According to the Optus Future of Business Report 2014, only a third of consumers feel the staff members serving them are 'very well equipped' to deliver an outstanding customer experience. By contrast, 71 per cent of businesses with very well-equipped employees deliver an outstanding or very good customer experience.
Surveyed consumers identified five tell-tale signs of poorly equipped employees:
Staff couldn't respond to my enquiry.
I was passed around from person to person.
I was put on hold for long periods of time.
I had to wait while staff members looked for my customer information.
Staff had trouble retrieving my information.
If any of these are common complaints among your customers, it's time to upgrade the systems for your customer service staff, and possibly improve their processes and training.
How to equip your teams with the right tools
However, with so many technologies available, which should you adopt? The Future of Business Report offers some helpful insights. It reveals businesses' top investment priorities are to:
improve customer relationship management, billing and other systems used by customer-facing employees
invest in mobile devices and collaboration tools that allow employees to communicate with the right people in real time
integrate systems so that employees have access to a single view of customers.
These initiatives align well with consumers' fast-growing expectations that they be given consistent, accurate information quickly.
Of course, the key is to tailor systems to your employees' needs so they in turn can meet customers' top expectations - friendly, knowledgeable service.