Customer experience is a buzz term for every modern business – definitively, the customer’s holistic perception of a company. Different to just customer service, this is about more than what happens when they speak with a representative. It’s formed as a result of every interaction they’ve ever had with the company – whether that’s a direct exchange, a piece of marketing, a visit to a website, use of an app, or any individual part of the journey the customer goes on with your brand. Done right, the results yield everything a business needs – increased loyalty, repeat custom and positive online reviews. Done wrong however, it puts success at real risk.
Service is clearly key to customer experience, but beyond this, many businesses may think that strengthening it is merely image-based. But sight isn’t the only path to perception. We’ve pinpointed the five biggest reasons audio is an essential part of the customer experience – so discover why it’s so important for your business to be not just seen, but heard.
We all know once we get a song into our head it can be difficult to forget, and the phenomenon behind this is echoic memory. This specifically registers auditory information, storing sounds so they can be processed and understood. When a sound enters this part of the brain, it’s retained for 3-4 seconds – which doesn’t sound like very long. However, it’s an age compared to iconic memory, which stores images for just one second. And this is why audio is all the more likely to be remembered.
Incorporate sound at key points in the customer journey – whether it’s through music, voice message or complete audio productions – and you’ll deliver an experience that will remain with the customer for longer, and make them more likely to return.
When we make buying decisions, we don’t always do it with our head – our hearts have a say too. And arguably, nothing has greater power to influence our emotions than music: a proven mood-booster. The right track is a valuable opportunity to positively influence the customer’s experience, and even their buying decisions.
So what is the right track? With customer perception at stake, it won’t do to hit shuffle and play whatever comes up. This piece needs to perfectly represent business’ identity – and the best way of doing this is with a piece crafted exclusively to the company. Not only will it deftly capture what makes a business unique, it comes with no preconceptions – so there’s no risk of a listener associating it with a memory they’d rather forget.
Traditionally, we think of brand assets as features like logos or specific colours – but non-visual elements have even greater ability to assert identity, particularly voice. Whether it’s deep and commanding or bright and conversational, the qualities of voice directly correlate with perception of personality. And between podcasts, streaming ads and interactive assistants, there have never been more opportunities for brands to harness the power of voice. Yet the channel where this can make perhaps the biggest difference is more traditional: the caller experience.
Voice is key to guiding a caller through their journey – but not just that of the person on the end of the line. Most companies use recorded messages to direct callers to the person they need to speak to, so it’s important that this comes across as real as possible. Too much automation is common complaint surrounding customer experience, including robotic pre-sets that come with many phone systems. Using a professional voice artist to record these messages is a far more effective option – callers hear the warmth and human side of a real person, along with a finesse that simply can’t be achieved by asking a member of the office team to do the recording.
The most common frustrations associated with the customer experience are questions left unanswered and long wait or response times (Hotjar) – both of which are particularly pertinent to the caller experience. As we’ve just identified, the caller experience is the ideal channel in which to introduce audio content, and doing so works to combat these two biggest customer complaints.
Productions strategically deployed during hold or transfer time, or before a caller has even been connected, represent a valuable opportunity to inform customers of information they’ll find valuable – online resources, answers to FAQs, news of helpful products or services, or information on what they’ll need to have ready for their query to be effectively handled. And with this engaging audio content playing instead of dead air or jingles, the perceived waiting time is all the shorter.
It’s clear to hear that incorporating audio into your working practices is a highly effective way to enhance the customer experience – particularly within the vital caller experience.