Customer patience is in shorter supply today than ever before. Thanks, in large part, to digital technology, customers have become accustomed to fast, seamless service across every channel. If this isn’t a big enough challenge for businesses, customer service has become even more complex by the reality that the competition is a mere click away. There is no longer any margin for error when it comes to service delivery. Customer journey roadblocks that may have only frustrated customers at one time are now the impetus for costly customer churn.
Customer journey roadblocks come in many forms. The most obvious are those caused by system glitches, but there is a wide range of others that often can go hidden until they’re discovered in data or discussed in embarrassing customer complaints posted on social media channels. The following guidelines can help you identify and prevent some of the most common customer journey roadblocks that could be causing your customers to stumble over to your competitor.
Become a Customer
You can’t know every detail of your customer experience unless you step into their shoes. While it can be beneficial to use a secret shopper services to gain actionable intelligence, it’s also important to go through the necessary steps of the most common customer journeys to identify possible roadblocks. To make this happen, develop a list of these journeys. You’ll want to include details of each, such as where they originate, the channels that are used and the common goals that customers are trying to achieve.
Evaluate Overall System Functionality
Yes, this can be a daunting task. Contact center infrastructure is costly and can be time-consuming and disruptive to deploy. However, cloud-based systems have minimized many of these problems and can help to overcome common roadblocks caused by outdated systems, such as the inability for context and history to be shared across channels.
Look at Routing Issues
Many customer service-related issues are due to inefficient queue-based routing that doesn’t effectively use the resource pool and also prevents callers from easily getting to the right resource. If you’re consistently identifying that some agents are being overloaded while others sit idle, it may be time to review routing and make changes if necessary.
Don’t Ignore the Gap between Digital and Voice
More customers are beginning journeys via self-service channels. However, if they need to escalate an issue, they are likely to shift over to voice. In most cases, customers who want to shift channels, have to search on a website for a phone number and then dial in and wait to speak with an agent. It’s likely this agent has no context for the customer’s call. It’s easy to see how this roadblock can cause tremendous frustration for a customer. A solution, such as Conversation Bridge can give the ability for the customer to request a callback through any digital channel to bridge that critical gap between digital and voice.
Make Quick-Fix Phone System Improvements
While there can be glaring roadblocks that can take extensive efforts to rectify, such as outdated infrastructure that hinders customers’ ability to shift channels, there can also be plenty of small challenges that cause a tremendous amount of frustration. For example, an IVR system that doesn’t match prompts to the right departments or an extension that simply leaves customers on eternal hold. Even a difficult to understand on-hold message or greeting can propel customers to hang up. This is why it’s essential to go through every aspect of your phone system to identify these minor, service-diminishing problems.
More Channel Options
The average contact center now manages nearly 10 communication channels. If you’re still only providing your customers the option of calling or emailing, it may be time to add the communication channels that today’s customers are using. More than ever, they prefer options like instant message, text or chat. If you’re not giving your customers the channels they want, they are likely to find them with your competitor.
Give Agents the Tools They Need
Are your agents logging in and out of systems and jumping between dashboards and screens to help answer a single customer question? This is not only stressful for the agent, it is time-consuming for the customer. With a unified agent desktop, interactions can be dramatically streamlined to save time.
Make Roadblock Detection an Ongoing Task
Providing your customers with the most efficient, easy paths to service is not a one-time effort. This should be an important part of continuous improvement to ensure you’re staying competitive and able to meet your customers’ needs. By always being on the watch for these hurdles and hindrances, you can go a long way toward avoiding customer frustrations that negatively impact your bottom line.