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Do Scandinavian brands live up to consumers' expectations of service?  Calabrio's latest study shows that customer service is key to brand loyalty

Do Scandinavian brands live up to consumers’ expectations of service? Calabrio’s latest study shows that customer service is key to brand loyalty

Products, brands, and sales communications are critical when consumers choose where to put their trust and their money — and it has been for a long time. The majority of surveys show that your call center is important when it comes to customer retention and satisfaction. But exactly what is the significance of that? In a new study, “Call Center Status 2022 Empowering the Call Center as a Brand GuardianAt Calabrio, we survey executives and consumers and the answer is that 97 percent of consumers say interactions with a call center are very important to their brand loyalty. Three out of five consumers say they have changed brands because of negative experiences In other words: The call center is The essence of the brand experience for consumers in Scandinavia.

So let’s discuss the exact role of the call center in how consumers perceive a brand. As the report explains, it can go wrong easily, but if you’re a call center manager, you might not realize it… In fact, three in four (75 percent) of call center managers believe they meet customer expectations, but just over agree About one in three consumers (34 percent). But it’s not entirely bad – how are call centers in the Nordic countries on the right track and where are they still wrong?

The paradox of social media
Over the past decade, hundreds of millions of kroner have been invested in gaining attention through social media, but the fact that many have chosen to invest in this way does not mean it is valid. One of the most intriguing insights from the recent Calabrio report is that executives rank social media as one of the two most important channels, while consumers believe that the phone — along with the website and email — is the number one channel for how they perceive the brand. This means that the traditional phone call remains the most important channel for communicating with customers and call centers, and thus appears to overestimate the importance of social media as the most important channel. Social media should of course remain part of the channel mix, but with such a clear difference between consumers and call centers, our advice is to study your data and your customers in detail to prioritize your resources according to consumers’ needs.

Nordic countries are on the right track – almost…
Consumers expect a lot – and they know it. In fact, 83 percent of them expressed that organizations should treat call center workers as brand ambassadors. Call center employees can elevate interaction from a standard service experience to something more informative and informative, building brand loyalty. The Nordic countries are ahead of the rest of Europe. Northern companies are much better at understanding employee value compared to other European countries, and the Calabria study shows that they invest more than average in induction, additional training, and employee development for customer service. This is wise – mainly because consumers in Nordic countries perceive rude staff, or not feel heard or understood, as more negatively than other European countries.

In addition, call centers in the Nordic countries are more likely to merge into different communication channels than in other countries. This means that the center can recognize the same customer regardless of whether the communication was made by phone, email or through social media, which means that the customer often feels heard. Combining different channels creates a personalized, competent and efficient information center that gives you the best possible brand experience.

So the call centers and services in the North are going in the right direction. But when was the last time you made sure your customers’ perception matches yours? Did you put a lot of energy into the new channels and forget that “the old is gold”? Are you investing in your employees to enable them to be the brand ambassadors they have the potential to be?

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More than 50 percent of consumers will leave the brand after only two negative customer service experiences – so it doesn’t matter how modern the call centers are in the Nordic countries compared to other countries. With customer expectations rising, it’s time to question past ways of working and find new ways to reach more people.

Download the Calabrio Call Center 2022 Status Report here.

* The State of the Call Center 2022: Empowering the Call Center as a Brand Guardian survey was conducted with 500 consumers and call center managers, including in the Nordic countries as well as in the UK, USA and DACH.

Written by: Magnus Geverts, Vice President of Product Marketing at Calabrio.