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The Cost of Making Your Customers Work

The Cost of Making Your Customers Work

SIP provider customer service may not be top of mind when buying new service, but it should be. When business owners consider their customer service departments, they often fall into the trap of thinking about what this arm of the company costs them:

 How many agents do we need to hire?  How much will we need to spend to train them?  Will we need to purchase additional equipment?  What is the return on investment?

This perspective can subtly cloud the view of the entire organization, leading managers to focus on the wrong metrics, inevitably producing suboptimal results. Moreover, if your company is making your customers work to get service, they won’t be your customers for long.

Case Studies in Customer Service

When seeking ways to showcase the value of their department or highlight the efforts of a particular agent, call center managers rely on the vignette to extol or defend their customer service. Do either of these stories sound familiar?

  • John received a call from a customer in Cleveland having problems with the Wi-Fi router he purchased from us, which would sporadically drop connectivity. John spent over an hour working with the customer to troubleshoot this issue, before determining that the router was simply stalling. So, he helped the customer do a hard reset of the device and reinstall it, patiently walking him through renaming the devices on his network and setting up new passwords. The customer was relieved that it was finally working and thanked John for his tenacity.
  • Ashley saved the day when a customer called with a warranty question. By the time they connected, this customer had been passed around to 4 different agents and had been accidentally dropped The other agents were not familiar with this older warranty, but once Ashley was on the line, she recited it chapter and verse and helped the customer determine that she still had 18 more months of coverage. During the post-call survey, the customer raved about Ashley’s knowledge and sparkling disposition.

Businesses often rely on agents like John and Ashley to keep their customers from boiling over, but their individual efforts only place band-aids on systemic problems that commonly result in customer attrition. Whether John spent 3 minutes or 3 hours on his call, it doesn’t erase the customer’s perception that the product is defective and that he should seriously consider finding a different brand. No matter how much Ashley’s customer enjoyed their interaction, the customer will most likely consider Ashley to be the exception and not the rule at her company, based on the journey she took to reach her.

Customer service heroism doesn’t adequately consider the effort exerted by the customer.

Customer Effort Scores

Over the past few years, there has been a growing focus on net promoter scores (NPS) and customer satisfaction (CSAT) measures to predict future customer loyalty. However, if you’re running a call center or a customer service operation, your customer effort score (CES) is the metric that matters. It revolves around companies creating loyalty by reducing customer effort.

The CES may ask a customer “How much effort did you personally have to put forth to handle your request?” Or ask the customer to rate how much they agree or disagree with a statement like “The company made it easy for me to handle my issue.”  While the issues faced by John and Ashley’s customers may have been resolved, the time and effort each customer expended was substantial. Research shows that customers reporting high-effort experiences are nearly 9 times as likely to become disloyal than a customer reporting a low-effort experience.

Compared against NPS and CSAT scores, customer effort scores are nearly twice as effective at forecasting future loyalty. Where does your SIP provider customer service fall?

SIP Provider Customer Service

Those looking to make the switch to SIP often confuse price with value. Dozens of SIP providers offer cut-rate pricing, looking to attract new customers based solely on the incredible savings they can offer. However, with SIP prices dropping nearly 5% every year, it gets harder to differentiate SIP providers purely on cost. SIP provider customer service makes a difference.

It’s more critical than ever to judge SIP providers based on value. Ask yourself:

  • What is the value of your company’s time?
  • What is the value of your company’s availability to customers?
  • What is the value of a flawless experience between an agent and a caller?

If your SIP provider makes it harder for you to conduct business—whether it’s due to dropped calls or inconsistent quality—the cost savings you enjoy on the front end will be overshadowed by the parade of customers leaving for your competitors.

With SIP provider customer service, we set the bar high. We understand that a company’s time is as valuable as their products and services. That’s why we focus on you to provide top-tier customer service. Learn more about how Voxtelesys helps support customer relationships and creates high-quality customer service experiences.