“Your call is important to us. We will attend to you shortly.”

“Your call is important to us. We will attend to you shortly.”

This is a common message that we get to hear whenever we call customer care. More often than not, the wait time seems endless and the resolution of the issue within the same call is rare. This is a stark contrast during sales or first installation of a product. Installation engineers enthusiastically collect feedback form, or happy code on SMS, and that gets punched in somewhere. 

The customer satisfaction scores gathered in such scenarios are typically good more so if it’s a new customer. In case of after sales,  the scores may not be a true indication of reality. Lack of focus is immediate dampener to effect any meaningful interaction with customer once he is on board. That in turn leads to loss of dynamic information about customer’s journey with brand via a viz dissatisfaction, positive experience or even frustration.

Digital savvy customers may reach out to social media to get attention. Such cases are taken notice by the brands as it can have a viral negative effect. There is no channel that is available within the brand to create deeper feedback framework. In a nutshell, every customer feedback is good and scores are high if job is executed and it is poor if not.

For those whose experience is poor, they resort to social media or escalate somehow and finally give up before reaching out to anyone who could help them. The problem is further amplified with marketers’ relentless effort to grow sales volume without  awareness of how many earlier ones have already left. This is a seemingly endless cycle.

What a consumer can do in such circumstances? We will come back to this shortly but before that let’s look at what our brand marketer and strategists are faced with.

First of all, almost every organization acknowledges there is a serious gap in updated reliable customer data. Numbers, name and probably service tickets are best of what is available. It is by far the least brand must have for meaningful interaction with their customers.

Periodic feedback, dynamic data on customer experience is rarely available. Often survey agencies are hired to produce reports. Nothing much can be done with that, these are sample based reports. Customer’s attitude towards brand is the key construct at individual level, it is challenging but feasible. Few of the brands are working on it.

Identification of customer segment based on behavior and intent is useful. It must be known if a customer is a true brand loyalist or passive user or exploring deals and so on. At the moment, it does not matter. There is no reward for being a champion customer. The fact is that organizations are unaware of their own brand ambassadors or valuable customers.

Brands are beginning to put deep focus on these initiatives. It must bring lot of cheer to consumers though not before they see tangible impact. Customers and brands both are stand to gain out of it, that goes to say consumers too need to participate in this initiative. Customer need to make their expectation heard, share knowledge, provide suggestions and make constructive feedback. This is the best possible contribution  and rest is for our valued brands to act.

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