Experience Trumps All. Leveraging the Top Trends in Customer Service

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1 Experience Trumps All Leveraging the Top Trends in Customer Service

2 Table of Contents 03 The Changing Landscape of Omnichannel Service 05 Trend 1 The Social Media Explosion 07 Trend 2 Device Hopping 09 Trend 3 Knowledge (Not Content) is King 11 Trend 4 Resolution is Hyper-Critical 13 Trend 5 Growing Appetite for Self-Service 15 Experience Trumps All 18 About ebay Enterprise

3 The Changing Landscape of Customer Service The landscape of brick and mortar retail is changing. Consumers are expecting retailers to interact with them in various new and innovative ways and to know their shopping preferences at each interaction, despite the channel. All retailers strive to provide exceptional customer service, however, many are falling short in the eyes of their customer. Consider the following: 9 out of 10 brands believe they provide good customer service, yet, only 1 in 10 customers agree. (Lee Resources) Two out of every three brands switched service providers last year due to poor customer service ratings. Of those, 82% stated that one interaction to have an issue resolved could have saved them from switching. (Harvard Business Review) 3

4 94% of customers will continue to shop with a brand after their issue is resolved Further, research indicates that 94% of customers that have their issue resolved will continue to shop with a given brand again. On top of that, they also end up spending 2.5 times more than they did previously, and stay with that particular brand 7 times longer than its competitors. (Harvard Business Review) The bottom line is that customer service really matters. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2016, companies in all industries will be competing primarily on the customer experience they provide. Armed with this information, how should you respond? In this ebook, we ll cover the major trends shaping the consumer experience, and provide some helpful hints explaining how you can use them to gain your strategic advantage 4

5 Trend 1: The Social Media Explosion We start with an obvious but nonetheless important trend. By now, everyone knows that the way consumers are interacting across various commerce channels is dramatically shifting. Customer service is no different. Gartner predicts that social-based customer service will increase its share from 7% in 2014 to 28% in 2018 an overall increase of 400%. As a result, phone-based service will continue to decrease in share as social and web-based chat become more popular means of interacting and resolving customer issues. Against this backdrop, consumers increasingly expect responses to their social inquiries in a timely fashion. We also shouldn t forget that many of today s social channels were non-existent or irrelevant factors just five years ago. We simply don t know what new channels will pop up over the next decade. 5

6 Steps to Take When it comes to handling social inquiries, agents first and foremost need to exercise strong judgment. Social service cannot typically be handled with scripts, and each interaction will be unique based on the consumer s specific experience. Social media has broadened customer service beyond one-to-one interactions, and agents need to handle them carefully. By their very nature, these interactions can spread faster than any other channel, so customer service agents should take this into account and respond accordingly based on set processes, procedures and brand guidelines. Therefore, it is imperative for agents to listen to their customers, to remain fully engaged and to know how they are going to stay ahead of the customer s desired engagement preferences. On the plus-side, using social can help build your brand and create brand ambassadors as your customers interact with one another on social networks, and as they take note of your responsiveness to their inquiries. A downside to social is how quickly negative comments can be spread and impact your brand. So you must ensure that your service associates have a process for managing negative social media. In some cases it s best to try to take that customer into another channel to resolve the issue; but either way, you still need to ensure a timely response to the social post in order to diffuse additional negative commentary. Social media platforms have forced marketing and service to have a strong partnership. In order for the service department to be effective, they must be informed about the marketing organization s top priorities and vice-versa. It s important to keep in mind that language and tone must be professional and consistent across all touch points. Deploy analytics appropriately to handle the influx of social content. 6

7 Trend 2: Device Hopping The customer experience begins at a consumer s first interaction with your brand. They expect to establish a connection with you at every interaction, no matter the touch point or device. From 2014 to 2015, the percentage of customers that said they wanted a technology connected shopping experience increased from 18% to 42%. In 2015, 67% of consumers say they are using smartphones to enhance their shopping experiences; up from 26% the previous year. (Lee Resources) Customers that want a technology connected shopping experience % 67% Customers that are using smartphones to enhance their shopping experience 7

