(Editor’s note – You can still sign up to view the webinar associated with this study. Details are at the bottom of this post.)
I’m going to guess that most of you are nodding right now. Sure, there are always hiccups – as well as the occasional customer who can’t be pleased – but in general, your company’s service is delivering a quality experience and meeting customer expectations. Right?
A Problem Right Under Your Nose
According to a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting*, you could very well be wrong. As we recently discussed here on WorkIntelligent.ly, Forrester went to the source and asked workers who deal directly with customers, and an astonishing 89 percent of them said that there’s a gap between the customer service experience they can deliver, and the experience that the customer wants. And if you think that they just asked a bunch of hollow-eyed zombies, jaded from dealing with customers for decades, think again. Among customer service decision makers, 79 percent say the same – that they can’t provide the experience the customer wants.
Thinking about it, it makes sense. We’ve all had bad customer service experiences in the past, but when it comes to our own businesses, we tend to turn a blind eye. “Oh,” we say, “that’s the other guys. We have good people who do the best job they can.” Maybe so, but they may not have the systems in place that can help them do their jobs most effectively.
Losing Business You Didn’t Know You Had
What does that mean for your bottom line? More unhappy customers, for one. But this goes deeper than just losing the business of an angry customer. It also creates less of an opportunity for customer-facing workers to develop a rapport with the customer. This sort of connection is the foundation of repeat business, but it needs the right foundation. If your people can’t get customers the information they need at the time they need it, or don’t have the technology that can match that of today’s always-on customer, it’s that much harder to build rapport. That means fewer repeat customers, less business, and a declining balance sheet.
Whether it’s legacy systems that aren’t effective in communicating with customers, document support that makes the customer experience more painful than not, or inefficient business processes that draw out each customer interaction, the fact of the matter is that many businesses just aren’t providing their workers with the tools and information they need to deliver a strong, positive experience that meets customer expectations.
How You Can Move Forward
One bright side to this? Companies that identify this weakness and work to correct it will have a strong competitive advantage over others.
To get started in building your competitive advantage, Ricoh Americas (sponsor of WorkIntelligent.ly) held a webinar on March 18 entitled “How to Match the Experience Your Customers Want with the Experience Your Company Can Actually Deliver.” Featuring Craig Le Clair, Vice President, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, Inc., and Terrie Campbell, Vice President of Strategic Marketing at Ricoh, the webinar helped attendees learn to bridge the gap between customer expectations and experience.
While the webinar has passed, you can still view the entire session by filling out the form HERE for immediate access. We will also send you a confirmation email with a link to the recorded session.
Title: “How to Match the Experience Your Customers Want with the Experience Your Company Can Actually Deliver”
What you’ll learn:
- The most common challenges your customer-facing employees encounter
- What role big data — a.k.a. your information — plays in fixing the gap between customer expectations and what your company can deliver
- How your customer-facing workers can be more effective with the right systems and technology
- (click here for more details)
- Craig Le Clair, Vice President, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research
- Terrie Campbell, Vice President, Strategic Marketing, Ricoh Americas
*Commissioned study conducted on behalf of Ricoh (The New Workplace Reality: Enterprises Must Capture The Soul And Spirit Of The Emerging Worker, December 2013)