Brands are increasingly focusing to become more customer-centric and elevate customer experience to improve customer satisfaction, loyalty, and lifetime value.  Consumer Durable goods companies that provide high value and complex products face unique challenges.

Here are 10 Best practices to deliver customer support excellence in the consumer durable goods industry.

1. Ease of access to relevant knowledge

Easy access to an integrated knowledge base with support will help reduce the cost of support delivery and helps the customers find faster and relevant answers. Centralized access to all sources of knowledge which includes service manuals, technical solutions, troubleshooting, operator manuals, service bulletins, training videos, and documents will help customers and even contact center agents find answers to their questions in no time. You should aid simple google search and smart match of related help topics based on input on support requests to drive better use of the knowledge resources. In case you allow agents to escalate a support incident to add a new technical solution to the knowledge library, it will make it an invaluable asset over time.

2. Go Omnichannel and Digital

Calling to wait in line and having to navigate the maze of multiple IVR options is outdated. Digital channels lower the overall costs for companies and are in fact preferred by most customers because of ease of access, time savings, and convenience. Brands are now expected to provide consistent support and service experience across many channels including web, mobile, email, and chat.

3. Should have a 360-degree view of the product and the customer

Brands should enable a combined view of all transactions related to the product and customer including registrations, product configuration, service plan entitlements, warranty, support requests, inspections, warranty claims, service orders, and service campaigns. This will allow agents to understand customer needs better and provide a more apt solution to address those needs. You may also facilitate the complete view by aggregating information captured from all customer service and support processes that touch the customer.

4. Consolidated support systems

Brands should have consolidated support systems across regions, functional areas, and support channels. If they having a unified system for technical support, parts, service, warranty, and sales, it will help reduce the cost of support systems and provide a full picture of all customer support needs. A consolidated support software in Cloud is a good alternative that will result in rapid deployment and lower upfront investment. A Single support platform, a portal, and a mobile app for end customers, field service technicians, and channel partners will leverage enterprise-wide resources worldwide to provide a consistent and seamless customer service experience.

5. Integrated Support Fulfillment

Fulfilling a support request for consumer durable goods often requires a follow-up action in the field, or a different department, or an independent dealer or service network. Brands need to integrate support with parts, warranty, orders, field service dispatch, and scheduling to deliver a unified customer experience. The integrated support and service will remove duplicate data entry and boost visibility to activities in the field. Today’s customers expect seamless and unified integration and workflow across silos instead of being handed off to different groups or departments. It is critical for brands to deliver a connected customer experience across these internal silos and disconnected systems to win customers for a lifetime.

6. Use of mobile and IoT to help to troubleshoot

Various product support issues can be identified and resolved faster by capturing pictures or video from universally available cameras on mobile devices. Brands should leverage IoT for remote diagnosis and collecting information directly from the connected products. They should try to minimize product downtime by leveraging the accurate and timely information collected from the field. Apart from fast diagnosis, the information will help dispatch the right technician and deliver the needed parts to repair the product.

7. Study customer support data to improve product quality and operational performance

Brands should use insights gained from support data, to better their products and services by helping to fix the problems at the source. Repeat issues can be prevented by using support data to identify emerging quality problems early and taking necessary actions. Brands can activate rapid response teams to address problems when new products are introduced to the market. Study on customer complaints and their feedback also helps to identify and fix operational performance issues within the company or channel partners.

8. Use Voice of the Customer to Boost Customer Experience

Brands should establish VoC process to gather customer feedback on resolutions and performance of their customer support agents. Such VoC to be integrated with Customer Experience metrics to improve overall customer satisfaction. Systematic and timely analysis of the existing customer service and support processes and focus on continuous improvement will lead to product and customer support excellence.

9. Convert Contact Center to Customer Engagement Centers

Call centers are increasingly getting transformed into contact centers and now it is time for contact centers to evolve to become centers of customer engagement. Brands can leverage push notifications and SMS in addition to emails, to provide proactive alerts, notifications, and timely information. This will keep your customers engaged and improve their perceptions of responsiveness. Additional revenue generation options can be generated by keeping customer contact information accurate, registering their products, and offering related services or accessories. When customers are continuously engaged with Brands, it results in customer loyalty, referrals, and advocacy. As customers rely more and more on product ratings and word-of-mouth on social networks, good product support will reduce the cost of customer acquisition and retention.

