t restricted to any one channel—and your ability to respond efficiently and effectively is critical no matter the source. Whether it’s a comment left on your website or issues captured through your contact center, you need an all-inclusive, multi-sourced hub of customer feedback, so you can streamline issues and identify common themes across the business.
In addition to seeing open-ended responses across channels, you’ll be able to run the comments through the same robust text analytics engine. With this streamlined analysis, you can break down cross-channel comments by sentiment and turn the qualitative insights into actionable, quantitative data. And that makes it easier for you to get to quicker, more efficient insights—across your business.
With an alerting system, you can notify managers in your organization when customer feedback needs to be addressed right away. And you’re able to track all of these hot issues—no matter the source—in one place. That means a more complete and efficient close-the-loop process for celebrating exceptional service or responding promptly to issues.
Obviously the main benefit of successfully resolving a customer issue is pleasing the customer. But a secondary perk is gaining transparency into your service recovery efforts. This gives you a clearer picture of where your brand is succeeding and where your efforts should be directed. Do your employees need to work on quicker response times? Or is there a gap in communication where actions are falling through the cracks?
Pull stats to share with your team members and drive engagement across your organization. Take this opportunity to learn from successes and shortcomings, and drum up excitement to improve.
82% of customers report that having their issues responded to quickly is the number one factor of a great customer experience. And 84% of customers who are highly satisfied with their problem resolution express a high likelihood to return to the business where the issue occurred.
Meaning: Problems can actually be a great opportunity to gain customer loyalty and drive repeat business.
You have to give customers the chance to voice their problems. But if those problems are primarily being handled by an external contact center, you’re likely spending too much money and missing valuable insight from your more digital-forward customer. Additionally, you’re wasting agent time and effort on a great deal of customer issues that could be better addressed through self-serve digital channels—freeing up those agents to spend time on customer cases that require a higher touch.
Adding digital listening posts and setting up a multi-channel problem resolution strategy may seem complicated but with the right support, it’s actually a very seamless process. Partnering with an experience management (XM) provider is the best way to take the heavy lifting off your team and start seeing results fast.
To learn more about the financial gains of a holistic XM program that provides real-time feedback, check out: The ultimate guide to experience management ROI.
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