customers

Customers Don’t Know What They Want.. Or Maybe?

Customers don't know what they want....

Or do they?

Everyone has at some point heard a company or a business leader say that customers don’t know what they want. But I don’t agree with that statement and this blog post is my explanation why. Instead of focusing in what someone want you should focus on what they need.

Companies think that their customers don’t know what they want

Your company is the expert on your product, or at least it should be. Whenever two people are talking who have different levels of knowledge about a topic an asymmetry is created. When your sales people start asking deep, maybe technical questions you are very likely to confuse the customer. To be frank, most of your customers probably don’t care about having deep knowledge in every purchase they make.

Your customer knows what they need even if it’s only on a basic level. The deeper their knowledge is of what they need the more they are invested in the possible purchase of your product. Depending on how big of an investment your product equals they will have different interest in the technical details. There is a big difference depending on for e.g. the cost of your product and how many people the purchase affect.

You speak different languages

Because of the asymmetry you can almost see it as you speak a different language than your customer. It’s only if you understand this that you can start taking real steps toward your customer. If you on the other hand decide to stick to the idea that your customer don’t know what they want then you have to realise one thing. You are probably asking your customer the wrong questions. You might even be pursuing the wrong prospect.

There are only so much information that we can keep in our minds at one time. If you are selling a B2B product then your customer probably is busy remembering information that has to do with their company. If it’s a private consumer then they also have something that is more important. Even worse will it be over time. If the customer only will be reminded by your information on more rare occasions, then they will find it hard to remember it. Customers need to be reminded of important information.

IT psychology gives us a hint

Do you need to work with a software on a daily basis that is not actually that good? A software that does not fill all your needs? Then I’m sure you try to find your ways around task related obstacles on a daily basis. A company can only overcome this if the IT company listens to their customer and help the customer with training. As a customer you usually only have two options. Deal with the obstacles or buy the product from someone else.

Your customer will work around obstacles no matter what product you offer. Have you, or a woman around you, used different kinds of facial treatments to meet all their needs? There has been a trend for the past few years that are perfect proof of this. Where you use different kind of facial products in different areas of your face to deal with different problems. There is no perfect product and you will probably not solve all your customer’s needs. All you can do is respect your customer enough to realise that they know what they need. Even if they cannot formulate it in the language you are used to.

Customers know what they need

The issue has been stated, we are so used to not having all our needs met but products. This has resulted in us almost avoiding thinking about it because it will often be wasted energy. If we all had our creative hats on all the time, then there would probably be more innovative products that actually solve our problems on the market.

So if as a company you should not stick to the assumption that customers don’t know what they want. Show them enough respect to realise that they know what they need. What they need is more important than what they want. They can say that they want the latest product on the market. But if that product does not solve their needs then they will not be loyal. It will just be a matter of time before they turn to another company. So, think again about the information you gather from your customer. What can you change to make you better at gathering information about what they need?

When it comes to customer service, it should be what your customer are asking for. One thing they are asking for is better customer service. With our help and platform you can serve your customers like you should. Read about omni channel here . Visit our product page here.

Anna Itzel - marketing manager at connectel
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remote customer service thanks to cloud technology

The Remote Customer Service; Thanks To Cloud Technology

The Remote Customer Service;

Thanks To Cloud Technology

We live in a society where the old school office is something people are working to get away from. People have realised that the focus on an office does not mean we are more productive or better at teamwork. If you do not want your customer support to be tied to one specifik location, then this is the blog post for you. This blog post will discuss how the Connectel platform can make that happen. A remote customer service feels cool. We know how you can make it happen in a function that doesn’t feel easy to do remotely.

You log in to the given CEC website and you have everything you need in front of you. Everything will be gathered in one place. The great thing with the CEC system is that you don’t really need to gather all the agents in the same place. If you are using WebRTC, then all you need is your computer and a pair of headphones. With agents spread out geographically this is how you can set up a remote customer service.

