More often than ever, we tend to focus on larger problems and bigger challenges while trying to improve the overall customer experience of an organization. The issues considered as minor are usually overlooked and can have a terrible impact on the overall customer experience and build up into something much larger impacting the entire organization.
This can be very much supported by the proponents of the Broken window theory, an academic theory proposed by James Q. Wilson and George Kelling in 1982. According to the theory, the extent to which a community regulates itself has a dramatic impact on crime and deviance. The “broken windows” referred to in the theory is used as a metaphor which proposes the idea that where there is one broken window left un-replaced there will be many.
In the customer care industry, this theory suggests that, the minor issues in customer experience, if left unchecked or un-repaired they may seem to portray a “no one cares” attitude in the organization and can quickly escalate to a snowball effect. This can impact the general perception of customers to your business.
So how can you go about to sort the minor customer service issues in your organization?
Cover the basics of customer service with your employees
The customer care contact center is the most important part of any organization. It is what the customers see, experience and remember. It is a very volatile element of customer service and if it’s neglected, things can easily snowball into something larger and more detrimental, a company’s reputation. In fact, according to research, 82% of customers stop doing business with a company after a bad first contact customer care experience.
Some of the sources of frustrations to customers during their interactions with a customer care center are mainly; Long wait/response time, employees who don’t understand customer needs, unresolved or unanswered queries and too much automation/lacking the human element.
While these may be considered small irritants in some circles, in customer experience they can simply discourage a customer from doing business. Businesses shouldn’t over look them and try to solve them using strategies such as deflection, self-service or recruiting people to help with them.
As suggested by the Broken window theory, a better approach would be to fix these “non-Issues” head on before escalation. A simple un-replied query could easily lead to more heated messages especially in our social media age where people can easily vent out their anger and frustrations on the platforms.
Besides a small problem which could have been easily tackled by one customer care agent would end up requiring multiple interactions which would increase the tackling time and hinder productivity. Gone are the days when it was considered okay to leave un-replied messages because there were bigger priorities. These days’ customers want fast and prompt response time to any of their queries.
Build a customer-centric culture
Creating a customer-centric culture simply means involving employees at every level to identify and solve problems as they occur. This way you get to analyze and understand your organizations processes so that you can weed anything that jeopardize your businesses customer experience.
A good example where this approach would work is in sectors where the employees are given very high targets in terms of the number of customers they can handle. With such high targets, these employees would prefer ending each conversation with customers faster instead of focusing on satisfying the customer’s needs. This may increase reiteration –having customers come back with same issues because they weren’t addressed, and it would hurt productivity.
However with a different approach, like making sure you have completely satisfied one customer at a time before moving on to the next, would clearly create an environment where customers are always satisfied at the end of the call. Unsatisfied customers would be a sacrilege. This change of strategy would strongly improve customer satisfaction, reduce reiteration, and thus volumes and backlog. This would ultimately improve the overall customer experience as well as the agents.
Always remember that before focusing on deploying new strategies or implementing complex campaigns, first go back to the basics, asking what your customers really want. Focus on solving basic needs and problems no matter how small and insignificant they maybe every step of the way to avoid the snowball effect.