5 ways a customer interaction can improve your business
Every customer interaction is a chance to create a relationship with your customers and earn their loyalty.
Published May 12, 2018
Last updated January 5, 2021
“No plan survives first contact with the enemy.” Similarly, few businesses can survive the first contact with a customer if they aren’t well prepared. Smart entrepreneurs and business owners should know that as soon as they open their doors to customers, they are subject to changes in the very fabric of their business.
Customers will call, customers will interact, and customers will even vent at you and your management. But the truth is, each interaction on any channel (whether good or bad) provides information about how your company can do better. Here are 5 ways customer interactions can improve your business.
A customer interaction is a communication between a business and a customer. This includes customers calling you when they need help or sending you messages on social media when they have a question. Customer interactions can also take the form of self-service articles your support team writes for customers, the proactive emails you send to customers, and even customers interacting with your chatbot.
Every customer service interaction matters. In fact, roughly half of customers say they’d switch to a competitor after just one bad experience, according to Zendesk's Trends Report.
Roughly half of customers say they’d switch to a competitor after just one bad experience.Zendesk's Customer Experience Trends Report
How would you interact with a customer?
High performing customer experience teams interact with customers across the channels of their choice. Beyond email and the phone, today's customers expect organizations to interact with them where they are, including text, chat, and social engagement.
In fact, leading customer service teams provide their customers with an average of two more channels of engagement than underperforming teams, according to research by Zendesk and ESG.
The report found that while the use of phone and email are nearly ubiquitous, high performing teams are more likely to interact with customers on emerging channels, such as:
- Self-service resources
- Messaging apps
- Social engagement
- Live chat
High performing customer experience teams provide customers with an average of two more channels of engagementZendesk and ESG research
5 reasons customer interactions are important
1. They drive customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction rests at the heart of every successful business. Learning how to create positive customer experiences while retaining your company’s culture is paramount to that success. Each customer interaction not only provides insight into the experience of a particular customer, but also adds another data point to your customer base’s satisfaction as a whole.
While you can try and guess what the customer needs from your service reps, only interactions “in the field” can give you the true vision that you need. In some industries, that customer’s happiness can ultimately earn and save a company millions.
2. They help with training
Most customer satisfaction centers have call recording, kind of similar to chat transcripts on live chat, and one of the most potent uses for this call recording is to record the best customer service interactions and use them to train the others. If a tough customer comes along and a great resolution come out of the interaction, it can be used as a case study and folded into part of the training program.
One of the greatest things about having an engaged customer base is the fact that those who are engaged will offer suggestions, ideas, and thoughts about every aspect of your company. By having management listen to those ideas, you can find yourself improving the training of your support agents.
3. They resolve customer issues
Customer recovery. Nobody likes to hear those words, but it’s something which happens to those who have even the best intentions. Put simply, it’s the art of calling a mad customer off the ledge of going to another company or screaming at you.
Everybody who’s ever been in customer service has faced an irate customer (often on a variety of channels). By listening to that customer’s concerns, the rep can save the customer relationship and learn a little bit about how to handle the next interaction better. The best experience, sad to say, is through trial by fire. Through that fire, employees can grow.
4. They motivate employees
If everyone in your support team is dedicated to improving customer satisfaction levels by learning from customer interaction, motivation will rise because there will be a decrease in the number of angry customers with which to deal. Morale improves and employees motivation increases when they’re not feeling like arrows are fired at them in every interaction.
More motivation yields improved customer service, which cycles around so that everyone within the organization benefits. After all, a smile goes a long way to soothing the savage beast.
5. They provide data to improve operational procedures
When businesses are keen to learn from customer feedback and their customer support team, operational procedures begin to change. All of those great practices observed from interactions with customers become codified within the company culture. These improved operational procedures can always be tweaked and adjusted to yield more success with customers and within the business. All it takes is the willingness to create and encourage adoption of new practices.
Customer interaction management
Customer interaction software enables businesses to manage customer interactions across multiple channels, at scale by:
- Arming teams with customer context
- Providing customer interaction data
- Enhancing the customer experience with AI and automations
Customer interaction software connects every customer interaction under a single layer of tissue. That way, customers don't have to be transferred between departments or repeat basic context like their contact information, previous interaction, or account type each time they interact with the business on a new channel.
Customer interactions are a valuable source of data. They can help teams discover customer pain points, how to increase customer satisfaction, and what steps they need to take to create an overall better customer experience. Customer interaction software should provide real-time and historical data and analytics to enable teams to learn from interactions.
Chatbots enable support teams to scale customer interactions and respond to customers faster. AI enables agents to predict customer satisfaction during an interaction. Automations enable support teams to automatically route every customer interaction to the right agent for the task, such as by skills, language, or product type.
Every customer interaction matters
In the end, having a customer support team that both listens and respects the customer is key to developing a great business culture. The experience you gain when you work with customers is the key to developing and maintaining a successful business.