We see more of this set up in the industry than ever. Especially with the increase in, for example, health care support apps. The owner of an web shop or a digital company that has a few employees spread out geographically could also find use for a system set up like this. When you are running a small company you often need to wear many hats. Maybe even you as the owner needs to handle customer support. So while it might seem difficult, a remote customer support is doable and something we will see more of in the future.

A remote customer support might even be beneficial if you think of some of the tech trends we see today. If you as a customer made a video call, would you rather see a boring office in the background? Or maybe it could create a better connection if the agent was sitting at a café or outside? Another benefit is the money your department would save if you didn’t have a large, stiff office that can fit all the agents. The truth is that 60-80% of the customer service budget goes to dealing with agents.

But I think the main benefit to a remote customer service is that you will have happier agents. The environment agents have to deal with is usually stressful and high pressure. If you have a calm surrounding then you are better able to focus on your customer’s needs.

But now I’m asking you, could you consider having a remote customer service? 

Connectel – the perfect remote customer service platform

You can of course create a customer support that is just as good as the traditional one. The omni channel strategy is equally easy to create, and you can read about that strategy here. You can connect many well known systems, like CRM systems or ticket management systems to CEC. You have support systems, like our brand new speech analytics functionality and our scripting tool. Integrating everything you can do with CEC into your process means that you almost do not need your team leader. But if you would need to contact him or her, then we have a chatting tool in the platform for co-workers.

When you buy the platform it’s empty, but you can shape it into something unique for what you need. We at Connectel will always be here to help you figure out what you want and need. We have a lot of ideas about setups and you know your business. If you could build the perfect customer service, no matter how complicated it seems, how would you do it?

Anna Itzel - marketing manager at connectel
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good customer support connectel

The strength of good customer support

The Strength

of Good Customer Support

The closest link your company has to your customers is through the customer service. How much do you value that? Companies are misplacing their focus within customer service. They rather focus on limiting costs instead of optimising the effects customer service can have on a customer relationship.

Customer Service – One of the Fundamental Areas of Marketing

While everyone knows that advertising and public relations are areas of marketing, it seems like people often forget that so is customer service. Advertising and many marketing areas are something that is easier to control and literally a one-way communication. Customer service is rather the opposite. For a company that wishes to be customer-centric the emphasis on customer service and support is crucial. How can you really call yourself customer-centric if you don’t have a great support system in place? It’s in customer service your company have the chance to prove your customer centric spirit.

Thinking of customer service relationship to marketing always makes me think of mom and pop stores. These stores that can have loyal customers on a different level than any other kind of business. There seems to be a magic to these kinds of small businesses. Somehow they really have created a lasting impact on their customers. It’s that magic that big businesses often try to recreate but usually fails to succeed with. What is that magic? It’s often the relationship between the customer and employee. Building a relationship cannot be broken down into a science.

A company should want the atmosphere to be set for building a relationship with the customer. It all comes down to conversations, digital or vocal. If the marketing department spreads the façade on social media that this is a company that puts the customer first. Then that will be in vain if the two-way conversations you have with customers don’t live up to that attitude.

Separate Departments

The problem is the fact that we are talking about two departments that usually function completely separately. This is probably the reason why there is a disconnect in the alignment between efforts. Sometimes it even seems like the customer support department have a closer connection to the IT-department than to marketing. What does that tell us about the end result? It doesn’t really matter how hard the marketing department is working to present an image. It only matters if customer support breathes the same spirit.

In talking about values and spirit, take for example some of the most common company values; compassion, customers, responsibility and teamwork. All of these somewhat cliché values are all about people and relationships. How can a company stand for these things and still work so hard not to have to talk to customers? If the customer support department are pushing their agents so hard to save money, marketings efforts will almost be neutralised.

The most important thing is alignment and communication between departments. Every action company managers take also has to exude these values. There are too many companies that think it’s good enough if their employees fake the sound and look of happy employees towards customers. How your company treat your employees behind the scene truly matters. It will show through the cracks and your marketing attempts will fail.

Market Research & Feedback

How often do you actually get a chance to have a real conversation with your customers? Companies usually have two separate approaches towards market research and feedback. Either they put a lot of emphasis on it, or they don’t really seem to work on it at all. The first approach thinks it’s an investment that will be worth the money long term. The second don’t understand the value and think it’s too expensive.

