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Customer expectations have never been higher, and if those expectations are not met, the implications for your business are grave.

According to our research, when provided with poor customer service, 51 percent of customers said they would never use the offending company again. What’s more, 38 percent said they would change suppliers immediately, and 19 percent said they would post a complaint publicly on social media.

So, what are the main reasons so many disgruntled customers take such drastic measures? And what can you do to stop them?

Attending Dreamforce, one of the country’s largest events focused on customer experience technology, is a great way for companies to continue to evolve their service to meet customer expectations. Here are some common customer service issues, and how you can discover solutions at the big event.     

1. Your business lacks visibility over the customer journey. 

While technology has undoubtedly played an empowering role for consumers, in many cases, it has also created a “digital divide.”

Today, potential customers can research a product on their smartphones, visit a physical store to take a closer look, and then use a tablet or desktop to finally make the purchase. In between, some customers might even ask a question on a business’s social media page or call a contact center for more information.

In short, new technologies are enabling customers to shop across an ever-expanding number of channels. The downside for businesses, however, is that it is now more difficult to deliver the consistent service that consumers expect.

Solution: Customers are engaging with businesses via channels such as social media more and more. However, 58 percent of respondents to our recent survey on customer service said they still prefer to use the telephone to communicate with a business. Furthermore, 70 percent suggested they found calling a business the quickest way to resolve an issue.

Considering these figures, ensuring your business has a contact center equipped for delivering excellent customer service over the phone remains fundamental to your success.

NewVoiceMedia will be leading several learning sessions at Dreamforce geared toward optimizing  the customer experience for the voice channel, including one on Nov. 6 called Conversation Analyzer Powered by Einstein Analytics. It will demonstrate how to use Einstein to unlock hidden insights from one of the most important steps in the customer journey: your actual conversations with them. We’ll show you how technology can help you leverage rep-customer interactions and obtain actionable insights into agent and rep performance, customer sentiment, customer satisfaction, compliance adherence, and the competitive landscape.

2. Your hold times are too long.

We’ve established how important it is for your business to deliver excellent customer service over the phone. But what else can you do to ensure your contact center is working for and not against you?

According to our survey, respondents were willing to wait 10 minutes on hold. When split by gender, women are slightly more patient and are prepared to wait 12 minutes on hold. Men, however, will only wait for 10 minutes before hanging up.

Either way, this suggests that you don’t want your customers to be waiting on the other end of a phone for too long to speak to somebody – because it will only be so long before they hang up and consider switching to one of your competitors.

The solution: It’s all about having the right service staff, in the right place, at the right time. Workforce Management (WFM) solutions such as those provided by Monet Software are designed to optimize your resources by combining scheduling and forecasting.

“If you overstaff you’re affecting your bottom line, and if you understaff you’re affecting your customer experience,” says Nino Pozgaj, Vice President of Sales for Monet Software. “So, the impact is huge. With WFM, you have a much more efficient call center, while also improving your service levels.”

When evaluating WFM solutions, Nino recommends learning as much as you can about the cost of implementation, including any hidden fees. It’s also important to get a good sense of the levels of support and training the vendor provides.

“You’re probably going to need ongoing support due to turnover, and to have a really successful deployment, you have to have high usability of your software,” Nino says. “That’s why Monet goes one step further to provide ongoing training – to make sure the solution is successful for you.”

Monet will be at Dreamforce, hosting joint meetings with NewVoiceMedia, and demonstrating how to maximize both productivity and customer service levels using real-time, accurate contact center reporting. Click here to learn more.

3. Not everyone in your business is on the same page.

Not being able to provide your customers with the information they want, when they want it, is the quickest way to drive them into the arms of a competitor.

In fact, 49 percent of the respondents to our survey cited the prospect of being bounced around to several customer service agents as their main reason for not wanting to call a business directly.

The solution: The quickest and easiest way to solve this problem is to use a centralized platform that is capable of tracking customer queries across every channel.

This way, if someone calls your business after asking a question via email, the agent handling the call will be able to see details of that enquiry. In theory, the person handling the initial call should then be able to help the customer, without the need to pass them on to someone else.

The Salesforce AppExchange is one of the best resources for tools that can boost customer service right in your Salesforce CRM — from call centers, to SMS, to surveys and more. Whether you're new to AppExchange, or are looking for some new apps to take back to your team from Dreamforce, join the Nov. 8 session called AppExchange Apps to Give Customers a Superior Service Experience to hear Salesforce customers share best practices for the apps they use to deliver a better customer experience.

4. You’ve forgotten customer service is about problem solving.

The foundations of good customer service are built upon problem solving. This is reflected in the fact that 70 percent of respondents to our survey suggested they would be more loyal to a company that provided excellent customer service, and 40 percent would spend more money.

On the flip side, 49 percent said they had left a company in the past as a direct result of poor customer service.

The solution: For consumers, nothing is more frustrating than a customer service agent who fails to solve their problem. However, by educating your employees and investing in training, you’ll prepare them to be able to solve a wider range of problems, which will also create better customer retention rates.

Education and training are what Dreamforce is all about. Not only do attendees have more than 2,700 learning sessions to choose from, they can also earn Salesforce certification as administrators, developers, designers, consultants and more. You can book training and certification during Dreamforce at the lowest prices of the year, and start your learning journey with Trailhead, a fun program that lets you chart your success by earning badges.

5. You’re not personalizing your customers’ experiences.

Because of developments such as social media and smart tech, today’s digital natives live in a constant bubble where nearly every message they receive is personalized

As such, when it comes to communicating with a brand, they don’t expect their experiences to be any different. Even when it comes to the biggest brands around, being too large or complex is not an excuse for failing to deliver personalized interactions.

The solution: If you can take steps to combine the right call center technology with an understanding of the purchase pathways your consumers favor, you can personalize customer service successfully. Look for technology that will allow you to use customer data to prioritize the calls of important customers and connect them to agents they already have a relationship with. If you are taking measures to personalize your customers’ service in this manner—especially if your competitors are not—it will also help you to retain them as customers.

NewVoiceMedia is hosting a Dreamforce learning session covering this topic on Nov. 8 called Making Cold Calls Warmer. It features Chase Larson, CTO of SixPackShortcuts, who will share how the company has used Conversation Analyzer to have more successful customer conversations and grow their business.

Click here to see what else NewVoiceMedia be up to during Dreamforce. Or better yet, book a meeting, so we can give you an in-depth demonstration of how we can help your business have more successful conversations. We’ll arm you with solutions to nurture your customer relationships— and enhance your entire organization — one conversation at a time.

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