Customers want and expect more than ever before when it comes to their customer experience, and that includes information.
In our customer service workshops, we do an exercise in which participants compare their company and their processes to others outside of the industry. Often, the participants compare their companies to restaurants, local stores, and Amazon, even if they aren’t in retail, such as a B2B business.
One of the ideas that come up, again and again, is that customers want and crave information. As a result, our clients create better processes to deliver information to their customers.
A recent study by 4over surveyed 2,000 consumers to understand how important information was to them. Specifically, they looked at how customers feel about tracking their online orders. The study found that:
- 96% of consumers track deliveries after ordering a product online.
- 43% of consumers say they track their orders daily.
- 29% of consumers claim they would not order an item online if they couldn’t track the delivery.
Customers Want To Be Informed
As you look at these stats, consider that it’s not about the delivery. While that is very important, this is all about being informed. When customers know their item is on the way, there is a sense of comfort and even a higher level of confidence. The study found that 79% of customers feel a sense of ownership of an item before it is delivered to them.
One of the examples I use in my speeches is the airlines. In what I call “A Tale of Two Gate Agents,” I share the scenario of a delayed flight. The flight is supposed to depart at 4 p.m., however, there is no plane at the gate.
In one scenario, no information is shared with the passengers waiting in the gate area. As the time of departure gets closer, passengers start to get restless. They notice there is no plane. They know it takes 15 minutes for the passengers to deplane, several minutes to clean the plane, and another 20-plus minutes for the passengers to get on the plane. It’s obvious they will be late, and many passengers start to worry about making their connecting flights. The frustrated gate agent continues to field questions from the passengers, informing them of any news available to share.
In the second scenario, the gate agent is proactive. She announces that the incoming plane has been delayed. Even though she has no current update, she promises to make an announcement every 15 minutes to keep passengers informed. The result is that many passengers are more relaxed because they feel in control. All because the gate agent shared information.
In another example, I recently took my wife to the hospital for a minor procedure. After they admitted her, she was taken back to the OR to be prepped for surgery. The patients were assigned numbers for confidentiality purposes, and in the waiting room, I could watch a monitor follow her progress throughout the procedure. She was being prepped, taken into surgery, was in recovery, etc. I didn’t have to go to the desk to ask for an update. The monitor gave me the information so I had a sense of what was happening. That gave me comfort.
You see, customers love information. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re in. It doesn’t matter if it’s B2C or B2B. What matters is that information gives your customers a sense of control over their situation.
Knowledge is power. Information is a gift. Share it and you’ll create a better customer experience.
This article has been reprinted with permission from Shep Hyken´s Forbes page.