8 Steps to Take To address the needs of customers across all devices, retailers and brands should standardize their service approach, as well as the look and feel across all channels. It s important for service agents and associates to have access to all customer touch points and interactions in order to effectively address issues and provide a good experience that keeps the consumer engaged. This holds true regardless of whether the consumer uses one device or four for a single purchase. For example, many retailers have chat capabilities enabled through their web store to help customers, whether it s to answer questions about products, help with placing an order, or a separate service question. But, many retailers do not optimize chat capabilities across other devices. Having chat enabled on your web store, but not optimized for the mobile store, creates an unpleasant experience for the customer. A consumer may begin a chat while shopping during their lunch break from their computer. But later, they may be traveling so they choose to interact through the mobile web store. Regardless of device, consumers expect the same service and expect the brand to value their relationship enough to know who they are and all about their purchases and interactions. 8

9 Trend 3: Knowledge (not Content) is King Transparency is cited by 70% of customers as their top need for a satisfying experience. (incontact) The fact is that customers are willing to share more information about themselves if it will be used to improve their shopping experience. They also expect all of your brand representatives, both customer service and store associates, to have awareness and insights into their shopping preferences and history, and interact with them accordingly. 9

10 Steps to Take Personalization is imperative for any retailer that wants to stay in the game. Service agents and store associates need to have the tools in place that will enable them to easily access customer information, as well as order and interaction history to personalize the shopping experience. So when a customer calls the contact center, they shouldn t need to start from scratch explaining their chat interaction about a particular issue from earlier that day or week. The agents should have access to contact history, as well as order history in order to address questions, concerns and issues as quickly as possible. For instance, if a customer reaches out to the contact center inquiring about an order placed by a store associate the day before, the contact center associate should be able to see the order and track the product down to provide insight. In a lot of cases, this type of knowledge isn t available and causes a less than pleasant consumer experience. 10

11 No customer experience can be good unless the agent handling the contact has the tools to do the job. This means minimizing the ping-ponging between screens and systems through the use of tools and technologies that provide a common interface. The use of computer-telephony integration should be standard practice for all high-traffic call centers so that the agent can spend time listening to the customer and not typing basic info that can be auto-populated. The most evolved call centers are also presenting an NBA (Next Best Action) for the customer. This typically presents the next best item to the agent to up-sell or cross-sell, but also prompts the agent to makes a customer aware of upcoming promotions, new products, and loyalty programs. The aim is to provide a 360-degree view of the customer at all points along their customer service journey, regardless of touch point, and ensure that all information is relevant. The integration of technology and data is a major factor in the success of retailers to deliver personalized experiences to their customers. If retailers want to remain relevant, they will need to make investments in both technology and process to enable a true 360-degree customer view. 11

12 Trend 4: Resolution Has Become Hyper-critical This point may seem obvious, but it s so important that we d like to put a spotlight on it. To be effective in resolving negative customer experiences, retailers must do more than just respond; they need to ensure that the consumer is fully satisfied. We can t stress enough the impact that proper resolution has on perception, future customer engagement, and loyalty our research has shown a 50 to 70 point delta in overall customer satisfaction scores when customer issues are fully resolved versus when they re not. 12

13 Achieving resolution during the first contact (FCR) significantly improves customer satisfaction scores and brand loyalty. Although we should strive for increased FCR, consumers are happy and will continue to shop provided they feel the resolution to their issue was acceptable and they feel valued. While FCR is key to achieving customer satisfaction, retailers should strive toward achieving one-touch resolution. Seventy-three percent of consumers indicate they have experienced inconsistencies in price and/or promotions online vs. in-store; of those, 56% are willing to continue shopping that retailer provided they get the best price offered. So the ability for service agents to make those concessions can make or break the experience. What are the most frustrating aspects of a poor customer service experience? Having to contact a company multiple times for the same reason 47% Being passed from agent to agent 43% Impolite customer service representative 37% Being put on hold for a long period 35% CSR, self-service that cannot answer my questions 33% 24% Being told you will have to take another action to resolve your issue 24% CSRs not calling back, following up as promised 23% Inability to reach a customer service representative on an IVR 11% Lack of online information or support channels 4% Other (write-ins include not being able to understand CSR, inexperienced/uninformed agents) 13

