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Brands

Movers & shakers: Talkwalker’s top 10 brands of 2021

960 640 Guest Post

2021 flashed by, and brands across the globe kept the pedal to the metal to stay one step ahead of a relentless year. COVID restrictions eased and then returned, competition in the digital realm was fiercer than ever, and consumer preferences changed in the blink of an eye.

However, there were several brands that excelled against all odds, and these are the brands to draw inspiration from as we journey through 2022.

Click here to see Talkwalker’s top 10 brands of 2021.

Which? customer service poll reveals 2017 best and worst brands

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Consumer watchdog Which? has revealed its best and worst brands for customer service, with First Direct, Lakeland and Lush all topping the polls for 2017.

The survey, carried out with more than 3,000 Which? customers, found that First Direct ticked all the right boxes when it came to customer service, finishing ahead of cosmetics retailer Lush, with kitchenware store Lakeland in third position.

The poll asked members of public to rate up to three brands on their customer service experience.

First Direct took the top position after 63% of those polled said that the customer service staff’s attitude was “excellent”.

Retailers, including Debenhams, HMV, Ikea and Mothercare, were also among those polled, with an average customer service score of 77%. Lush and Lakeland were the highest scoring retailers, with Sports Direct the lowest-scoring, with those polled citing poor staff attitudes at the sports retailer.

Telecoms firms didn’t fare well, with most of the big brands finishing in the lower section of the table. Virgin Media, TalkTalk and energy firm Npower shared 94th position, although Vodafone finished in 9th place. BT missed the poll this year due to a discrepancy in the data collected.

The best brands stood out due to having friendly, helpful staff, with 53% of those polled saying it was one of the things valued most during the customer service experience.

The full list can be viewed here

Guest Blog, Steve Ball: The 8 things millennials really want from customer service

800 450 Jack Wynn

Struggling to understand what makes your millennial customers tick? Here’s what they really want from your contact centre.

It can sometimes be difficult to understand what constitutes a great customer experience for the millennial generation. We know about their lofty expectations, their habitual use of technology and their willingness to vote with their feet if a brand disappoints them. But what really drives them, and what do they really want from customer service?

A lot of brands still seem to lack the answers to these questions. According to Aspect research from last month, some 42 per cent of millennials would rather clean a toilet than reach out to a contact centre – an increase of ten percentage points on 2015’s figure.

Millennials are clearly unhappy with the current state of customer service, and it won’t be long before this translates into lost business for brands that fail to accommodate their expectations.

So what is it that millennials really want from customer service? At Aspect, we’ve come up with a list of requirements – the “now consumer” expectations – that we think shed light on the matter. These are as follows:

1. Know me

Millennials want their interactions with brands to be not just convenient, but personal. This could be as simple as not having to repeat themselves when switching from one channel to another, such as a web chat conversation to a phone call, or being able to pick up on an incomplete transaction at a later date via whatever method makes sense at the time.

2. Make it mobile

A simple one: millennials expect customer service to be accessible via mobile. According to Ofcom, nine in ten Britons between the ages of 16 and 24 own smartphones, and 61 per cent describe themselves as “hooked” on their handsets. Mobile has become a more common means of getting online than the laptop, making it an important touchpoint for brand interactions.

3. Let me do it

Millennials have an appetite for self-service, too. According to our 2015 research, almost three in four consumers (73 per cent) believe they should have the ability to solve most product and service issues on their own. Reaching out to an agent should be a last resort.

4. Make it social

Millennials are fluent in social media, and expect brands to be the same. They also like to use Facebook, Twitter et al to vent when something doesn’t go their way. It’s vital that brands are able to assist and guide customers via these channels, and to do so at the time it matters most.

5. Fit into my life

One of the consequences of the rise in mobile, self-service and social media-based customer service is that millennials no longer want to suffer lengthy call queues or phone a contact centre at a particular time of day to solve a simple problem. Convenience is key – if a solution can’t be accessed at any time via any channel that counts against the brand’s customer experience.

6. Save me time

Speed is equally important. Millennials don’t want to repeat themselves or sit through a long-winded process on the phone that would be quicker to complete with a self-service or co-browsing solution.

7. Make me smarter

Millennials like their brand interactions to be empowering. Rather than just solve simple problems, a contact centre should be able to furnish customers with information that will improve their experience of the brand’s services in the long run. In turn, these customers will be able to use their newfound knowledge to support and empower their peers.

8. Help me discover

Along the same lines, a contact centre should be able to create value for customers outside of their immediate wants and needs. So, for example, it could deliver personalised advice and recommendations to an individual based on its knowledge of their purchases, queries and pain-points. This step, along with the one above, will turn millennials into committed brand advocates who discuss their positive experiences with peers and in social media.

 

Learn about customer experience solutions from Aspect