Living and breathing the customer experience so it is part of your DNA

By Christina Shackleton

Customer Experience can mean many things to many people, but the common theme when you think about your experience when dealing with a company is the same, “How did it make me feel?”

As a utility or retail energy supplier you are judged against all other customer experiences your clients are having on a daily basis.  And the bar is high. Consistently delivering positive interactions improves retention rates, increases the potential for word of mouth and reduces churn risk. 

Customers expect energy supply to flow seamlessly from the utility to their homes and businesses. When they receive their bills, they expect transparency, charges to be calculated correctly, and the information to be accurate. If the customer has an issue or question and must speak to a customer service representative (CSR), the experience needs to be as frictionless as possible; with professional, knowledgeable, friendly and helpful people. Your customer should feel good about the interaction with your company when they get off the phone. The CSR is an important face of your company and if your customer has a good experience, they will then be more receptive each month when they receive their bill. Increasing the chance of them staying loyal to you for years to come.

Research shows that when a customer faces an issue, if that issue is resolved quickly in a respectful and positive manner then the customer can be a stronger advocate than before. These “moments of truth” are in fact a significant opportunity to build positive relations with your customer.  According to Esteban Kolsky, Principal & Founder of ThinkJar, LLC, if the customers are not satisfied, 13% of them will tell 15 or more people that they are unhappy. On the other hand, 72% of customers will share a positive experience with 6 or more people.  67% of customers mention bad experiences as a reason for churn, but only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain. The rest, just leave.  The lesson that we can learn here is that the absence of negative feedback is not a sign of satisfaction. Indifferent attitude to your customers might lead to them leaving and even worse –sharing the bad experiences with others.

As a business, when choosing vendors, you want to have the same kind of journey and experience as your own customers. As data is pivotal to your business you need vendors that truly understand the importance of the customer experience. According to Deloitte, 62% of companies view customer experience delivered by the contact centers as a competitive differentiator.

Whether you are looking to implement a new system or upgrade your current one, their people and their experience will weigh on your decision to spend money with them. From the sales process and implementation to the ongoing service and maintenance for years to come, the vendors you choose need a secure, reliable, and flexible system. One that has a dynamic user interface to find information quickly.  Plus, it needs to enhance value from your data delivering, reporting and analytic tools to help you make better decisions every day.

And not surprisingly, if you feel good about your own customer experience with your vendors, then you will stay loyal for years to come too.

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Christina Shackleton is Marketing Director of Hansen Technologies 

Source: Esteban Kolsky, Principal and Founder at ThinkJar LLC,  www.slideshare.net/ekolsky/cx-for-executives

2 Deloitte: https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/operations/articles/2013-global-contact-center-survey.html