14 Process People Technology Steps to Take We recommend a simple, three-pronged approach: People, Process and Technology. Retailers must first empower their service agents to take action in fully resolving issues. Standardized processes should be created and widely communicated so that agents can easily access them and be empowered to make decisions and appeasements when warranted; in order to avoid escalating calls, which increases interaction times and decreases customer satisfaction. Like most of the other trends, the proper implementation of technology also plays a critical role; you must have the right tools that will enable your service representatives to view policies and procedures and execute properly against processes while keeping the consumer experience at the forefront. 14

15 Trend 5: The Growing Appetite for Self-Service The final trend we ll touch on is perhaps the most recent factor that has cropped up across commerce. With the proliferation of mobile and automated technologies, customers are increasingly seeking the ability to handle simple issues on their own. Providing self-service not only allows consumers to do things on their own time versus during service hours, but also decreases the amount of time waiting on hold or for an response. The new generation of shoppers is also more inclined to figure it out with self-help versus contacting service. While the benefits of supporting a self-help infrastructure should be obvious, it can be challenging to implement and maintain in a way that is intuitive for the consumer. An improperly implemented system may in some cases do more harm to the customer experience than good. 15

16 Steps to Take Retailers should take stock in order to understand their internal capabilities in this area, and carefully decide how and when to implement. We recommend implementing listening tools and analytics to identify and understand the most frequent contact requests about your products, in addition to the most common pain points that might be best handled in a self-serve fashion. Identifying the key contact reasons and provide self-help online will decrease the number of contacts, and ultimately cost. Self-service options should include help on your web store, IVR, and even social media sites so your customer has channel choice. Believe it or not, some of your customers don t want to have to talk to you. 16

17 Experience Trumps All To Summarize: The way consumers are interacting with various channels of commerce is dramatically shifting. Along with interaction patterns, consumer expectations of brand interaction are changing. Customers now expect to establish a connection with a brand at every interaction no matter the channel or device. Every attempt should be made to try and customize your consumer interactions based on their specific needs and preferences. Retailers are being forced to handle social interactions very carefully as customer-to-brand relationships are no longer one-to-one. To address the needs of customers across all devices, brands must standardize their service approach, as well as the look and feel across all channels and customer touch points. 17

18 The integration of technology and data is a major factor in the success of retailers to deliver personalized experiences to their customers. Your customers now expect all brand representatives, both customer service and store associates, to be aware of their shopping preferences and history and interact with them accordingly. If retailers want to remain relevant, they will need to make investments in both people, process and technology. To be effective in resolving negative customer experiences, retailers must do more than just respond; they must respond well and make the consumer feel valued. Retailers need to empower their agents to take action in resolving issues, create a standardized process to handle common issues, and implement technology that enables them to execute against the process. Customers are increasingly looking for ways to resolve issues on their own. Options should be available to the customer regarding how to go about contacting the brand for resolution. Options should include all channels through which the customer can interact with the brand: web, app, social, phone system. Retailers should be laser focused on making customer service a top priority, to drive customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and revenue. 18

19 About ebay Enterprise

20 ebay Enterprise is a leading global provider of retail-optimized commerce solutions, including the Magento platform, order management, fulfillment, customer care, and marketing solutions. We enable brands and retailers of all sizes to deliver consistent omnichannel experiences across all retail touch points to attract and engage new customers, convert browsers into loyal buyers, and deliver products with speed and quality. With unrivaled flexibility and control, our clients are armed to accelerate sales growth and win with today s digitally connected consumer. ebay Enterprise Customer Service Solutions ebay Enterprise is more than a service partner. Our 100% commerce-focused solutions find insights in your customer interactions to drive sales, as well as satisfaction. Our agents speak nine languages and are available 24/7. With extensive training, we create proud brand experts dedicated to enhancing your customers experience. Leading technologies including IVR, learning management systems, and desktop automation make it easier for agents to focus on your customers. And during your peak selling seasons we can scale to your demand, keeping response times short and satisfaction scores high. Just ask our clients, who achieve higher customer satisfaction scores than industry benchmarks. Learn more at ebayenterprise.com. Contact us: ebay Enterprise, Inc. or its subsidiaries. All rights reserved. ebay Enterprise and its logo are trademarks of ebay Enterprise, Inc.

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