But in customer support you have a team that should be working with this on a daily basis. Value the time they spend with your customers and do your best in making your agents comfortable on the phone with customers. Everything doesn’t have to be so efficient. Do not focus too much on statistics. It will leave a lasting impression on your customers if they had a nice conversation with your agent.

Creating Brand Ambassadors

If you (against the odds?) succeed in your customer service and support. You have a greater chance of creating brand ambassadors. Those people that all companies wish to have but is far from easy to create. In this day and age, we attempt to turn how to create brand ambassadors into a science. We measure everything we can and hope that our NPS score and Customer Satisfaction score is proof that our customers are becoming loyal to us. But when we think of it, are we really always that honest while answering surveys? If we are as honest as we can be in surveys, is it actually that easy to grade our feelings?

A customer relationship is as non-scientific as any other kind of relationship. That is what makes it so hard, and small things can have a massive effect on that relationship. So instead of focusing on the science of it, why not just focus on building that relationship through genuine conversations?

So, what are your company’s goals when it comes to marketing? Is it to portray an image that puts the customer first? Then value customer support and service and realise how much potential these efforts have and how it can either make or break your company’s image. In the next blog post we will have a look at what is not a buzzword, omni channel communication. It’s here to stay and companies needs to adapt to it. It’s because of that Connectel specialises in omni channel, which you will learn more about it in the next post. Would you like to get more information on how Connectel’s solution CEC handles a omni channel strategy? Then visit open your channels!

Anna Itzel - marketing manager at connectel
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3 Reasons for Self-Service

3 Reasons for Self-Service

From the customer's point of view

It nothing new that companies want to go for self-service because of the dream of lower costs and less pressure on the phones. While I love omnichannel and have expressed before how every customer service should use the omnichannel strategy there are a lot of companies that are simply not interested. Not as much in the US, but especially in Scandinavia. The option companies have is to make a real effort with self-service. The point here is not to do it for the money but to do it to please the customers who you are not pleasing when you avoid omnichannel.

1. The backup option

If your company is relying a lot on the phone channel your IVR might not be created in a way that is easy to use for your customer. Do you have a lot of options in your IVR and does your customer often end up in the wrong option? Then self-service could be an option to help your customer from going crazy.

It’s also an option for those who doesn’t have the time to make a phone call. Or you might be in a place where you really cannot even make a phone call. If you can solve your problems yourself then your life becomes a lot easier.

2. Self-service is available 24/7

Another great argument for self-service is the availability of it. I have in earlier blog posts mentioned that too many companies are not available when customers actually need them. Most of us realise we have something to solve during the evening after customer service has closed for the day. If you are not planning to solve this issue, then self-service is an option available as a compromise.

Mobile devices also make self-service more accessible than ever. No matter where and when. If you can solve your problem now, then there will be no need to remember your problem. I don’t think you want your customer to go around reminding themselves that they have a problem with you. Right?

But let’s be very clear that it’s only a viable option if you are planning to do the work that it takes to have self-service as an option to human customer service.

3. Better customer experience

If self-service has been built right then one great argument for it is the speed of it. If the structure of the information is easy to navigate then I can get answers to my questions within minutes. At the same time agents have more time to deal with the bigger problems that they actually should spend their time on. No need to call a customer service to ask them to send out a new copy of that invoice you seem to have lost!

Self-service is relying heavily on you using or building a information system that truly works for your customer. A well built self-service system is based on the science of usability. Read this article to get some guiding points on how to let usability guide you. Or google usability and self-service. Either way you do need it before you get started.

So clearly self-service is a win-win situation. For companies that does not want to go omni it is also a great opportunity to deliver great service and support with less pressuring daily effort. But it puts a lot of pressure on you  build or choosing the right information system. We at Connectel obviously stand by our own self-service FAQ product, Custello. You will find information about in a few weeks on our new website. Until then, if you are interested send us an email.

Anna Itzel - marketing manager at connectel
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