When you have a retail shop, you manage numerous customer touch points. As a store manager or owner, you probably spend most of your days making sure that customers have a great experience as they encounter each of these interaction points.
From the appearance of your store and displays to the presence of sales associates and shopper assistance, there are dozens of customer micro-experiences you can manage from the minute a shopper walks into your location.
But if you are like many other retail store managers, you may be missing an often overlooked and undervalued customer touch point: the customer calling experience.
The Forgotten Customer Touch Point: The Calling Experience
The customer calling experience is a touch point that many retail stores forget about. It’s not necessarily an intentional exclusion. There are many reasons why this customer touch point is easy to overlook.
You don’t spend a lot of money on it.
When you spend money on marketing efforts such as advertising campaigns and promotions, you closely monitor the work and results. But businesses typically don’t spend a lot of money on their calling experience so they don’t keep a close eye on it.
Because businesses don't usually allocate big budgets for the customer calling experience, they don’t focus on it. It becomes an out-of-sight, out-of-mind element of the business. They spend 94% of their marketing budget on other things and concentrate on those efforts -- even though this is a mistake.
You can’t see what you are losing.
When unhappy customers are right in front of you, it’s easy to see their frustration. But when someone is on hold, there is no one there to witness their annoyance. You can see an angry customer walk out the door of your store, but you can’t see them hang up the phone.
Most businesses don’t see how often customers hang up out of frustration, which happens quite frequently. According to an AT&T study, 60% of callers left in silence on-hold hang up.
Even through more than half of customers disconnect from a business due to poor calling experience, managers don’t see it. They would notice 60% of their in-store customers walking out, but because the exodus happens on the phone, it’s easy to overlook.
You don’t often experience it for yourself.
It’s easy for managers and business owners to neglect the customer calling experience because it’s not in front of their face. It is also easy to forget about it because they probably don’t regularly experience it for themselves.
Many business owners or associates don’t typically go through the customer calling experience. They don’t regularly call the location and get placed on hold. And, if they do, they typically don’t pay much attention to their on-hold messaging (or lack thereof), so it becomes easy to ignore.
You don’t see its full potential.
Even if managers do notice that their customer calling experience is less than ideal, it’s an aspect of business that is still easy to brush aside. Many companies know that their customer calling experience isn’t great, but settle for it because they don’t see the value in improving the touchpoint.
Providing a positive customer calling experience is extremely important, and has many benefits. Once you see them, you’ll realize you have been making a big mistake by forgetting about caller touch points.
When retail stores put an emphasis on their customer calling experience:
- It Increases Caller Retention: Providing an engaging on-hold messaging or music keeps callers on the line longer. When there is on-hold messaging, callers will stay on hold up to three minutes longer.
- It Increases Customer Satisfaction: Callers are easily frustrated when left on hold, so providing them with a helpful and engaging calling experience will improve their overall satisfaction with your business.
- It Projects Professionalism: A professional hold message shows attention to detail, and proves that you care about providing positive customer touch points in every aspect of your business.
- It Promotes Products and Services: On-hold messages give you an opportunity to promote products, services, add-ons, packages and specials to a highly engaged audience.
- It Builds Brand Awareness: Custom messages and a consistent brand tone reinforce your branding and help your business become more memorable.
- It Motivates Callers: Direct calls-to-action used in hold messages encourage audiences to act and take the next step in the buyer’s journey.
- It Drives Traffic: On-hold messaging directs callers to your website where they can find the information they seek while viewing your other useful web content.
- Callers Are Highly Engaged: When a customer calls your business, they are a highly engaged prospect. Don't disconnect their engagement with an on-hold experience that makes them want to hang up.
Most business owners and managers don’t intentionally ignore their customer calling experience. It’s a customer touch point that is too easy to overlook.
Now that you know what a positive customer calling experience can bring to a business, you can see why it shouldn't stay forgotten.
Need more proof that customer calling experience is a powerful marketing tool your business can’t afford to ignore?
Download our FREE EBOOK: Is Your Customer Calling Experience Costing Your Business? Everything You Need to Know Before Putting a Customer On Hold. It answers 13 of the most commonly asked questions about customer calling experience while showing how you can please customers, build brand loyalty, and even increase revenue all by updating your on-hold messaging system.