For years, customer service departments have focused on the number of customers served and the speed with which they were processed, but all that changed in 2020, when the health crisis caused a major transformation in the way customers users interact with brands.
Now, it takes more than speed to satisfy and retain customers and a new priority has emerged in their relationships: they seek more sensitive and comprehensive interactions with agents, especially in their call centers. To this change must be added that companies now have more communication channels with the customer than ever, due to the rise of hybrid consumers, who combine physical and digital channels, and to unite all these contact channels through an experience omnichannel, considered one of the great strategies to improve the customer experience, according to the results of a KPMG study.
Likewise, it is directly related to four of the pillars of the client experience analyzed by the consultancy: it favors the personalization of the service, it encourages the reduction of time and effort, it allows meeting the client’s expectations and it generates empathy and lasting relationships.
Today, customers demand that the brand know them, understand their needs and, according to an Accenture survey , 48% expect personalized treatment. For this reason, successful companies are also ensuring that contact center agents are able to properly address customer inquiries to ensure they get complete resolutions and don’t have to come back for answers to their questions.
Demonstrating empathy with the customer is not an easy task, but customers are very aware of the lack of connection between their expectations and reality, because of the expectation of 68% of customers who expect brands to show empathy, only 37 % confirm that companies tend to demonstrate it, as pointed out by a Salesforce study.
Therefore, from masvoz , they provide us with different keys to help companies generate empathy with the customer through digital channels: The integration of a live chat solution within an omnichannel platform with the aim of communicating and interacting at the moment, attended by people who will allow to maintain closeness with users.
It is a channel that provides flexibility, becoming the third most popular contact channel, after telephone and email. Chatting with people not only provides immediate responses, but also empathy and competence to respond to users’ concerns efficiently. According to Forrester data, 37% of contact centers already use live chats and an additional 15% plan to implement them. That same study shows that they are between 17% and 33% cheaper than a phone call and that the procedures are resolved more quickly.
Faced with the desire of clients to be served by an agent who listens to them and responds empathically, they increasingly opt for the use of more emotional messages, show concern and be able to issue the correct information when it is most needed. An annoying or inappropriate tone will negatively affect customers, especially when the message is in writing, as the tone is not perceived and can lead to misinterpretations, which will make the management of the query and its resolution more complicated.
Along these lines, video has become an ideal tool to convey emotions through verbal and visual communication, being 9 times more memorable than text, as well as being a low-cost tool. The leaders of the customer service teams try to capture user information throughout the entire customer journey process so that they can approach users knowing their history, and not starting from scratch.
Thus, communication can focus on meeting the customer’s need. This data can then be used as a guide to better understand the customer and their preferences and to improve the personalization of the service. The agents have to show empathy with the situation of each client expressing a sincere desire to solve their problem and for this, the starting point is active listening .
It is not only about hearing, but it is necessary to attend beyond words to gather more information about the client, correctly interpret the messages that are communicated, both verbal and non-verbal, and see what personalized measures can be taken. In fact, according to a Bain study , active listening is a key element in ensuring customer retention., as this form of communication provides a positive experience with the brand, allowing companies to increase profits between 25% and 95%.
Omnichannel platforms that add communications such as social networks are a good channel in which to start listening, becoming a new form of communication that companies should take advantage of. In addition, they allow companies to appear more human and use them as a means of contact and building relationships with customers.
Companies should not forget that, today, everything revolves around the customer. Along these lines, Deloitte has reported that customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable . From Gartner they point out that more than two thirds of companies now compete mainly on the basis of Customer Experience. “The era of empathy in customer communication has come to stay and is now a must.
Organizations that implement a strategic omnichannel solution for their contact center customer service teams will be more likely to foster more customer experiences. The pandemic may have highlighted the importance of this quality, but it has always been at the center of human relations and those companies that can really offer it will have a competitive advantage . ” says Nacho Ginés, Product Manager, masvoz.