“Customers expect more today”

March 19

Last updated on March 21, 2024

From an extract: Mittelstand. The company magazine issue 1/2024

About customer trips that have nothing to do with vacations and service centers that don't just serve as hotlines. An interview with Markus Lill and Thomas Denk, Managing Directors of Deliberate GmbH.

Mittelstand.: Why are customers' demands increasing?

Thomas Denk: Customers are consuming more online and are familiar with the efficient processes of Amazon and the like. In order to stand up to the competition, companies must be able to make a difference with personal and personalized service. Customers expect both: efficient processes and service. According to a recent Genesys study, 29 percent will switch providers if something goes wrong.

Markus Lill: A telephone hotline used to be sufficient. This is still the preferred communication channel for 33 percent of consumers, followed by e-mail with 17 percent. However, companies often offer several telephone numbers, WhatsApp, chatbots and forms on the website. With branches, things become even more complicated when, for example, purchases are made online and picked up in-store: from product advice, purchase and delivery to downstream complaints. We talk about "customer journeys" - which usually have little in common with a relaxing vacation.

Mittelstand.: What difficulties arise from these conditions?

TD: There is a risk of loss of information in the process. To differentiate yourself from the "big players", you need to clarify: What do I want to automate? Customers are spoiled by Alexa and Chat GPT. Until now, the simplest automations were complex and expensive. It's different today with cloud software. Automatic customer authentication is an important building block. But that's just the beginning: in which customer situations do I make a difference with empathetic service, and when and where does the customer not want to talk to me at all? How much can I handle given the shortage of skilled staff and fluctuating staffing levels?

ML: To make matters worse, customers usually only get in touch when something has gone wrong. According to the aforementioned study, one in four consumers has lost their temper at some point. Emotionally stressed employees are grateful for any support. Happier customers mean happier employees - and vice versa. The employee experience is more important than ever.

Mittelstand.: What can companies do?

ML: It helps to take a critical look at the communication infrastructure. Are all relevant communication channels supported and what options are there for automation with voice and chatbots? In most cases, one or two high-leverage use cases are sufficient, which can be implemented quickly thanks to cloud software. Start small, learn quickly and grow. The issues have become more technical. That's why companies benefit from implementation partners who have experience and can implement things in just a few weeks. Because today, one thing counts: speed!

The interview was conducted by Achim von Michel, BVMW Press Spokesman Bavaria.

Mittelstand. Das Unternehmensmagazin Ausgabe 1/2024

Issue 1/2024

BVMW - Bundesverband mittelständische Wirtschaft, Unternehmerverband Deutschlands e.V.

Deliberate is a member of the Bundesverband mittelständische Wirtschaft.

Find more on this topic here


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