10. Enable Self-Service for customers

Brands should enable customers to find answers to support inquiries fast and at any time by providing easy and intuitive self-service options on various channels.  This will also reduce your call volume as most customers today prefer self-service. Since the mobile device has now become the primary and foremost channel of communication, having a mobile application or a mobile-friendly responsive website will help your customers access the information they need on any device of their choice readily available.

DialDesk has been able to create customizable and CX focussed customer support solutions for many clients in Consumer Durables Industry. In case you wish to know more, contact our sales team @ 9643303884

If you’re mapping or want to track your customer journey, there are plenty of things to be kept in mind – and plenty of pitfalls to be avoided.

While customer journey mapping may not a brand new idea, the last few years have seen a steep increase in the impact, the concept is having across the business, and critically, in the boardroom.

As is the case with many emerging disciplines, it’s easy to get carried away and run headlong into it without even fully understanding what your goals are.

Customer journey mapping needs to embrace much more than just a list of your sales and service channels. It needs to deliver a thorough understanding of what your customers are trying to achieve, and the steps they take to achieve it.

A true customer journey map provides a robust framework that encompasses the entire business, how each area impacts the customer and informs your Voice of the Customer (VOC) program to ensure you’re able to capture feedback at the right moments.

Here are some critical Do’s and Don’ts to bear in mind when it comes to mapping your customer journey.

SUGGESTED READING: Top Secret to Retain More Customers

TOP 5 ways to reduce customer care costs without compromising quality

If you ask many business executives, they would say their customer service contact center is a necessary expense and it does not contribute to the bottom line.

As such, they don’t emphasize on technology upgrades or process improvements for their in-house centers and, when outsourcing, they would settle for the least expensive options. Even worse, some companies are cutting their contact centers altogether, considering them less relevant in this age of digital self-service.

But what if you could turn your customer service contact center from cost to profit center? In fact, what if it could become one of the largest revenue generators in your entire company?

We already highlighted the reasons for investing in Customer service in our previous blog post. Check out in case you missed it

Reasons to Invest More in Customer Experience

Now that I have your attention, let’s discuss why investing in your customer service contact center to turn a profit makes sense and the steps you can take to get there.

How to Turn Your Contact Center from Cost to Profit?

Below are the following steps to turn your contact center into a profit center.

  1. Aggressively mine your customer service data

One strategy to boost revenue is to aggressively mine your customer service data to pinpoint and capitalize upon specific sales opportunities. With the right tools at your disposal, you can uncover a wide range of such opportunities—including accessories, add-ons, up-sells, cross-sells, service contracts, and training.

This strategy may be attractive as a first step because it is the least intrusive one. You don’t have to retrain your customer service staff or modify your existing customer service processes. With this strategy, the sales cycle itself gets initiated and fulfilled by other parts of the company. Customer service here would simply provide the data necessary to generate revenue opportunities.

Here is a simple example of how this strategy works. A consumer calls a software company with a technical question. While gathering the information needed to solve the problem, the customer service agent also notes that the customer is using an older, somewhat obsolete version of the software. The service rep will complete the call as usual. Over the course of the month, customer service agents receive many such calls. So at the end of the month, the company can send a special upgrade offer to every customer who called in and was found to be using an older version of the software.

There is a Triple benefit with this kind of strategy: * the company realized additional revenue from the upgrade sale. * Customers are more satisfied because they have a better product now. * Customer service costs are reduced because newer products will have fewer problems and at the end are less expensive to support.

“When a customer comes to you with an issue, you actually have a great opportunity—after you first solve the problem, of course—to initiate a highly engaged relationship with that customer,” declares Geric Johnson, who led the implementation of this strategy at Skechers. “So you can realize incremental revenue at the same time as you convert unhappy customers into highly loyal ones.”

  1. Offer Additional Channels to your customers

Today’s customer values speed, so in addition to traditional phone and email, adding support channels like chatbots, live chat, social media, and mobile apps is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Make it easy for the customer to get in touch with you using whatever means is best suited to their preference and convenience.

  1. Turning Service Calls into Sales Opportunities

Another way to turn your contact center from cost to profit is by training your customer service agents to make relevant offers to customers when appropriate. Even though selling is not their primary role, that does not mean that the customer service agents can’t learn the art of the soft sell.

Train your agents to get to the heart of the customer’s challenge, steer the conversation around cross-sell and upsell opportunities, and invite the customers to take advantage of the product or service opportunity being presented.

