Numbers don’t tell lies. In a blog by Application Development analyst Kate Leggett, good IT customer service is revealed for what it really is. The stats, collected by Forrester data, indicate with little doubt that valuing the customer’s time is the decisive factor of a satisfactory service experience. As Leggett puts it:
Customers simply want an accurate, relevant, and complete answer to their question upon first contact, so they can get back to what they were doing before the issue arose.
A more detailed look at the data from Forrester shows that up to 55% of US adults who shop online are willing to abandon their purchase transactions in the absence of speedy customer support, with 77% who say that valuing their time is the #1 thing a company needs to get right. In the study it was also found that older people now make up a significant portion of the online customer base, and are just as likely to be impatient with online purchases.
In the face of these statistics, Leggett offers some advice on how to provide great customer service that won’t strain a customer’s patience. The following is a summary of her recommendations.
Among other things, Leggett advises companies to avoid using certain online channels, especially the self-service and virtual, which have received surprisingly low customer service ratings to date. What’s more, utilizing cross-channel communication (chat to phone, etc.) is an excellent way to preserve the context of interactions that must shift between service agents
Standardize and Inform
Based on the Forrester survey, the old axiom of standardization holds true. When dealing with a customer’s time, regardless of media type, all service experiences should have normalized work-flows and business rules so that staff can know what acceptable protocol is, and what it isn’t. Additionally, service agents will need all the necessary information that is available (but not too much) at the right time and in the right order to make their interaction with customers smooth and speedy.