Tech Support: Delight or Fright?
Does it pay to delight your customers with great technical support or customer service?
An article recently published on the Zendesk blog is titled, Why delighting customers doesn’t pay caught our attention. Since we like delighting customers, we read the article carefully.
The conventional wisdom is that the way to buy customer loyalty is by exceeding the customers’ expectations. Merely meeting those expectations doesn’t buy you any particular loyalty. So some firms have a policy of going to extremes to exceed expectations. He mentions Nordstrom and Zappos as two examples.
But Rick Delisi thinks the conventional wisdom is wrong. He is co-author of a book, “The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty.” He and his co-authors say that the research shows that to build loyalty, companies need to stop thinking “exceed expectations” and instead think “make it easy.”
We like the idea of “make it easy.” The average person who calls technical support is usually upset (or at least apprehensive) . After all, something they need, or depend on, isn’t working. They typically expect long waits, and a less than satisfactory experience talking to a person who isn’t fully versed on the product, and often can’t solve their problem. In other words, they fear the worst.
The way to make things easy for customers is with short wait times, intelligent agents who can solve problems, and no scripts!
- Short Wait Times
Not just reasonable wait times, but short wait times. Lots of call centers have average wait times of three minutes and higher. Most of the year, Hudson wait times typically average around 30 seconds. Customers are very happy (dare we say delighted?) to get to an agent quickly.
- No Tiered Support
We’ve talked about Tiered Support before. Hudson reps are trained to solve virtually all problems on the first call. Customers are delighted that the agent who picks up the phone can solve their problem.
- Fast, Efficient, Unscripted Support
Nobody likes being on the other end of a script. (The agent doesn’t like it on his or her end either!) A good agent listens to the customer, recognizes the problem, and lets the customer know that the problem can be solved. Customers are relieved, and they let the agent take charge and efficiently solve the problem.
We think it is fine to “make it easy” and delight customers! Exceed customer expectations in those areas where customers least expect it, and you will buy yourself customer loyalty.