We’ve all been there before, waiting on hold for ten minutes being told our phone call is important by a taped recording. Waiting on hold and being bounced around a phone tree by a computer emulating a human voice and asking us to repeat for the fourth time, “How can we help you?” Only to be transferred right back to square one.
Anxiously needing an answer to a problem and being directed to a general email address as the only means of contact.
Publicly traded software giants, monopolies, and banks may be able to get away with that. But for small businesses, emulating such methods is equal to committing business suicide.
As a small business, “The Customer Experience”, that is, the perception the customer is left with or anticipates when interacting with your business should be the central concern. Every business must consider how a communications technology platform will fit in to your operations seamlessly.
According to a recent Think Jar survey, only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain. The rest simply move on to your competition.
In today’s world of ubiquitous technology options, your customers have become accustomed to an “all of the above” set of options when communicating. The customer experience is defined by the customer.
That means, the customer is the one who decides which means of communication is appropriate and when. For example, your customer may prefer to have a simple question answered via a text message or email rather than making a call, while another time that same customer may pick up the phone and want immediate interaction to solve their problem.
Today’s modern cloud communications platforms allow small business to deliver memorable customer experiences.
As recently as a decade ago, deploying an “all the above” omnichannel customer service communications platform was a daunting task. This required large investments in capital and operational expenditures that were simply out of reach for most small business budgets.
Cloud UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) platforms allow businesses to easily acquire and integrate tools directly into their operations. This allowed the customer to choose their mode of experience, thus satisfying their expectations. All this is accomplished with low or no capital costs and flexible subscription models that enable your business to be agile in today’s uncertain and rapidly changing environment.
First Impressions Count. So do the second, third and fourth…
Consistency is key when deciding how to use the tools your cloud communications platform provides you. It should be looked at as an extension of your brand. Why spend thousands of dollars on web sites and marketing, only to have the customer greeted with an inconsistent, sketchy communications experience?
Keep in mind the following when choosing and using a UCaaS cloud communications provider for your business:
- Always use professional voice productions on your automated attendants, prompts, and on-hold recordings. These recordings are relatively inexpensive and make a huge impression on your customer’s perception. The recordings and prompts should be brief and allow the caller to get where they need to go in the shortest amount of time possible.
- If your business uses a Customer Relationship Management software (CRM), such as Salesforce, make certain the cloud communications platform can integrate into that CRM – that way the customer’s interaction history is matched to the account and is brought up automatically when they call. Imagine your customer’s surprise and satisfaction when you answer their call by greeting them by name.
- In today’s “Mobile First” environment, your UCaaS platform should offer mobile apps to allow your team to make & receive calls and text messages using the company’s system rather than their own personal numbers. Working From Home should not mean the customer experience becomes any less vital.
- The voice call remains king – recent surveys consistently show that phone calls are either the majority or the largest plurality of initial contacts. Be sure to embed “Click to Call” links in your website and marketing materials and list your phone numbers prominently on websites and communications such as email signatures. Doing this lets your customers know there are accessible humans behind your system.
If you need further guidance on Unified Communications, please contact Michael Fusco for more information. firstname.lastname@example.org 888 662-5450