Today’s post is by Ben Noble, NewVoiceMedia communications manager of North America. He specializes in contact center technology and has a deep understanding of inside sales and customer service markets.
A successful business is more than just delivering a great product. Whatever your company offers, chances are you aren’t the only one offering it – and, if you are, competition is surely hot on your trail.
Globalization has opened the competitive landscape. In fact, shopping local is almost a misnomer now. The Internet has blurred borders, and virtually anyone can sell from anywhere.
So what keeps your business afloat? How do you snag the soapbox when so many are shouting for attention?
Today, how you sell and service your product is almost as important as the product itself. Communication channels and brand identities have melded into one. Companies that master customer interaction and experience are hailed through word of mouth and outperform competition.
In a recent NewVoiceMedia study, survey respondents indicated they would be more loyal (70 percent), would recommend businesses to others (65 percent), would use businesses more frequently (43 percent), and would spend more money (40 percent) if provided with better customer service.
Similarly, a study from CEB proved that 94 percent of customers will repeat buy from companies that provide low-effort service experience.
One brand = 1 conversation.
Today, customers talk. They skip commercials, they Google product reviews, and they chat with 1,000 of their closest friends online to determine what they want to buy. They are the computer generation, and – though their phone, email, and social media seem like vastly different channels – customers see them in unison as “their voice.”
Customers want you to talk with them, not at them. And, just like they view every one of their channels as an extension of their voice, they see every conversation with a company as a personal interaction.
For many, the interaction is broken, fragmented, and a source of frustration. In the above-mentioned NewVoiceMedia study, researchers explain how – on the inbound side – customers are often dissuaded from calling businesses, citing the following conversational obstacles: having to repeat info to multiple agents (49 percent), having to wait on hold (41 percent), or having to navigate multiple menus (39 percent).
Modern sales are driven largely by relationships. To forge relationships, companies must humanize their brand. To humanize their brand, companies must unify their voice across all channels. For some, this is problematic…
“Supporting multiple customer contact channels creates issues for companies, chief among them the imperative to provide consistent information across all channels. To be able to deliver a seamless customer experience they must integrate their channels of communication, share all available information among the employees and systems handling interactions, apply the same rules in all of them so that responses are consistent as well as personalized, and maintain context as customers shift across touch points.” – Ventana Research
To win customers, your company must become a single entity.
It’s pretty difficult to move and speak as one when your company is divided into departments. Without the right tools, it’s virtually impossible. Modern customers have needs that can be met only with agile technology.
Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms are today’s conversation dashboard. Platforms like Salesforce offer companies visibility that extends across all areas of their business. Applications like those from the AppExchange can further connectivity and weld together conversations. Tools like computer telephony integration (CTI) and omnichannel monitoring can augment your platform to become the herald of all your brand interactions.
Basically, if you haven’t invested in a CRM solution, your business is lagging.
It might not be obvious yet, but, if your company is not operating with customer relationship management as a top priority, you will lose money. The modern market is about customer experience, and patrons will gladly trade your product for a competitor that provides clearer, more coordinated communication.
Don’t want to fall behind?
- Make sure your company has a platform that provides visibility across all areas of the business. Find a CRM platform that can accommodate everything from sales to service to marketing.
- Tether your communications to your CRM solution. Look at CTI providers that can offer call analytics, note transcription, and omnichannel connections so every conversation you have with a customer is tracked, documented, and referenced.
- Create a smarter approach for sales and service by tailoring messages and offerings to individuals based on their needs and wants. Treat every customer as unique, preserve their business, and gain their allegiance.