  1. Set Goals & Objectives for Clarity purpose

While the aim is not necessarily to create a sales culture within the customer support team, clear goals and objectives do need to be set so that the team knows what they are aiming for.

How much should your Customer Care Specialists be selling each month? Based on their volume, how does that convert into conversion levels? What’s the average revenue per call across the customer support team? With clearly defined metrics and targets in place, this level of tracking becomes easy, and by monitoring how individual Customer Care Specialists are performing, then they can be strategically motivated through positive feedback, incentives, and end-of-year performance appraisals.

  1. Increasing Revenue Opportunities

Revenue-generation can only be increased by enhancing the customer service agent’s ability to convert cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. This can increase revenues, build excellent customer relationships, and increase customer awareness. However, according to Loudhouse Research, 86% of strategic decision-makers in contact centers do not think that their agents currently have the skills required to meet their obligations in terms of upselling and cross-selling. Organizations should invest in identifying skills that lead to revenue-generation, and train and coach the customer service agents to use the most important skills.  Despite these opportunities, only 45% of contact centers are offering such programs, but when utilized, over 52% of contact centers reported observing increased revenue per contact. The most challenging part of implementing revenue-generating programs in your contact center is procuring sales enabling technology that can work as an extension to the existing customer support platform, a technology that can easily integrate with service and sales functionalities.

 

With evolving customer expectations and service complexities, contact centers are poised to deliver strategic value and profitability to organizations in the years to come. Perceiving contact centers as a cost center is old fashioned and needs to be disposed of if organizations wish to see the real potential of a contact center.

Conclusion

In an era when customer experience is the make or break criteria for business success, not investing in your customer service contact center is the biggest mistake. If maintaining a center in-house is no longer feasible due to the low unemployment, higher wages, and the inability to scale, choosing to outsource can be a viable/ better option.

Never select an outsourcer based on cost alone, however. Price is a critical metric, but the ultimate goal should be to provide high-quality service that reflects the value of the investment.

If outsourcing is an option, consider Team MAS. We provide customized solutions, experienced leadership, and an open model that lets you see exactly how your contact center is working at all times. Contact us to learn more.

In its simplest definition, customer experience is the sum of all the interactions that a customer has with a company over the course of the relationship and includes the customer’s feelings, emotions, and perceptions of the brand during the course of those interactions. Some people question whether product and price are part of customer experience.

Customer experience is actually the “umbrella discipline,” so to speak, while customer service falls under that umbrella. Customer service is just one of those interactions, one touchpoint in the overall customer experience; servicing customers is one action of many that comprise the customer experience.

Journey maps are a way to walk in – and to capture – your customer’s steps and chart her course as she interacts with your organization while trying to fulfill some need or complete some task, e.g., call support, purchase a product, etc. The map (created with customers, from their viewpoint) describes what customers are doing, thinking, and feeling at each step in the journey. With the right data integrated into the map, you can identify key moments of truth, i.e., make-or-break moments or moments during which the customer decides if she will continue to do business with you or not, and ensure that those moments are executed flawlessly going forward.

Important to the journey mapping process is to have the right customers and the right stakeholders in the room to create the maps. The right customers are those for whom you’re mapping, obviously. We typically identify the personas for which we’ll map before beginning any mapping workshop; the right customers will represent those personas. The right stakeholders include individuals from the cross-functional departments that are either directly or indirectly involved in the journey that you’re mapping.

The customer service experience is one of my favorite journeys to map because it is such a rich experience; it affords such huge teaching and learning opportunity.

People contact customer service when the product isn’t working right; the documentation isn’t clear; marketing set expectations that the product didn’t deliver; sales sold the dream and not what the product actually does; the invoice is not accurate or hard to decipher; or for a variety of other reasons. Something (i.e., the experience) broke down somewhere upstream, long before the customer even thought about calling – or even wanted to call – customer service.

In other words, when messages are misleading or confusing, when the customer has a complaint about an interaction or a transaction, or when something doesn’t work the way the customer expects, the experience is broken. The resultant action: the customer calls customer service to get help or to get answers.

This call isn’t customer service’s fault. This isn’t a breakdown in service; this is a breakdown in the experience. And so, customer service takes the beating and the anguish from the customer for something that could’ve been designed better upstream. Had that proper design occurred, the number of frustrated customers calling the call center would have been drastically reduced!!

Suggested Readings: TOP 6 Reasons to Invest More in Customer Experience

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