While many brands focus on delivering customer satisfaction, the concept of customer empowerment is sometimes overlooked. In the past, meeting customer expectations and delivering good service was sufficient enough. The modern consumer, however, has many more options to consider–from greater competition among brands to new technologies and channels at their disposal, there are more decisions to make. To empower customers and make them confident in their choices, brands must make each experience seamless and meaningful while listening closely to customer feedback. Here are five ways to empower the modern customer.
Every brand should learn which channels their customers prefer and make sure to provide consistent support on those channels. For example, if social media platforms are in high demand, agents should be quick to respond while also engaging proactively with customers. The voice channel may be optimized by offering callbacks to customers who prefer to speak to an agent without being placed on hold. Giving customers support on the channels they want empowers them and makes them trust your brand.
One way to empower customers is by saving them time. Self-service options are one way to achieve this, such as offering IVR menus that connect customers quickly to the most qualified agents. A brand website may also offer video tutorials, frequently asked questions, or discussion forums for quick answers to simple questions. Notifying customers proactively about matters such as tracking and delivery information, customer support hours, and website maintenance are also essential to saving them time.
It’s absolutely vital to ask for customer feedback and listen to concerns. Post-contact surveys provide valuable insights while customers still remember the details of an interaction, while periodic surveys are a great way to find out proactively what global improvements may be made. Social media comments should always be addressed promptly as well. When brands make specific improvements, they should reach out to customers who provided feedback to thank them and ask for additional input. This shows customers that their opinions are taken seriously.
Customers need to feel secure at all times. When making a purchase, they should be given secure options that protect their payment information. In addition, customers should feel that they can communicate freely with brands without personal details being compromised. For example, agents should be careful never to disclose personal information over social networks, and any conversations that lead to the sharing of customer data should take place on private channels such as voice or messaging.
While brands may not want to see customers leave for any reason, it’s essential to give customers the right to do so. For example, customers should be able to opt out of promotional offers, including those that are sent via mobile devices (such as SMS or app notifications). Likewise, brands should allow customers to return or exchange products as well as modify services in a reasonable manner. This doesn’t mean that customers will leave a brand altogether. On the contrary, giving customers flexible options simply empowers them to interact with brands on their terms and might actually make them more willing to support such brands.The modern customer may have many decisions to make, but brands that are willing to listen closely to customers’ voices and honor their opinions may empower them and win their loyalty for the long term.
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