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Encompass® Insurance Insights & Articles

Customer Expectations

In a world that's constantly in flux, many businesses struggle to define key customer needs. But amidst all the change, one thing remains the same: Customers want great customer service – and today's customers are more focused than ever on receiving customer service that raises the bar.

In fact, surveys indicate that customer service is a deal-breaker. About fifty percent of those surveyed say they'll stop giving a brand their business after a disappointing interaction. Thirty-three percent say that they've recently left a brand due to poor customer service; among millennials, that number increases to forty-two percent.

It's clear that in times of change and uncertainty, providing great service is key. But how do customers define exceptional service, and how can your business meet these expectations?

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Digital Is Here to Stay

In 2020, many companies moved their interactions online due to current customers' expectations. These digital interactions offer flexibility and convenience and customers aren't willing to give that up. Businesses must embrace this new approach and take steps toward solutions that incorporate digital tools.

For example, businesses can adopt artificial intelligence (AI) systems to automate and streamline many customer service tasks. This type of solution can help address customer inquiries quickly. Similarly, chatbots can handle simple questions, then turn the chat over to a human when appropriate.

A Human Touch

Automating customer response provides customers with quick and flexible options. However, AI can feel cold and impersonal. To ensure customers are satisfied, experts advocate using digital solutions that also incorporate a human touch.

For instance, avoid using "do not reply to this message" emails that don't offer a path to interactivity and feedback. Instead, adopt interactive technology that allows customers to connect with employees to directly address issues.

Though these interactions take place virtually, they happen in real time, between real people. This helps humanize your business and frames customer service in the context of having a conversation and building relationships rather than a series of non-related transactions.

Contact at All Stages of a Transaction

Another trend in customer expectation lies in communication and accountability throughout a transaction. Once they've made a purchase, customers expect to track the status of the transaction.

This means e-commerce transactions don't end with a receipt sent to the customer's email inbox. Instead, customers want information at every stage.

Make this information available to customers through the platform of their choice. For instance, customers may choose to receive this information by logging into their account, through emails or by text message.

Personalized Service

Today's customers don't just expect personalized service – they expect hyper-personalized service. To optimize personalized customer service, consider unifying your data so your customer service agents and representatives can easily access the information they need for each transaction. Once your data is unified, segment your customer database with the goal of providing relevant information and services based on different customer personas.

Finally, don't forget the power of analytics. Analyze your customer data to glean insights into how you can better provide the personalized service that customers expect and appreciate.

In times of change, great customer service is more important than ever. As customer expectations shift, your agency must adapt. The key lies in embracing digital technology that helps you better connect with your customers on a personalized level, and provide the outstanding service customers expect.

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