Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

It’s on the list! Make this year a customer-friendly Christmas

December 14, 2017

I often joke about my love/hate relationship with Amazon due to my excessive use of their app (which I did install on my own device, I do admit!).

During the festive season, I confess that I have noticed the doorbell ringing with yet more deliveries than usual (which is a lot) and my Christmas clutter is pretty bountiful, including my ‘defence’ essentials: such as Christmas table glitter, Christmas table mats, ornaments, window stickers, candles (never enough candles), the ‘essentials’ list goes on…damn Amazon for being so good! They make it so easy for me to buy from them. Good business practice, possibly bad for my budget. Never has bauble buying been so simple!

The buying habit

It would appear that I am not alone in my buying habits. Recently, BT and Cisco delivered research on consumer behaviour across ten countries. The report, Chat, Tap Talk: Eight key trends to transform your customer experience highlights the way in which consumers now interact and shop for their products and services across social, web, email or chat bot.

Not forgetting about voice – the report also covers how we consumers still depend on this channel when things have become too difficult in another channel.

One thing is clear: consumers want their effort to be minimal. And they want it to be easy. This also echoes what Matthew Dixon wrote about in his 2013 book ‘The Effortless Experience’ (a great read, available on Amazon!), which talks about the correlation between an ‘easy’ interaction and customer loyalty and advocacy.

Knowing me, knowing you…

Interestingly, the research showed that 48% of consumers would share their social media profile information with companies in order to receive better customer service. I think this shows that consumers are sick of spam and sick of irrelevant popups. Consumers are now willing to open their kimono “know me, make it relevant to ME”. Even better: “predict what I will want NEXT”.

Do not ignore the power of YouTube, either. Respondents say that they trust video reviews more than written, and there’s a clear increase (from 2015) in the number of people who will watch a video to resolve a problem before contacting the supplier.

As for advocacy – getting happy customers to sell your products for you – almost half of surveyed respondents said that they would watch videos of products before purchasing.

Santa - smart city cisco

Christmas, calling!

So, as you frantically search for your child’s Christmas wish of a ‘Luvabella Doll’ or a ‘LOL Big Surprise’ (which conjures memories of my own mother desperately seeking my beloved Mr Frostie to no avail), would you like to have a telephone number referenced on the website?

The BT research shows that the clear answer to this across all age groups is ‘yes’ (80% of respondents). People still feel reassured that should the supplier be unable to deliver the goods or supply the product, a number can be called, so put your number on your website, don’t hide it away.

Of course, the customer’s decision to actually call this telephone number should be a last resort. If your online presence works, if you make it easy for your customers to self-serve, if you can predict your customer’s behaviour, their questions and their patterns calls coming into your stated number should decline.

Even when self serve has failed, and the customer moves to the use of a chatbot, underpinning this with the right knowledge platform will help your customer on their quest.

So, what about voice calls, are these declining? The answer is yes, but not by much. According to the report:

  • 84% of those surveyed claimed to have had reason to call a contact centre in the last six months – only a 2% decline on 2015. There are a number of reasons for this – the main reason being because the consumer can’t self-serve, it’s not been ‘easy’ for them and so they jump from digital into voice
  • 81% of 35-54 year olds like to have the reassurance that a customer services telephone number can easily be found on the website. This is actually quite telling. It tells us that consumers already expect to fail even before they hit your website! They anticipate having to ring the contact centre, and when they do, they often find that the agent knows less about the product or service than they do (which of course can be overcome by the use of a good knowledge platform – both online to enable true (and easy) self-serve and also embedded into the agent desktop to aid the agent through an enquiry.

The bottom line

What Chat, Tap, Talk highlights the most is that consumers want to have an informed, personalised, and easy relationship with their suppliers. Get to know your customers. Analyse the entire customer journey.

Understand fail points or ‘moments of truth’ where customers might be leaving your website. Listen to your social media traffic – this often will be the ‘venting’ point for disgruntled customers (50% of consumers will now use social media to vent dissatisfaction). Use Voice of the Customer Analytics and Voice Biometrics to give you a deeper level of insight into sentiment. Finally, make it easy…

Merry Christmas and if you are looking for that ‘Luvabella Doll’: good luck!

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