Automated voice recognition and call centre techniques can leave out one crucial question that can provide invaluable customer insight: why?
Customer insight is incredibly valuable for the forward thinking company. By asking a customer why they need a product or why they are using a service, it's possible to target products and services more specifically. By knowing more about the customers' needs, you are increasing the likelihood of a transaction and improving customer satisfaction. But many contact centres can be blinded, on a mission, with one objective in mind. Customer insight allows them to see the bigger picture that can, in the long term, encourage customer loyalty.
Customer Insight – Understanding Consumer Needs
Automated or transactional interactions may be right for certain products or services. They can certainly be cost effective. But for some businesses there's an argument for making more out of the human contact made between consumers and contact agents; there's a strong case of building customer insight. Contact centres are the perfect place for businesses to gain a crucial understanding of their customers. By simply asking why consumers are asking for a particular service, contact centres can enhance their customer insight, which in turn can inform their business strategies. Writing on the subject of customer insight, Chris Hancock, Managing Director of Gasbox uses an example: if a customer is ringing a contact centre to ask for her bank balance, simply asking why could offer a wealth of information. If it's to see if she has enough funds to buy a five star cruise or to see if she can pay her bills, this information can help shape what products or services are targeted at her. Building customer insight by extracting and documenting this kind of information can in the short or long-term enrich, personalise and individualise further contact with the consumer.
Customer Insight – Asking Questions
Customer interaction leads to customer insight, and if anything asking pertinent questions is thought by many to improve the customer experience as it shows the agent is taking an active interest in the customer. There's a difference between asking pertinent questions and cross-selling. The two feed into each other, but if the agent launches into a sales pitch in the early stage of a call it can be counter-productive. Customer insight if used appropriately can help the consumer, used poorly, it can alienate them. In the long term, customer insight can be used to tailor services or offers to individual needs as well as reduce the likelihood of unnecessary repetition helping make services more efficient. The role of customer dialogue and customer insight is certainly an interesting, and challenging one for the contact centre industry.