The pressure on bottom-line is more than ever and all organizations are focusing on their cost cutting measures by removing non value added activities, services etc. and customer communication is one sensitive area where normally one will not tread for cutting costs. This is purely due to the fact that any small cost reduction in this area is perceived to bring larger reductions in customer satisfaction and rightly so. Customer satisfaction is one of the key business metrics for all organizations and communication with customers on their feedback, issue resolution, further sales opportunities etc. are treated as most important activities regarding this. Now, the time has come to change our approach a little bit – No, I am not saying that importance of customer satisfaction has reduced now – not at all, in fact it is at its highest peak now and will keep on scaling new heights with customers demanding more and more of your mind share. The change that we need to bring is to stop talking to customers for activities that have known resolutions and results.
Best in class companies have already started using intelligent IVRs for customer communication on their regular day-to-day issues and these are becoming popular with customers as they do not have to wait for longer hours for getting responses to their questions and organizations save on cost by utilizing the staff allocated for these activities for other productive work. Also, some businesses have extended their applications to their customers by providing access to their problem database, frequently asked questions and product suggestion options so that they can themselves resolve their issues, get suggestions on product options etc.
The above methods have brought good results so far and both customers and suppliers are not complaining. NVAs like credit disputes, claim processing issues etc. take away lot of staff efficiency and there is a strong need today to automate and streamline your client dispute resolution process and start spending more time listening to them on the REAL issues. Several workflow based solutions are available in market that enable the customers to see the status of their requests/order online on their own and we can save lot of time in doing something else for them.
Spending time with the customers like providing solutions for their business challenges, their growth and expansion plans as well as their business initiatives will make sure that we engage with them as business partners and the same objectives of making them succeed in their ventures and hence a stronger, longer and more fruitful bond between the supplier and customer.
So, stop talking to customer on activities that they will be ahppy handling themselves on the bais of pre-defined workflow/business logic and listen to them as well as work with them on the activities where a true win-win partnership can be built together. Always strive to work together so that you win together.