The Importance of Customer Experience

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As we tend toward a world wherein customer expectations are shifting, new contact channels are emerging and the role of technology is increasing, the customer has more information and therefore power than ever before. Companies are thus expected to meet these increasing expectations in a time of shrinking budgets and resources which tends to result in higher agent attrition rates and lower customer experience rates. In order to mitigate against this the most important strategic decision a service organization can make, is to focus on customer experience and satisfaction .

Given the recent advancements in technology and the adoption of the internet, most consumers now attempt to solve simpler issues online rather than contacting the company directly via their contact centres. This self service is typically completed through the company website or community blog and in some cases (where available) extends to a messenger or live chat function offered by the organization. This in turn suggests a trend wherein the majority of people will only ring contact centres directly with more complex and/or sensitive issues which can not be resolved online. Therefore, in order to be effective and meet the expected levels of customer service, it is imperative that all agents are well trained in order to have the knowledge to assist with sensitive and complex matters as live agent interactions are becoming increasingly important in building and maintaining life long customer relationships.

Customers now have the power and information to choose between competing companies as switching costs are low. Customers expect immediate value and are prepared to go elsewhere in order to attain it. Customer experience should be seen as a sustainable competitive advantage, a point of differentiation, one which mutually benefits the organization and its customers by increasing customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and brand advocacy.

 

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Orla is a Research Assistant in Dublin City University Business School. She holds a Masters in Electronic Commerce. Her research interests include Business Process Improvement, Operations Research and Strategic Decision Making.

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