Why Is Customer Context Important?

Have you ever called a customer service line and been asked to explain the problem several times as you’re shuttled from rep to rep? Or have you ever entered your account information into a web chat form, but when the agent is ready to take your inquiry, you’re asked for the account information again? When customers interact on various channels over the course of days or weeks and they’re asked to explain the issue and previous interactions each time they connect with an agent, a lot of time is wasted. This is frustrating for the customer and, at times, the agent as well. Customer context aims to provide the opposite experience: personal, insightful service and a quick resolution.

Customer context is a set of known factors that enable the contact center to completely understand a need. Businesses have to know who will use their products or services and how they’ll be used. Getting a grasp on customer context requires empathy, because the company has to put themselves in the customer’s shoes. When you know your customers and context, you can understand their needs, resulting in better results for the company. This gives the brand a major advantage.

The people behind GrubHub, an online service that lets users order from their favorite local restaurants, are experts at customer context. Let’s say you place your order and pay, but forget to add the tip to your credit card. You login to your account to chat with a representative online. There’s a count down that shows your place in line; while waiting, you enter your name and question. Once you have a rep on the chat, they simply ask how much of a tip you’d like to leave and then confirm that it’ll be sent along to the restaurant. In under a minute, you receive an e-mail with the adjusted price. The rep never asks you to repeat your inquiry and they don’t need to confirm your order information because you’re already logged in. The process is hassle-free, fast and intuitive.

Ultimately, customer context leads to better customer service. Context gives meaning to interactions and helps the contact center agent recommend an appropriate course of action. Brands are able to meet customer expectations, no matter how demanding they are, and companies can evolve their relationships with customers as they move along the journey.

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