The customer experience often begins before a caller speaks to a live representative of an organization. Voice prompts, hold messages and voicemail are key tools in branding an organization and building loyalty among consumers. Understanding the role of professional audio in the customer journey allows companies to develop content strategies that complement business goals and aid customer satisfaction. There are primary steps in achieving marketing strategies that reinforce goals and aid customer satisfaction.
Develop marketing plans that aid the needs of the primary groups represented in your target audience. Depending on the marketing model your business utilizes it could be by content or advertisements. Regardless, if it's an inbound or outbound marketing strategy your company uses it should be interactive. Interactive content engages prospects and can show insight into your brand and how you can fulfill their needs. For example, significant content could be current pricing models, virtual tours or news items that convey an understanding of a new customer’s needs.
Know Your Audience
Knowing your target audience will help to determine the average customer journey. To determine the steps in the customer journey it's important to know what prospects do before they reach for the phone. Knowing your audience will allow you to build interactive content that will then drive traffic to contact you. Maybe the call to action in your interactive content is to call or complete a form online. Knowing how your audience finds your company allows you to know how they will ultimately contact you.
Make the Right First Impression
Once your interactive content leads prospects to call you, it's time to make a great first impression. Give prospects the right first impression with professional voice recordings on your phone system that are direct and informative. Don't be the company that recorded their own prompts next to a train station. We've all had the experience of listening to a phone menu with giant sighs and gasps for air and we all thought the same thing "who thought this sounded good?" As the first initial contact with your company this shouldn't be what you portray.
Secondly, callers tend to get frustrated easily when it comes to voice prompt menus. Poorly designed voice prompt menus can be like a black hole with never ending menu choices. Over time menus can become incompatible with the phone system, for example the prompt says "press 6 for sales" and you press 6 and it just repeats the menu. Be sure to optimize and test your IVR to make sure it’s routing callers efficiently and not leaving them in a black hole of options. The simplest mistake can turn a simple phone call into an awful customer experience.
These phone experiences make us all feel like our time is not a priority. The worst thing to portray to a caller, is that their time is irrelevant. If the caller is a prospective client and you're treating them unprofessionally, they can only assume how they'll be treated once they become customers. With the right audio and scripting the customer journey can be greatly improved and the first impression can be impressive.
Align Business Goals with Content Plans
The decision to choose content for an organization shouldn’t occur in a silo. Decision makers must work together with customer facing employees to make sure that the consumer is guided down a path that makes sense for the entire organization. For example, if prompts are created to facilitate automated tech support via voicemail with a 24 hour response time, support staff must have the ability to accommodate this feature.Use a mix of company employees from all departments to develop plan details and content that aligns with marketing goals and aids customer support. Often customer facing staff offer nuanced information that is critical to developing the optimal customer journey. Make sure that all employees understand the goal of the content plan is to meet business goals and aid customer support. The customer experience is even more valuable when staff knows why the customer is led down a specific path and they had an impact on how that path developed.
Improving customer experience begins with the first customer contact. Audio plays a pivotal role in shaping the caller experience. In order to create the best customer experience with audio it is important to know the audience, align the business goals with marketing plans and make sure organization experts are a part of plan development.